Windows 8

Poll: Is the lack of a Start Button in Windows 8 really a big deal?

A simple question: is the lack of a Start Button in Windows 8 really a big deal or is it just an excuse to feign angst?

Alright, I am a bit of a skeptic (some say cynic) -- I think we have established that fact often in this blog. So, it is in that frame of mind that I find recent blogosphere headlines about the lack of a Start Button in the latest "leaked" version of Microsoft Windows 8 to be just a little over the top. Getting all worked up over the hint of a change found in an unofficial version of Microsoft's new operating system is just such a waste of brain power.

Until the latest official beta version is released, which seems to be February 29, 2012, according to Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet, there is really no reason to get upset and rant about how Microsoft has lost its way and how Windows 8 sucks and blah, blah, blah. Well, no reason unless your intention is to tap into the irrational Microsoft haters that hang around on the Internet looking for forums to air their particular rant.

What do you think? Are you in anguish over the possibility that there will be no Start Button in Windows 8? Can you wait for the Windows 8 beta patiently and quietly or do you feel the need to vent about it even though you have little facts on which to base your rant? Do you think it would be more constructive to wait for the actual beta before we choose to amp up the outrage?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

215 comments
hrosita
hrosita

People who cannot survive without the Start Button should stick with Windows 7. People who like inovation, and the young generations that live with the Smart Phones and tablets will wellcome and Metro Interface. I installed Win 8 on my laptop that I use for tutoring and presentations. After two month of using the Customer Preview, I rarely even think of the Start Button. I just wish I had a touch screen. And by the way, I have been in the IT business since the late 60's and am a retired senior person. Rosita

hrosita
hrosita

I am an 81 year old grandmonther and I have installed Windows 8 on my laptop (that I use for teaching) and presentations at a PC user group. Once I got over the initial misgivings about the Metro Interface, I like the entire concept. I realize that many people that don't like change will critisize but I for one love it. It gives me the same type of interface that I have on my android tablet and makes me feel that I am not stuck in the 20th Century. I will definitely upgrade my laptop in the fall when the final version of Windows 8 becomes available and will make sure the laptop has a touch screen.

blissmanna
blissmanna

To replace the start button it has been easy to simply add back the quick launch toolbar (%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch) and then also add a desktop type launch pad (I use tbox297g). Place in those two things all the goodies you want from the old start button. Not a big deal at all.

myangeldust
myangeldust

I've been reading a lot of these complaints. Most touch on the same features and give the same reason for never ever changing anything ever. But in their writings I read how they switched to other operating systems and applications. They switched to Linux or Apple or moved to free-source office suites. All of which have different interfaces than what they were previously using. At the least, they're contrarians. And at most, they're flat out liars. If anyone reading the above and immediately thinks that their new system is better because it's similar or reminds them of their old system then they have essential recognized that their new choice in wares is a copycat of Microsoft's old technology. So which is it going to be, geniuses? Attack MS for changing and improving or put down Linux and Apple for doing their best to copy Win7 and XP, respectively. Fo' shame, people! Fo' shame.

smith
smith

I will cope by finding a desktop shell, free software giving me a Start button, or learning the Windows 8 substitute. The average user may not cope so easily. I see how difficult it is for an average user to cope with change every day (I work in a library with 40+ PCs): I teach such "simple" tasks as cut-and-paste, minimizing and maximizing, NumLock and Caps Lock every day, several times. I object to the tendentious restricted choice in this survey: we get to choose only that it's a big deal or feigning angst. Surely there is room for genuine concern! Pw2buz

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

The question of whether the Start button is important is NOT the issue, its just the most recent blaring example of what is the issue and that is Microsoft???s arrogance towards user interface preferences. The next best example is the Office 2007 Ribbon fiasco in which Microsoft made the decision that everyone would be better off with an interface called the Ribbon and not the traditional Menu & toolbars that users had been working with for as long as decade or more. Microsoft didn???t approach that change from the angle of ???How do we do best by our customers??? and make the Ribbon an option to the Menus & Toolbars but instead made the call that this is what???s best for all. That???s arrogance. Microsoft did justify the move by referring to ???extensive research in how users work??? as well as ???extensive feedback from users??? in which it was said that users preferred the Ribbon over the traditional menu/toolbar . What entity doesn???t tout its next version as being ???User Recommended??? or something similar? With Windows 8 we now see Microsoft acting in the same arrogant manner. Instead of making a change an option to the user they force in on them and then imply thru marketing campaigns that the new way is what everyone wants and is what???s best and so by default if aren???t in agreement with the change then you are in the minority. The number of office users complaining about the Ribbon is far from being a few and yet even as of Office 2010 Microsoft still refuses to admit that the forcing of the Ribbon on users may have been a mistake. I imagine it???s because they are like all corporations in that they can never ever admit any perceived incorrect action. The problem isn???t so much that the START button is a critical or irreplaceable starting point for users of the Windows OS but that Microsoft can???t be bothered to ask the user if they want to switch from that which they know to something new that they may or may not like. Yes things do change and change is often necessary but when change is done for the sake of change then that???s a problem. It seems like this removal of the START button for Window 8 Metro may be more about making the product look that much more different from its predecessor (and thereby justifying the cost to upgrade) then because of any actual user improvement.

