Commenter talkimposter writes: "In fact I use OpenOffice at work because they moved to Office 2007 and I just can't stand that stupid interface for idiots."
On the other hand, while initial user reaction to the ribbon UI has often been negative, this is typically the case with many release-to-release UI changes. However, as commenter sRc writes, "I like where this is going, myself. To be honest, the Office 07 ribbon does look functionally challenged at first, but once you get used to it, it is so much nicer to work with then a standard interface. After working on a project in Office 07 at my work, I find myself missing the ribbon now every time I load up OpenOffice.org."
The third concern raised is much more troubling. Screens have been getting wider, and when netbooks are considered, OpenOffice.org should be innovating UIs that conserve vertical space. Widescreen displays were not common when Microsoft researched and introduced the ribbon UI. Could OpenOffice.org be making a mistake and following the leader with a UI technique that no longer fits with today's devices? Said differently, would Microsoft have introduced a horizontal ribbon if it were researching a UI for today's computers?
Interestingly enough, Lotus Symphony (InfoWorld's pick as the best Office alternative) uses a vertical ribbon-like menu system on the right-hand pane. This approach takes advantage of widescreen computer displays. I didn't understand that design decision until today since I still have a 4:3 screen for work. Maybe OpenOffice.org should consider UI research conducted more recently than trying to mimic Microsoft's approach?
You can test-drive the UIs and provide feedback. The prototype test requires Java 6 and takes about two minutes to load. It's well worth the time and effort.
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P.S.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."