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September 13, 2005

Microsoft reinvents the menubar

As Tabs!

Other than the ugly theme, it is actually an interesting idea. Combining the menubar and the toolbar into one for more complex applications makes sense, especially for novice users (ie most of the world).

Posted by doron at September 13, 2005 11:13 AM


Personally I find this an extremely confusing interface. All kinds of unrelated buttons are shown next to each other, with different sizes, and in a horizontal and vertical organisation. Some "toolbars" are even too big, so that you have to scroll in them. Each time, you select another tab, your toolbars change completely, making you loose orientation again. A good GUI should be mostly static, so users don't have to search where commonly used feature X is hidden now.

Posted by: Frederik at September 13, 2005 11:52 AM

Link doesn't work.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2005 11:57 AM

Your URL is wrong (at least for me). It has an extra colon on the end.

Posted by: Greg at September 13, 2005 12:01 PM

The URL you posted contains a colon at the end.

Posted by: Chris Ilias at September 13, 2005 12:11 PM

why would combining them make sence? it doesn't for me ...

Posted by: kwanbis at September 13, 2005 12:17 PM

This is actually something I have been waiting for, as I really hate it when there is lots of menus and auto popup toolbars and so on. So atlast Microsoft does something good ;-) Really hope OpenOffice will follow =)

Posted by: Micke at September 13, 2005 1:24 PM

I can't wait till firefox implements that one ;)

Posted by: Martijn at September 13, 2005 1:37 PM

It might make more sense if I coould play with it, but it looks terribly confusing going by the screenshots. Particularly the power point one - what's that "Shape Tools" thing above the "Style" and "Tools" tabs?

Posted by: Simon at September 13, 2005 1:38 PM

I actually, find this to be pretty nice...

Posted by: Todd at September 13, 2005 1:54 PM

Seen some complaints about "shape tools"... But the only thing about it what I think is that "style" & "tools" is "undermenus" for "shape tools". eg when another item is marked you will only see "shape tools"

Posted by: Micke at September 13, 2005 3:51 PM

Micro$oft never blatantly rips off some one elses ideas...I mean seriously Gate$ didn't steal his code to create his massive empire of lies and broken code!! I don't even know why your all still so shocked by this.

Posted by: Steve at September 13, 2005 4:47 PM

Well it is not a new idea (I think a few software implemented that in different ways - HomeSite come to my mind but there are other that did that too) but of course it make a lot of sense because having 5 toolbars in top of your document does not help much usually...
I can see the time when MS will have a top screen menu and only these toolbars attached to the window :-) Just kidding Steve :-)

Posted by: franCk at September 13, 2005 6:45 PM

The new concepts are really nice, but I don't get why everything should have this integrated graphical look. It might be a nice selling point (that's probably why they name these things Vista) but it should be an option to show it in the more per-element styling like the XP or the classic windows widgets look.

I'm too afraid everything made for Vista is going to be as confusing as Windows Media Player 8, 9 and 10 are with all these tiny little downwards arrow buttons.

I'm actually shoked when I see how messy the save dialog looks in the mock-ups like this: http://pdc.xbetas.com.nyud.net:8090/images/saveas.jpg

Well, let's just wait and see. Every Office version microsoft produces has been pretty usable, so I don't think 12 will be the negative exception.

Posted by: Bram! at September 14, 2005 1:29 AM

A program used in Astrophysics (ds9, an image viewer) has behaviour reminiscent of this, although not in the menu bar. It has two rows of toolbar that replicate the menubar. The top toolbar has the highlevel categories, clicking something there will result in the secon toolbar changing totally to show only stuff that is relevant for that highlevel category. I personally don't like using it, i like menus better, so maybe the microsoft version is nicer.

Posted by: Thijs Coenen at September 14, 2005 7:17 AM

Very reminiscent of Googles Picasa program.

Posted by: julian at September 27, 2005 8:37 PM