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Widescreens And Toolbars – The Question!

I woke up today and saw some news about a new OpenOffice derivative called RedOffice (I believe its targeted for Asian markets). As the news said it had a breaking new UI based on Office 2007 but still “breaking new” I decided to see the images here.

The real new thing about it is that it used vertical toolbars as default.

This got me thinking why Widescreens are so popular, specially on laptops, and most software still chooses toolbars on top? I’m not a widescreen fan, it breaks my heart to have a 17” widescreen laptop because I couldn’t find one 4:3. But the question is still valid, more and more users have widescreens and software like Office 2007, Openoffice.org, Gnome/Kde, gEdit, Nautilus, and so on still default to toolbars on top.

The worst thing is that sometimes this software provide you with the option to put the toolbars on the vertical but the end result is usually not as pretty, not as tunned and feels… alien…

There is, however, some software that defaults the main tools and toolbars to the sides of the screen. Abobe Reader, Fireworks, Dreamweaver and most mail/rss readers have the vertical space reserved for one of the main tools (selection of folders and other options like calendar).

This keeps me wondering is there is a correlation between applications and its success (even on 4:3) based on the way they choose to organise their layout. I’m not saying some toolbars on top aren’t needed or are best, but seems to me that specially when widescreen is fashion some softwares could have a rethinking of how they use their layout space.

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