What about the consistency of the Microsoft Office 2007 UI

Besides a lot of reviews, both positive and less positive about Microsoft Office 2007 Beta, there is also a lot of "guess work". I see quite some opinions being formed out there by people who have not actually seen, let alone worked with the new Office 2007 UI (and ribbon).

If they have worked with one beta version or another they more than likely have not seen / experienced the evolution of the ribbon i.e. vital functions in the opinion of beta testers that have been altered / moved for the better.

Today Ed brill referred to an article by Paul Thurrott on Windows Vista RC1 and also threw in a bunch of personal conclusions with regards to the Office UI; especially around the UI in Word 2007 compared to Outlook 2007.

"Both the Vista RC1 and the latest Office 2007 beta feature a number of inconsistencies from app to app, which gets especially interesting when using, for example, Word as the editor within Outlook (ribbon? no ribbon? etc.)."

It is unclear to me what Ed actually means. Is the UI inconsistent or different ? The whole concept of the ribbon in Office is to provide functions that are in context / relevant to what the user actually wants to do (activity based :-)). In my opinion writing an email is different than writing a letter / report or blogpost hence the difference in UI / formation of the ribbon.

Let’s look at some examples :

This is the standard Word 2007 UI in Office 2007 Beta TR :


This is the standard Outlook 2007 UI in the same Office version :


You be the judge of the "inconsistency" or better give Office 2007 a try I am not saying everyone will like it but I am sure you will form a different opinion than just by hearsay …