riggy001
riggy001

When I started using computers, the Disk Operating System (DOS) was required to be read from a 360K 5.25" floppy in order to boot, otherwise the EEPROM made the monochrome monitor show [A:\> no operating system found_]. Then, if you wanted to start a word processing program, the OS) having been loaded into RAM, you had to remove the OS diskette and insert the word processor diskette, and at the A:\> prompt enter the command (*.exe filename) at that prompt to get the program to run. Then you would type your paper, letter or whatever (and it had the capabilities of an IBM Selectric III Typewriter) and save it, yes, to a different 360KB diskette. So, you had to hace an OS floppy, a Program floppy, and a File floppy. I originally typed this post using C:\ as the A: drive--it has been that long. You were king if you had 2 floppy drives back then, an A: and a B:. If you started by putting the OS in drive A: and a program in drive B: then you might see the following screen: A:>_ A:>b:\zork.exe_ and ZorkI would start dang I'm old; fudge I'm a geek.

sjacobs
sjacobs

The Start button has really become so boring. I'm glad Microsoft eventually explore different possibilities!

bhwong1
bhwong1

The problem with Windows 8 is that the new start button flash users into a completely diff UI that serve to confuse and disoriented the users. The new UI do not support tiling of windows required for comparison of content between multiple opened windows.

jshewsbury
jshewsbury

Been using Windows since 3.11 and now been living with Windows XP since 2003 (still using XP actively) but have 1 machine running Vista since 2008 - I like it coz I can still use the "classic start menu style" - so yeah if I were to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 or what ever Windows after that, I want the to get the "familiar feeling" of using Windows. It's good to have new UI improvement but what so bad about the "Classic Start Menu" and the "Start button" - after all many of us have been living with Windows using that thing. If I want something totally different and have to learn everything all over again right from the basic, might as well I move to those expensive Apple machine or maybe those free Ubuntu Linux thingy.

becksdark
becksdark

I always thought it was a little silly to have the option for shutting down the box on the 'Start' button anyway. What's wrong with a 'Quit' button?

realvarezm
realvarezm

Everybody that reads this magazine is in someway a technical expert in some field. Some are networks, some are in helpdesktop and so on. But maybe people who read this articles is less that 0.01% of regular users of PC and laptops. There is a big diference between us and they. This people can recognaise tha Audi and Volkswagen brand cause they branded this iconic logos. Well so is the freaking start button in Windows! Once i read in Readers digest about Gillete introduction to plastic razors. The call center of gillette was flooded with calls of malfunction product and nobody seems to find the answer to clients trouble. One of the supervisor dare to ask this cuestion: Once you open the box, did pull out the protective plastic tap to uncover the blades? And that was the solution. Regular people have an intuiton of a 5 years old human when it comes to new thing. The example above can be found in Reader Digest of 1984 or 1986. So why would you erase the start button? Cause people like the above example. COMMON SENSE PEOPLE! COMMON SENSE!

tvshub
tvshub

I was reading here and just had the most brilliant idea! Why didn't I think of this sooner? I deal with people that use computers, just about everybody. I am amazed at how people don't know dick about using a computer. This idea is going to revolutionize the computer as we know it. Damn this is too hot!

Slayer_
Slayer_

Well, my fake quick launch, only because the pinning doesn't let me put them in rows of 3 (Taskbar on side of screen)

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Our new Wizard will read your mind, know what you want to do, and take you where you want to go. And if you thought you wanted to do something else, it's a training issue.

