In an earlier blog post, I complained about the UI changes in Office 2007, and one of my issues was with the fact that you can no longer easily close a window on the upper left side.
We removed left-side close as a planned experiment. If people could get used to closing on the right side, we’d be better off because there wouldn’t be two ways of doing the same simple action. Clearly if we were building a new window manager from scratch with no pre-existing users, we would only have one way to close windows.
Ok, so it looks like that capability will come back.
Am I nitpicking? Of course, because a) I do like to nitpick and b) because it’s a major hassle to break old habits strictly in the interest of a new paradigm.
But it brings to mind another observation: Old farts like me have have been taught to be left-centric. After all, pull-down menus are on the left. Windows close is on the left. And, of course, we write from left to right (at least in English). But the user para-diggum people at Microsoft may be involved in a plot to make us more right-centric.
Observe the new close and refresh buttons on IE 7:
They are on the right.