So, I just bought 5 copies of Office 2007 for a friend of mine in the good land of Minnesota. He’s upgrading all of his home computers and those for his kids scattered about the country. One of the first things he’ll notice is the new Office Fluent UI, and he’ll likely need some help finding his way around the new way we display the commands. No more “File | New” etc. in some of the applications. Sure, Office 2007 has been out for a while now, but there are still many thousands of people moving to the new version as the weeks pass. And, it’s good to learn one’s way around the apps even when the old menu structure has been mostly unchanged.

So, I am pushing the reference guides and how to customize the UI to the top of everyone’s inbox:

Access -- http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b9574c72-657f-438c-9de9-f8f70dd2d40d&DisplayLang=en

Excel -- http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=89718ABD-2758-47B3-9F90-93788112B985&displaylang=en

Outlook -- http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=CC37CC1E-028D-4D30-9093-96CC6513ECA1&displaylang=en

PowerPoint -- http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=BEF41DC3-8E28-4282-82D4-CEC2F416CD40&displaylang=en

Word -- http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9044790b-4e24-4277-b714-66d7b18d0aa1&DisplayLang=en

Here’s the location on the MSDN Office Developer Center where you can find developer info about how to customize the UI:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905530.aspx

One of the things that is encouraging is how many non-Microsoft applications are revisiting their UI layout and adopting a similar approach to what we introduced in Office 2007. Over the coming years you’ll see more applications (from us and others) going this direction mainly because how people work in the applications is so very different from what it was in the 90’s. I also fee persuaded that we have barely scratched the “Surface” (pun intended) in exploring new ways to make it easier for people to interact with the systems upon which they depend.

Rock Thought of the Day:

What if a hugely famous band decided to let the fans be part of the process of making new music? How would that work? What are the logistics? How would they react? How would the band adjust to the reaction? What would (ugh) critics think? Would it matter? Well, only a few bands in history have really taken up such a project in earnest, and one is, of course, The Smashing Pumpkins back in 2007. And, they packaged up the journey in a compelling documentary called “If All Goes Wrong”. It’s honest, revealing, and irresistibly insightful. I own my own, but I’ve been buying copies for friends. What is best is the focus on the music. It’s all about snatching songs out of the universe, playing them, recording them, and seeing what happens. Get a copy.

Rock On