Bob-El
Bob-El

It's all about changes, isn't it? We like the comfort of the familiar. Personally, I used IE6 for a long time because I didn't have to hunt for anything. I now use Firefox exclusively. Every time I try to help someone running IE8 or 9 I'm confused because I still can't find what I'm looking for. 99.9% of programs have a menu system. Why change? I don't like Office's ribbon menus. I didn't like them from the first look but I gave them a try. What I didn't like was, as with IE8, I couldn't find anything I was looking for and I didn't want to waste my time trying to figure out how to use them. So I switched to LibreOffice. The price was much better too. :) So now Microsoft wants to do away with the Start button. What do I think? Well, I don't know but I'm not impressed with the pictures I've see of the new operating system. It's too radical for my taste. Too unfamiliar. A year and a half ago I installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my new Netbook, dual-booting with Windows 7. I used it for about a year but I never liked it. I missed the familiar menu system of Ubuntu and other Linux distros. Likewise I don't like Trinity. So now I'm running Ubuntu 11.04 with Gnome on my Netbook and I'm happy with it. It's familiar territory. The transition from XP to Win7 was enjoyable because, even though there were some major changes, I was in familiar territory. I could use it from the get-go. Then, on my own time, I explored the new concept of "Libraries". I find them quite useful, so I use them. But I don't think the new concept of Windows 8, with or without a Start button, is for me.

j3rbns
j3rbns

I realy think MS should leave the user the option to keep what is familer to them. Not all of us GEEKS like change!

egmccann
egmccann

... that the start button is so wonderful, though (despite Microsoft's "heat map") it's a nice single point to go to. It's that the replacement (the Metro UI - and that includes the flipping back and forth for desktop apps) is so *bad* for a standard, keyboard-and-mouse PC versus the phone/tablet they're designed for. Putting it another way, a steering wheel and pedals are great for a car. They're not quite so good for a (non riding) lawnmower, but Microsoft is putting them there for Lawnmower 8. There's no "anguish," nor is the dislike an "irrational Microsoft hatred" in most cases - but, hey, thanks for throwing in those rather insulting characterizations.

oldthom
oldthom

In the last 20 years almost every culture and society has been hit with the ever increasing march of change and the time-frame for change has ever increased as well. Mostly tied to $$, but in some cases real improvement. MS falls into the former category. I agree somewhat with poster tarose in that MS spends a disproportionate amount of time and effort in the "look and feel" of the product. The "Start Button" is a classic example of change for the sake of change. Many of my family, friends and business associates use the "Start Button" as their security crutch. It is not that they are lazy or inexperienced or computer illiterate, although any one or more of those could certainly be the case with some, it is more about convenience and familiarity. You mess around with the familiar, you mess around with "comfort zone" and that will in turn create insecurity and uncertainty, which ... well I think you get my drift. If the "Start Button" goes, people will complain, but like anything else, in time, most will get used to it and move on to more important things. For me at worst it is an annoyance, I rarely use the start button.

jimlonero
jimlonero

It is interesting to see so much commotion of a simple change. It may be a good thing that MS has such a large audience that there is such a difference of opinion. If Apple had such a market share, any changes they made (even simple) would come up against resistance. I don't think it matters. There is an area where the start button is and will work. People just don't need to have there hand held.

brian
brian

ONLY one thing: they wanted to make early adopters actually try the new Win8 interface and at least give it a chance. How long into the release of XP was it before that demographic of user -finally- gave in and turned off the "classic look" that made XP look like Win98? How many users have to deal with their dinosaurish admin's hatred of the newer more useful style of start menu (with search and a column of common access items etc) and have to use "classic" start menu and Win7 taskbar at school or work? I'm pretty sure that, on actual release, Win8 will have a start menu. If they omitted it, they would lose compatibility with older apps. That said, I think there are much better ways to arrange apps and their associated tools. Heck I barely navigate the start menu at all anymore in Win7. 90% of my app access is handled by the taskbar, and I'm what you'd consider a power user with a good variety of apps. The rest of my needs are met by the start menu search bar. The only time I use the start menu now is to track down supportive utilities whose names I don't know, that got installed along with a package (like Adobe Suite). All that is absolutely necessary for good app access is: 1: All software installations have an opportunity to add their launchers to a standard place. 2: The user can navigate a reasonably large list of launchers quickly if they know where to look. (even better if it still works when they don't.) 3: Users can search. 4: If a developer has released a lot of apps and tools together as a package, the developer can collect their launchers together in the same place. 5: Users can reorganize to suit their needs. Given that a large chunk of my start menu 'clutter' consists of things that would fall under '4', like the Adobe suite, if MS can get developers to organize better that's a good thing. I'd love to have one accessible button for the Adobe Suite, that then collects all of their tools in an appropriate format determined by Adobe. That way they can put all of their misc. utilities, script extender toolkits, configurators etc. into appropriate organized locations instead of flat-list along with the main apps. What I'm most afraid of is making the interface rely too much on 'touch.' I use only matte finish screens, because as a creative I refuse to deal with reflections on my screen. I've yet to see a matte finish touch screen, and wouldn't want to get my fingerprints on it if I did.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

