The world seems to have a love/hate relationship with Microsoft’s ribbon interface–people either love it, or they hate it. The ribbon was first introduced in Office 2007, then extended to additional products like Outlook in Office 2010. Now, screenshots from a leaked early build of Windows 8 suggest that the ribbon interface will replace the traditional toolbar in Windows Explorer as well.
Like many innovative Microsoft features (such as UAC), the ribbon interface suffers from a combination of resistance to change and a lack of understanding. Users are so busy whining and complaining about how Microsoft changed the interface they’re used to that they can’t be bothered to invest the time to embrace the new interface. But, those who do understand and embrace the ribbon interface generally love it and find that it makes working with the associated products more intuitive and efficient.
Aside from the ribbon interface, Windows 8 is also expected to run on ARM processors–like those powering the vast majority of tablets and smartphones, and it is expected to be tablet ready, or perhaps come in a tablet-optimized version. There is no update on when to expect Windows 8. At this point, Microsoft seems to still be in the very early development.
When it does arrive, I guess we’ll have to look at renaming this blog.