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What is the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface?
The way users interact with Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and Outlook has been redesigned with the 2007 release to make it easier for users to find and use program capabilities. The overall look and feel of these applications has been streamlined and new technologies introduced that present users with selections of potential results they can simply "browse, pick, and click" rather than complicated dialog boxes.
What are the key benefits of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface?
The Microsoft Office Fluent user interface will make it easier and quicker for users to get the results they want. In addition, because the Fluent user interface makes it easier to take advantage of the application's rich feature sets, users will be able to produce better results faster.
Will all the Microsoft Office applications utilize the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface?
In the 2007 Microsoft Office release, Microsoft Office Word 2007, Office Excel 2007, Office Access 2007, and Office PowerPoint 2007 will have the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. In addition, the Fluent user interface will be used in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 when composing e-mail messages, creating tasks or contacts, and setting up meetings.
Why did Microsoft decide a new user interface was needed? Why now?
As we've added more and more features and functionality to the applications over time, it's gotten harder for people to find the things they want to do with the products. For example, Microsoft Word 1.0 only had about 100 commands, and by using the menus you could see everything you could do. Today, Microsoft Office Word 2003 has over 1,500 commands, many of which can be difficult to find. That element of discoverability is just one of the key issues addressed by the Office Fluent user interface.
When can I try out the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface?
Is the Office Fluent user interface extensible?
Yes, a robust set of capabilities are available to third-party developers for adding functionality to the next release of the Microsoft Office system of products in a way that seamlessly integrates with the Office Fluent user interface. Developers will be able to add tabs, contextual tabs, and Galleries. In addition, they will be able to integrate their commands into the existing tabs.
Will existing Microsoft Office add-ins work with the Office Fluent user interface?
Yes, commands from existing add-in menus and toolbars will automatically appear on a new Add-in Tab that appears when Microsoft Office add-ins are present.
Should developers use the Office Fluent user interface as a model for designing the UI to their applications?
The Office Fluent user interface was designed very specifically for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access. Although it is not intended to be a model UI for all other applications, UI designers may find that some of the principles that went into designing the Office Fluent UI apply to their own UI design challenges.
Will programming support for UI adoption be available from Microsoft?
We are still developing the Office Fluent user interface and are considering options for making programming support available.