If M$ can come up with something innovative and superbly easy to learn I think it will be good. The start button is not really a big deal if there's a better easier way.

rpollard
rpollard

One poster said it took him years to teach his parents how to use the Start button. AND, this is exactly why it needs to go and shouldn't have been there in the first place. I remember a story about one of the MS executives getting his mom to try one of the new Windows releases out and everything went well with one exception... She asked him why you had to go to the Start button to Shutdown. Way to go mom. It took an old lady to point out the obvious. Please, please, please Microsoft, use common sense, copy Apple again, but don't introduce this really bad interface into the OS so it takes years to train someone on how to use it. And shame on this poster for not giving them a Mac so they don't have to be trained so much to use a computer.

Koko Bill
Koko Bill

..well, whatever the new Windows 8 is goin` to be...I`ll keep my mouth shot until I install the Beta relese...and see what`s all it about. MS is an old company, I belive they know what they are doing...so, I belive in Windows 8 and I`m waiting for it badly....

your last hope
your last hope

its pretty much useless this days, my daily use applications are on the task bar or in my Internet browser People its time to be objective and embrace new thing

Bramazoid
Bramazoid

Since Microsoft butchered the Start Menu in Vista and Windows 7, basically turning it upside down, I don't suppose it makes much difference what they do now. Still, with the changes to Windows Explorer (don't get me started), the Office Ribbon, and the Start menu, it seems clear to me that they are changing things solely for the sake of change and to make us feel that we must "upgrade', spelled "cash", to remain current or "cool".

sir.ptl
sir.ptl

Why bother with changing something that works fine and everyone is used to when Explorer still needs a dual pane view?

techrepublic
techrepublic

unless we know what the alternative will be. It may be a better, easier way to select a program, or it may be worse.

thegreenwizard1
thegreenwizard1

It's already difficult to tell to elderly people to look for the start button, take it out and they are lost. By the way that is one of the reason I can not push elderly person on Linux... they will never be able to understand anything and that would be a nightmare for me, and the worst I won't be able to charge a fair price for my services.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

The Start Button gave people access to almost all the applications on their systems, unlike their desktop. And START was where RUN was stuck under; probably the most often utilized user command line process in Windows. Unless you give people something with the same access and functionality, it doesn't make any sense to dispense with it.

Rob C
Rob C

Not long ago I read where a MS employee (on Win 8 forum) remarked that users do not like the Start Menu. He did not mention, and seemed oblivious to the fact, that was because MS have been stuffing around with it in Win7, and arrogantly denied users the ability to go back to Classic style. Windows is used by the majority of business users, who do not wish to be forced to relearn things (for no great benefit), and do not wish to be forced to upgrade Windows and Office. And do not want fancy Aero, and crap integrated into the OS, at the expense of robustness and simplicity Taking all that into account, MS is very lucky that I am not the president of any large countries.

Cynyster
Cynyster

People I have noticed fall into 3 groups, 1. Start Button is where all apps are launched. 2. Desktop is where everything is launched (apps & documents) 3. Custom menus such as widgets, docks, flyouts. I happen to use all three as well as get rid of the noise of shortcuts for uninstall, readme, weblinks etc. But from my experience most users let their start menu get so cluttered with garbage that it is far easier to put the most used apps on the desktop and ignore the mess in the start menu. (You have seen it in XP where the start menu walks across the entire screen) Even in Vista and 7 with the start menu constrained to a small area and built in search, things get out of hand fast. SO "most" probably will not miss the start button even though every OS has one. MACs have the "Applications" folder which is on the launcher bar. Fedora, Ubuntu, and most Distributions have an "Applications"Button of some kind somewhere for the very same purpose.

