Why Office 12 doesn’t look like Mac OS X

Since Microsoft gave PDC attendees the first look at Office 12, there’s been a slew of reports around the web accusing it of – you guessed it – stealing the interface from Apple. Jensen Harris, of the Office UI team, busts this one in a post on his blog:

The long and short of it is: what you’re seeing now is just temporary artwork and doesn’t share the visual look and feel we intend for the final product.  What you can focus on is the interaction design: the controls, concepts, and way of working with the product.  That is a piece we’re ready to start getting feedback on.

Having a temporary skin is a routine part of how we engineer software at Microsoft–you probably saw the "Slate" theme early in Windows Vista, and may remember that the final skins for Windows XP ("Luna") and Office 2003 both showed up close to shipping the product.

So what does the final skin look like?  Not telling, but I think it looks great and it certainly won’t be confused with Mac OS X. :)

So let that be the end of that one!

  • memem

    You must be blind.

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    You must be incapable of reading a post, which kind of makes us even.

  • moot

    very blind

    …and dumb if you believe that.

  • Sebhelyesfarku

    Maczealots are like Jehova’s Witnesses. Reality doesn’t bother them.

  • tittat

    What about Wintards? What are they like? Retarded technofiles who just know ‘where they want to go today’ but have no clue how we got there?

    Just wondering…

  • dammit

    hmmm… so we make it look as much like OSX as we can, then work backwards until people stop calling us biters.

    microsoft has to move forward but have to keep in mind that Vista users will be crippled by the fact they are confused by shiney objects.

  • jeffsters

    So let’s get this straight…they develop using a UI that is close to OS X then at the last minute swtich to something else? They don’t say it’s a temporary look-n-feel as part of the presentation but only after when everyone calls them on it? I’m sure it will look different when it ships why is another reason.

  • dolphin

    Well I have seen a very nice interface from a vista build; and it’s nothing like OSX – and it DOES look very nice. I’ll take OSX though. Until windows goes a year without a self-replicating virus.

  • gout

    Huh. looks more like the Fisher-Price/XP than OSX.

  • Tim

    What? It looks NOTHING like Mac OS X. Who is saying it does, I haven’t heard that anywhere.

    It looks horrible with that big huge block of objects at the top replacing the menus. The Mac looks nothing like that.

    The design of the interface actually reminds me of the first word processor I had for the Commodore 64–long before the simplicity of menus came along.

  • Spike
  • Jon

    So they copied the Apple look just for now and in a few months they’ll change the colors a bit so it doesn’t look like a carbon copy?

    Good to hear.