One of the major complaints about Windows Vista has been the thorough lack of consistency when it comes to the user interface. Earlier this year Jeff Atwood, of Coding Horror fame, expressed his deep disappointment with the inconsistencies of the user interface.
“…nothing is more disapponting than the overall fit and finish of Vista, which is truly abysmal.” Atwood wrote.
His sentiments were also echoed by by Peter Bright over at ars technica.
“The fit and finish of Vista is astonishingly poor. With Vista’s UI guidelines, Microsoft has tried to take some things that MacOS has been doing forever and introduce them to Windows.”
“The UI guidelines certainly have the right idea. But they then get ignored. They get ignored by Vista itself. They get ignored by Microsoft’s flagship applications like Office. They get ignored by third parties. The result is that the entire Windows Vista experience feels mediocre.”
I highlight all of this because from the information that is leaking about about Windows 7 — the Vista replacement scheduled for release sometime in 2009 — it sounds like Microsoft has taken this feedback on board and is making a more concerted effort to bring a little UI consistency to Windows. It’s still early days, but so far, it looks like Notepad and Wordpad have been given a Office 2007 style face lift.
This is an encouraging move by Microsoft and is hopefully just the tip of aÂ user interface streamlining ice berg.
P.S. Benubird Pro already uses the ribbon interface, and so far, we’ve received a lot of great feedback about it.