Apple and Microsoft are both raising the bar on their office products for the Mac — Apple, who up until recently (iWork’08) had focused their Word Processing application for the creative design market (brochures, fliers, greeting cards, calendars etc) recently made a bigger push towards regular business users with the release of Numbers and other “business writing” specific features in their word processor.
Microsoft, on the other hand, started moving towards the design-side niches with MS-Office 2007 for PC, where they revamped their focus on good looks with the inclusion and easy access to templates, drawing and placement tools. These design changes still have mixed feelings among the small group of people I have spoken to — more tech savvy people seem to have adopted the new UI while regular users still feel that it is a bit confusing.
With MS Office 2008 for Mac, Microsoft seems to be pushing in that area even more, which moves from the Ribbon to something called the the Elements Gallery. Hit the link below to see a video preview of the upcoming office version. It looks pretty slick, but will it be usable? And where does this put regular-joe startups trying to earn a living in this area? All that is your call.
Here is a screenshot of the Elements Gallery.
What do you think of the new MS Office UI and this upcoming Office 2008 UI? Write down your opinion in the comments.