Guest Post: Windows 8 comes wrapped in a ribbon

September 6, 2011

If you have not heard or read that big MS, Microsoft is working hard on a new Windows OS version, well you’ve been offline for too long.
I’m personally trying to get away from the claws of MS.  At home I have forced myself to install Ubuntu on all of my machines.  To help me get used to the Linux environment and trying to force myself to learn more and more about the in and outs of the Linux OS.  I will lose some learning time from Windows, but I work in windows environment day in and day out, so I don’t think its really going to make much of a difference…
(Image Credit: CNET, Microsoft)
     One of the biggest and probably the most noticeable changes as seen on the screen shot above is most likely the ribbon tool bar. I don’t know if I should just call it just ribbon or ribbon tool bar. Like the ribbon tool bar introduced in MS Office 2007 it will replace the traditional File, Edit, View text tool bar with a more graphical ribbon interface. Like the tool bar in the Office Suite at first I didn’t want it and didn’t like it. I still don’t like it, but after watching the video below it started to change my opinion on the ribbon tool bar.  Also when you first look at this monstrous bar you think you are going to lose screen real estate, but you don’t because MS has fixed this by removing the preview/property pane that was found at the bottom of the explorer windows in Windows 7.

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 Before watching this video my biggest fear was that I was going to lose some of my keyboard shortcuts. I’m one that if I don’t have to lift my hands from the keyboard the better. The mouse tends to get cold and lonely at my desk. As shown in the video(to my surprise) MS reacted to this and made it easier to even learn new keyboard shortcuts. Which I’m all for.(OH YEA!). By simply hitting the Alt key you can invoke the keyboard shortcut references in the ribbon bar. I have noticed this in the MS Office ribbon as well but haven’t used it to my advantage as much.

     This is all cool and all, but as I was thinking this is awesome and all it lead me to think about my daily work. As a helpdesk/PC technician you are sometimes forced to troubleshoot over the phone blinded. Some times you’ll get the machine that you just can’t get remoted into or can’t get a internet connection and you are forced to use the users as your eyes and hands. I feel that the ribbon is going to put some speed bumps in my way when trying to help users, but only time will tell.
    I think though one of the coolest features of the new ribbon tool bar is the “copy path” button.  This will make things alot easier for me to get a user to send me file paths, but as cool as this is I’m personally probably still going to be using my F6, Crtl+C combo.
MS has heard our voice and brought back the Up button, which is convenient when searching for files that are burred inside layers and layers of folders and just browsing through folders easier.
    As stated earlier we are losing the preview/property pane previously found at the bottom of all explorer windows in Windows 7 and it seems that they are moving to the right side of the screen.  In the video above you can see that when Alex Simmons clicks on a picture and the picture file property displays on the right side of the screen, wish he had clicked on doc or txt file for me to see if they also happens with those files, but we shell wait and see.  Funny how this bar used to be on the left side of the window and they moved it to the bottom and now off to the right.
     The other thing that came to mind about this ribbon bar is that this will make things easier for tablet users.  I don’t have much Windows Tablet experience, my only experience with using Windows as a tablet OS is limited to an old Toshiba Satellite(can’t remember for sure) and a Dell XT2(love this thing).  Windows 7 worked really well in these two tablets, but I have a feeling that Windows 8 is going to enhance and improve the whole tablet experience.  I think, like Android, MS is trying to make one OS to run them all, what I mean by that is that they are trying to make an OS that will run in all platforms, Mobile Phones, PC and Tablets.  Android is a little ahead since they have the Honeycomb release, but we are yet to see the Mobile Phones run this OS… by default.  As for Apple, they’ve been having an OS to run’em all for a while and now Android and MS just have to catch up and I don’t think they are far behind.
     There are a few other new features coming to Windows 8, but I will have to cover those in separate posts.  I didn’t expect this post about the ribbon bar to get so lengthy, but I’ve come to realize that I write lengthy explanations unintentionally.

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One Response to “Guest Post: Windows 8 comes wrapped in a ribbon”

  1. not sure I can get used to the ribbon…I hate it in Office. We’ll see. Thanks for the video link!

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