March 24, 2010

Free Ribbon Hero for Office 2010 and 2007 Updated

Microsoft has released a new update to an add-in for Office 2010 and Office 2007, designed to help users get familiarized with the new graphical user interface sported by the two releases of the productivity suite. Ribbon Hero was introduced in the second half of January as a game set up to run in the context of Office 2010 and 2007. The Redmond company is essentially using gaming as a learning strategy to get users to explore the Fluent/Ribbon GUI of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel 2007 and 2010. The update released the past week is the second refresh made available by Microsoft Office Labs for users of the add-in.

Existing users of Ribbon Here can either download and manually install the update, or wait for the refresh to be delivered through the company automatic update channels. At the same time, Microsoft is in no way limiting access to Ribbon Hero, and in fact it is inviting all customers running Office 2007 and Office 2010 to download and test drive the game.

The previous update to Ribbon Hero was released in mid-February 2010. At that time, Microsoft was responding to feedback from early adopters of Office 2010 that had already jumped to the Release Candidate Build. In this regard, the software giant needed to provide a new release of Ribbon Hero tailored to Office 2010 RC. Ahead of the delivery of Ribbon Hero Build in February, the add-in had been downloaded over 32,000 times, with over 25,000 challenges already played, according to statistics from Microsoft.

A member of the Ribbon Hero team enumerated some of the changes associated with the latest update to the add-in.

“• More Quick Points. Now you can get a higher score by using more features in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel

• Better hints. We heard your feedback that the hint text was sometimes confusing, so we updated the wording to help you find features faster. We also improved the hint images so that you can see what tab each feature is on.

• Ability to earn points from playing challenges twice. We heard your feedback that it wasn’t clear how to earn all of the points from a challenge, so we’ve changed our points model. Now you can earn points from playing a challenge twice, as long as you play the challenge on two separate days. (You can still earn points by using features in the app; we didn’t remove that functionality!)

• Ability to comment on Facebook posts directly from the Ribbon Hero add-in.

• Better experience around earning achievements. Now, when you earn achievements, we notify you whether or not you’re logged into Facebook.

• More sound effects when you earn achievements.”

Ribbon Hero is available for download here.
Office 2010 Beta 14.0.4536.1000 is available for download here.

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