Here are a few early screenshots of Microsoft’s Office 2010. Candidly, I find the whole ribbons thing to be an exercise in chaos and frustration. But I’m not sure it would matter if they were as intuitive as dodging snowballs.
Why? Because here’s a screenshot of what I expect my Office 2010 to look like.
I don’t know how hard Google is chasing the corporate market, but if it has serious designs on attracting business users, it simply must implement some sort of tracked changes or version/compare feature. The absence of that feature is the primary thing keeping me from using Google Docs as my primary word processor at home, but it is an indispensable thing for business users.
Here are a few other tweaks that would make Google Docs more attractive to me.
There should be a way to synch your iPhone calendar and contacts with the corresponding Google app without affecting- or even touching- your Exchange synchs. I tried to synch my phone and the Google apps and ended up with multiple instances of the same contacts and events, which was a pain to sort out. In sum, it was an unmitigated disaster. I’m not going to risk jacking up my much more important Exchange synchs, and no big company is going to make it easy to do three-way synchs, for security/paranoia reasons. But it would be cool to have my iPhone synch separately with Exchange and the Google apps. It would even be acceptable to have contacts and calendar entries pushed out to the Google apps, without the ability to move data the other direction. But all of this needs to happen without doing anything unpleasant to the Exchange synchs.
Gmail needs to finally figure out a way to suppress the “on behalf of” business when your email is read in Outlook. I’d be happy to use the Gmail interface, but I want to use my existing email account. I’m not willing to trust Google as the sole archive of my old emails, but MailStore Home looks like an acceptable way to archive email locally.
It would also be great if Gmail allowed folders for us dinosaurs who are more comfortable with folders than tags. I think this is a design limitation, as opposed to a philosophical position on Google’s part, but I have no basis for that other than intuition.
Gmail should add an option to have spam deleted immediately, without ever being seen, and to have your trash folder emptied more frequently. I’d have it emptied every day. The best thing about Gmail is the spam filter. I want to supercharge it and let it make all spam invisible to me all the time. I’ve never noticed a legitimate email in my spam folder, but I don’t care if there is. If someone wants to contact me badly enough, they’ll write again.
I also need the ability to customize the links at the top of the Google apps page.
I’m not going to use Picasa for my photos, no matter what. I want to replace that link with a link to Flickr or Photobucket. I also want a link to iGoogle up there, as well as links to my internet starting page and my Content Master page. In sum, I need more flexibility to customize the page layout and content.
Finally, Google needs to take a page from Lost and pledge not to give up on Google Docs like it did on Google Notebook and various other apps. It’s difficult to migrate to a watering hole that could dry up at any time.
I’m close to going all Google Docs all the time, but I need a little more incentive.