TheChas
TheChas

I just wonder how users of Windows 8 will ever figure out how to turn off their computers without pressing the start button. Oh, that's right with 24/7 Facebook and Twitter updates now mandatory no one would ever dare turn off their computer. Chas

limon36
limon36

I hate this part of win 8 tiles are dump, the desktop is more user friendly than that!!

blarman
blarman

Your argument posits that all changes are valuable. What you and several others fail to acknowledge is that "change" in and of itself has no intrinsic value - it is simply change. Change is evaluated as valuable when it improves on a previous method, or invents a new method for accomplishing a task through time savings, intuitiveness, etc. If I take something that was once four-colored and make it solid blue, is that valuable? It is change, is it not? Take that thing and paint it speckled pea-green pink and it has once again been changed. Is it now more valuable than it was before? Your question is now "Well, what is it?" or "That depends". Precisely. But if your argument held true, it wouldn't matter - it would be change and it would be valuable. This simple illustration shows that your argument is patently absurd. Value in any economic transaction is in the eye of the customer - what is something worth to that customer. Not all people are the same (no two people are not on fire - Strongbad), so no two people are going to evaluate any change with the same value. This is the critical point you continue to ignore.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"The next best example is the Office 2007 Ribbon fiasco in which Microsoft made the decision that everyone would be better off with an interface called the Ribbon and not the traditional Menu & toolbars that users had been working with for as long as decade or more. Microsoft didnt approach that change from the angle of How do we do best by our customers and make the Ribbon an option to the Menus & Toolbars but instead made the call that this is whats best for all." While I agree that a 'traditional' menu should have been an option, MS actually was looking out for its customers on this one. (Or at least, they claim they were.) They say the problem with the old menus was that people would often request features be added, features that were already present but the users just couldn't find on the old menus. Theoretically it's easier to find features and tools on the Ribbon IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY PREVIOUS OFFICE EXPERIENCE. That user group probably consists of my Aunt Judy, and Mrs. Cosgrove's first grade class at Mill Creek Elementary.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Being a Unpaid Beta Tester for M$. Keep up the good work we in business need people like you to tell M$ what they want. Of course M$ completely ignores you and your fellow Unpaid Beta Testers and does what they like so you really are not doing that much of a service for anyone at all. :^0 Col

myangeldust
myangeldust

Yeah! Like when automakers moved the shifter from the steering column to the center console. Drivers were like "Hey, this is disorienting me! I want my lever behind this turning wheel thingie." I don't think users of PCs are so stupid that an interface that places their shortcuts on a sliding desktop will cause them such anguish. Anyways, the market for people who buy Windows upgrades for their existing PCs is very, very small. People will continue to use XP or 7 until their boxes die 7-10 years later.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Accidental quiting in the middle of a task? Bosses misinterpreting PC shut down with workers' continued employment status? Feeling of guilt at the end of the day by pressing such a negatively-termed button?

myangeldust
myangeldust

Even though you got this far, somehow, I should tell you that you're not really a geek. You are an old fogey stogey.

dogknees
dogknees

The content of the start menu is not carved in stone. Rearrange it to suit your self. For example, create a folder called "Stuff I Rarely Use" and move all the application folders and shortcuts into it. Create a folder for "Art Tools" and put you adobe/corel/... apps in there. There seems to be an assumption that MS are going to be able to perfectly predict how you are going to use Windows. We all want different things and one set of defaults will never satisfy all. Defaults are just that, a starting point. It's up to the user to determine if the defaults suit, and to change them if they don't.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Actually I've place people in front of Macs and they didn't intuitively navigate the system with ease. It took them awhile. Installing software was another thing they had trouble with. If it wasn't docked on that strip, users would be a while looking for applications and files. Mac needs a metro UI.

dogknees
dogknees

I would suggest that if it actually takes years, there is something seriously amiss with either the teacher or the student.

rpollard
rpollard

Start makes no sense. It has been broken ever since they came out with it. The main reason to "fix it," -- it's not intuitive.

rpollard
rpollard

I would believe it would be better for you since you think that getting rid of the Start menu would cause more confusion. I happen to disagree. Put app launching under an obvious menu like Applications not Start. Start what??? Start the shutdown, start the Log Off, start the Control Panel. Start doesn't even make sense for an applications launcher since you really don't know what Start does by just knowing it's there. You can however feel your way through by thinking maybe that's where you "start."

myangeldust
myangeldust

Oh, wow, you just went existential on me. That'll learn me! Let's get to the point: refrigerators, cars, telephones, clothing, paper, television sets, wristwatches. All of these sold more -and made their owners feel better about using them- when their manufacturers decided to make them in different colors. (You used color to make your point.) These items were changed. They were also made more valuable. Because the owners saw value in these newly colored items. (I wish you had selected a better characteristic to argue.) And people went out and purchased or repurchased more of these items simply, in overwhelming numbers, because of a trait that bears "no intrinsic value" - color. If Windows 8 holds no value for you, I strongly suggest you don't buy it. I also hope you won't picket outside the software store harrassing those who do buy Windows 8. Don't be that picketing guy, blarman. Nobody likes that guy.

