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Author Topic: Ribbon UI - is it really THAT good?  (Read 11650 times)
rssapphire
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« Reply #50 on: December 25, 2011, 07:25:16 PM »

Which is fine. But what I (and my clients) don't appreciate is Microsoft's refusal to categorically state what the long term plans for the desktop are once Win8/Metro goes gold. (And by Metro i mean the whole walled garden environment every tech company seems hell bent on copying from Apple if they can possibly get away with it.) So if there's unwarranted confusion and concern, it's largely how Microsoft's been playing it so coy that's caused it.

I'm advising my business clients not to buy any app they will use in their business from an app store where the owner of the store can kill apps already purchased. No business in their right mind should want any applications -- especially applications that are or might become "business critical" -- that someone can kill switch at any time. That's like giving someone a kill switch for your business. I really don't think Microsoft has thought a lot of this stuff through given that a lot of their income comes from sales to businesses.
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wraith808
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« Reply #51 on: December 25, 2011, 09:02:57 PM »

Which is fine. But what I (and my clients) don't appreciate is Microsoft's refusal to categorically state what the long term plans for the desktop are once Win8/Metro goes gold. (And by Metro i mean the whole walled garden environment every tech company seems hell bent on copying from Apple if they can possibly get away with it.) So if there's unwarranted confusion and concern, it's largely how Microsoft's been playing it so coy that's caused it.

I'm advising my business clients not to buy any app they will use in their business from an app store where the owner of the store can kill apps already purchased. No business in their right mind should want any applications -- especially applications that are or might become "business critical" -- that someone can kill switch at any time. That's like giving someone a kill switch for your business. I really don't think Microsoft has thought a lot of this stuff through given that a lot of their income comes from sales to businesses.

I don't think that enterprise level applications are going to be app store type apps, in any case.  I just can't see that happening no matter what.  But then again, I was surprised to see that adobe is on the Apple app store, but even those are only the consumer level applications.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2011, 05:34:47 AM »

But then again, I was surprised to see that adobe is on the Apple app store, but even those are only the consumer level applications.

Not really surprising - if they want to sell anything for Apple iPods/iPads/iPhones they are froced to sell through the app store.

There is a big problem now - at one time people used to write computer programs to solve problems or purely for entertainment an they made a bit of money.

Now led by companies like Apple all of that is turned round - make money, money, money - doesn't matter whatever you sell is worth the money so long as the marketing forces people to part with money, money, money.
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40hz
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« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2011, 06:30:44 AM »

I don't think that enterprise level applications are going to be app store type apps, in any case.  I just can't see that happening no matter what.

And if Microsoft and Adobe and all the big players decide that going through an app store is what they want to do (less chance of piracy or license violations, easier to get your money, and it helps keep the independent developers out), what real workable alternatives will "enterprise" customers have? Switch over to Linux? Yeah right. They can do that now. Oh wait! No Windows or Apple app store? Ouch! No legal way to get things like InDesign, Photoshop, or MS Excel. Even if you are running some flavor of Debian.

Point is, if Microsoft goes that route, it's far easier for enterprise customers to go along than it is for them to retool over to a new OS and a new set of core applications. Especially since Microsoft has already announced plans to allow big corporate users to run what amounts to their own app store in-house.

The only thing that will deep six the whole app store/Metro plan is if it does a complete crash and burn financially for Microsoft. And right now, the jury's out on if it will. Most consumers don't seem to care (or understand) what's happening. And as long as Microsoft makes some technical and policy accommodations for the big players, they won't be objecting much either.

Simple fact is that war has been declared on the personal computer. The big software companies want devices that can only run their software. And the governments of the world seem to be interested in removing as much power from this technology as possible now that it's demonstrated how empowering it is for the general population. Since many of these governments lack the legal and moral authority to restrict this technology, they'll do it by fiat by allowing software publishers, telcos, and hardware manufacturers to lock things down as much as possible.

People used to worry that the age of an open internet was coming to a close? Well, it's a lot worse than that. The age of being able to own a general purpose and totally unrestricted personal computer is also coming to a close if this trend continues.

Note: Still sounds crazy? Then consider this - most of the major record labels have recently announced they plan to discontinue producing CDs after 2012 and switch completely over to digital distribution. No more hard media! I'm sure the movie industry will follow along shortly. Big boon for the tecos and ISPs too. Especially now that it's becoming obvious you'll virtually be required to have a fast and expensive internet connection to do anything.

