One of the questions I hear frequently from users of Office is “Why did Microsoft switch from the familiar Menu-based interface in Office 2003 and earlier to the new Ribbon User Interface in Office 2007/2010?” Well, the short answer is the Ribbon is intended to be easier to use – with fewer clicks to accomplish frequent tasks.

For some, whether Microsoft met their goal remains open to debate.

But, for me, I was curious as to how they actually arrived at and ultimately decided upon the Ribbon configuration. I’m happy to report if you have 90 minutes to spare I have located The Story of the Ribbon, documenting the entire history of how this User Interface was created. It’s a truly fascinating story and entertainingly presented.

It’s not often you get to go “behind the scenes” of the development of a product and this is truly an eye-opening experience. You may find it even helps you understand Ribbon better.

If you are still using Office 2003 or earlier, this might just motivate you to consider making the jump to Office 2010. To those I would say “Come on in, the Ribbon’s fine!”