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

Thank you for providing a logical rebuttal instead of a bunch of logical fallacies which more often than not is the response typically received from a user who is OK or likes the Office Ribbon. You are very correct in that users without prior Menu/toolbar experience will take to the Ribbon and like it more than the traditional menu & toolbar. The problem there is that this is proof that Microsoft did not care about its existing users, those it has made its OFFICE profit from but is more interested in the users they don't have. This scenario of treating new customers better than existing ones is very comparable to how the Mobile Phone providers use to treat their customers where a new user could get a phone for cheap or free but an existing customer willing to sing a new agreement got a lot less. The providers were so focused on new customers that they ended up screwing over their existing users and this action which all of the major cell providers engaged in resulted in an never ending circle of provider swap; where one user would switch providers when their current contract was up so that they could get a new phone for little to no money because their existing provider would not offer them any reasonable deals like they would to new users. As a whole many industries have made this same mistake, treating new potential customers better than existing customers. It took years for the idiot executives to finally admit the way they were doing business, treating new potential clients belter then their existing customer base, was wrong. In general the corporate executive motto is ???Deny, Lie and then Deny some more???. And so it???s very difficult to ever get them to admit to any wrong doing. Microsoft is doing this same thing to its existing MS Office user base by not making the Ribbon an option. If something is as good as its advertised then you don???t need to force people to use it. Without getting into a very technical discussion, this forced use of the Ribbon in Office and more recently in Windows as well as the removal of the START button in Windows 8 also shows that poor design was used to build the interface. The Menus/toolbars in office as well as the ribbon should be skins (for lack of a better term) meaning that they are the presentation layer and therefore set apart form the workings behind the scenes. When in Excel if a user wants to format the cell, the action used to indicate this to Excel be built behind the scenes with a skin being used as the presentation layer. If Windowblinds from Stardock can change the presentation layer in Windows then there???s no excuse Microsoft couldn???t do something similar and make all these major interface changes optional to the user.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Forced? You don't have to buy the new and improved product. You CAN stay with the old one. It's your right as a paying customer to remain with the old product. I forced my coworkers to use the new Office, Microsoft didn't force me to upgrade. I saw an improvement and I bought it. I've suddenly come to the realization why most people aren't rich. Imagine if you will, all the potential users that never bought previous Office versions because it looked difficult to use. When a company improves and refreshes a product it's to get new customers. Most of the old customers will likely follow. But to get a new batch of users - that's the prize! That's how you get rich(er) and continue in business. Here's an example: VW wasn't selling its Beetle in enough numbers to pay for its fabrication. The model was "outdated". Sure it worked as a car just the same as any other. But its customers were now getting Coopers and 500s. Those are cars too, but come with new tech and new skins. So VW redesigned their Beetle. Or as you would say, VW "forced" a new Beetle on its customers. Ribbons Rule! (At least until a better method is invented.)

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

@myangeldust Its great thatthe Ribbon works for you even as pre-Ribbon Office user. That doesn't change the fact that Microsoft forced the change disrespectful of its existing Office user base who consost of persons who dod not want to be forced to use the Ribbon. Keep in mind this is not a security improvement that was forced in users in whcih case it would at least be justifiable as to why users were forced to accept the change. Its a design change to the interface that affects how users interact with the product.

myangeldust
myangeldust

I've been an Office user since the beginning of the suite and I'm fine with the ribbon. I first saw it as a really big toolbar then discovered it replaced the menus too. With 2007 on one PC and 2003 on another I discovered that the menus slowed me down. The ribbon kept me from getting deep into menus and submenus and whatever. Now all my machines run 2010 and my coworkers have simply adjusted... all but one. He's still cries for Lotus smart suite. Wha?! I would like to see ribbons added to Project, Visio, and Expression Web. If I were given an option to use the old way I would fall behind in my field. Plus all that extra stuff would bloat the software.