So here's a bit of a carrot/stick. It won't just be traditional software. It will also be entertainment that gets dragged along for the ride. So choose your new 'computer' wisely. And plan on applying for your federally issued online 'access and use' license early. There's bound to be a rush once they're required...
« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 06:48:34 AM by 40hz » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #54 on: December 26, 2011, 09:08:15 AM »

Not really surprising - if they want to sell anything for Apple iPods/iPads/iPhones they are froced to sell through the app store.

I'm talking about on the Mac.  You don't have to sell things on the app store to sell for the Mac.  The threat I think that is being posed is to the desktop.  And even in the case of the Mac and Apple's App store, the point is that even they haven't been that stupid yet.  I know many people that would be less Apple friendly if they did so.  So I don't think that Microsoft would go that route either.

Then consider this - most of the major record labels have recently announced they plan to discontinue producing CDs after 2012 and switch completely over to digital distribution. No more hard media!

As long as I can burn it, I truly don't care.  The moment I'll start caring about that is the moment they attempt to lock down my ability to get it out from under their DRM, or to make media if I want it.  I buy few things in hard format anymore.  I'm just running out of space.  I was being choked out of my house (and losing things to moves/selling due to lack of space) all of the time.  When I left my condo 4 years ago, I literally left behind over 1000 books + 100s of CDs because I had no way/time to move them.  I would rather have had that information, but I just didn't have the resources.  Since goodwill/salvation army no longer pick up anything other than furniture/appliances, they ended up thrown away.  I'd rather not be that wasteful again.  Now, with only buying digital, though my room is still full from the move (floor to ceiling bookshelves on two of the walls) I rarely have to add to the amount, because I buy mostly digital.  And if CD sales are dying off, then why wouldn't they move to digital?  Do they still sell 8 tracks of new releases?  How about LPs?  They're relegated only to collectors.  Things move on.  It's the DRM that's the problem, not the advancement of digital media.

Point is, if Microsoft goes that route, it's far easier for enterprise customers to go along than it is for them to retool over to a new OS and a new set of core applications. Especially since Microsoft has already announced plans to allow big corporate users to run what amounts to their own app store in-house.

Really?  You really think that?  I've *never* seen a company that uses only software off the shelf.  That would mean that Microsoft and such were the only large IT shops, and that's just not true.  I've worked at only a few small companies over my time in development; most have been larger, and ALL have used custom software.  It's just that the software is tailored to the business, not the other way around.  Especially for proprietary processes.  And Microsoft knows this (how much money do you think they make off of software that does this?  How much does MSDN and Visual Studio make for them?  Quite a pretty penny).

All of this is just FUD, and maybe from a consumer prospective or even a small ISV prospective it might seem that this is just around the corner.  But coming from somewhere that has a huge IT department and that has just spent a sickening amount of money on VS2010 and MSDN, I can tell you that it just isn't so.
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40hz
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« Reply #55 on: December 26, 2011, 11:37:27 AM »

All of this is just FUD, and maybe from a consumer prospective or even a small ISV prospective it might seem that this is just around the corner.  But coming from somewhere that has a huge IT department and that has just spent a sickening amount of money on VS2010 and MSDN, I can tell you that it just isn't so.

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you that all of this is "just" FUD. (Gotta be careful with that "just" argument. I'm often guilty of that myself.) But I suppose our corporate work experiences are rather different.  Wink

Either way, time will tell.  smiley
« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 11:47:45 AM by 40hz » Logged

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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #56 on: December 26, 2011, 11:51:41 AM »

Hi gang.

I would like to bring up the Plugin approach. I too am frustrated at being dictated at by MS (and sometimes other vendors). It's not my problem if the Ribbon is more fun with clicky buttons for new users. I developed my little collection of skills (in my case, Excel) using the old menus, so it's not nice to lose that muscle memory. Plus, I also dislike the full screen file menu and print preview menu!

So I installed a plugin that adds back the old menus. It turns out the old code is still there! In effect all MS did was remove the street signs.

So I also guess that when WinMetro 8 etc comes out, there will be a way to turn it off, even if it takes a mini app to do it. I don't think MS can dare to throw out desktop code entirely, it's too cross-linked everywhere in dependencies. So they'll shove Metro in the spotlight, and just put a lock on the door in front of the "old code basement".
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wraith808
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« Reply #57 on: December 26, 2011, 02:36:33 PM »

All of this is just FUD, and maybe from a consumer prospective or even a small ISV prospective it might seem that this is just around the corner.  But coming from somewhere that has a huge IT department and that has just spent a sickening amount of money on VS2010 and MSDN, I can tell you that it just isn't so.

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you that all of this is "just" FUD. (Gotta be careful with that "just" argument. I'm often guilty of that myself.) But I suppose our corporate work experiences are rather different.  Wink

Either way, time will tell.  smiley

I'd guess it depends on the types of companies you work for, and the type of work that you do.  IT encompasses a whole lot now, but as a developer, I work for firms that to a large degree depend on software, even if they sell a different product.  My current company sells information- collated and sourced investment information.  Numbers and such when you break it down.  But they use software to get that, collate it, source it, check it, package it, and deliver it.  And though there might be third party tools used, its to a large degree very custom.  Too custom at times.  But when time to market is everything, using the same thing as everyone else is not going to cut it.  Believe me, we've discussed Metro and what it means.  And dealing directly with Microsoft, it doesn't mean what people are saying it means.  Of course, that could just be talking to the audience, and I'm not dismissive of any information (or at least try not to be), and excuse if the 'just' offended.

But as you say, it will all come out in time.  And it is a good thing to watch for signs so that when that time comes, you can be prepared. smiley
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40hz
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« Reply #58 on: December 26, 2011, 04:00:14 PM »

@wraith- no offense taken. I've 'just'  Grin learned to be careful with thinking "just" in the same thought with anything involving Microsoft. They are sharp, fast, tough, and merciless when it comes to negotiations.

BTW 90% of my corporate experience is with very large corporations - as employee and vendor. So big is no stranger to me. I've worked for both Fortune 5 and 500. At the Fortune 5, I was directly responsible for software licensing and distribution for this multinational behemoth. I also sat in on some of the negotiations that provided the prototype for much of what later became MS's corporate volume and site license programs.

And having seen the heavyweights in action, I have a *very* different perspective on how these deals get made. And don't.  smiley
« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 04:06:48 PM by 40hz » Logged

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steeladept
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« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2011, 04:42:26 PM »


I'm advising my business clients not to buy any app they will use in their business from an app store where the owner of the store can kill apps already purchased. No business in their right mind should want any applications -- especially applications that are or might become "business critical" -- that someone can kill switch at any time. That's like giving someone a kill switch for your business. I really don't think Microsoft has thought a lot of this stuff through given that a lot of their income comes from sales to businesses.

I love this quote because it DEFINES my problem with "cloud computing".  My only caveat is that it should be person instead of business.  Thmbsup

Point is, if Microsoft goes that route, it's far easier for enterprise customers to go along than it is for them to retool over to a new OS and a new set of core applications. Especially since Microsoft has already announced plans to allow big corporate users to run what amounts to their own app store in-house.

I have to agree here, primarily because of the last statement.  If they are allowed to "own" their own app store and download the bits (not unlike the current licensing scheme they are allowed to implement), then there is no need for them to worry much about it.  IT already is the stop-light for software distribution, this is just another tool to make it easier for IT to do what it already does.

The problem with the argument about custom software is two-fold in my opinion.  First off, custom is expensive.  It costs a lot to develop and orders of magnitude more to maintain.  Moreover the knowledge and experiences gained cannot and will not ever be fully captured.  Documentation only takes you so far.  I work on a mainframe that was developed in-house in the 80's.  Today we have 2nd and in some cases 3rd generation personnel working on these systems.  Many times, they don't even know what it is doing, and even if they do, they don't know all the details.  As often as not, if an obscure or rarely failing piece fails to work, they try restarting it.  If it truly is broke, they apply patches that are essentially error catches that tell it how to function now, because they don't know how to fix the original code or in some cases even where that code resides.

The second problem with the argument is that more often than not (due to time & other cost considerations) the "custom" code is little more than glue-scripts that exchange data between two packages.  It is rare that any software is fully customized, even in large corporations, unless there is no other alternative or it IS the product.  Can it be done?  Of course.  Will it be done?  Only if there is NO other reasonable solution.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2012, 01:07:20 PM »

... but I liked Renegade's suggestion: "you might want to consider adding both in, then letting people select which they want to use." 

Let's cheer for dual interfaces!

About the only money I have paid for apps has been Excel Add-Ons. There's one that grafts a workable second copy of the old menus onto Excel so I can now just ignore the ribbon entirely! It's even money that MS will get bored again and "Metro-ize" Office or some such in a few years anyway.
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