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One basic user interface principle is that if there is a standard user interface, it is almost always the right decision to go with the standard interface rather than make something completely different, however clever. In terms of office software, that means the correct solution will be one that "feels like" Microsoft Office, and it is not an accident that at least before the ribbon, OpenOffice looked a lot like Microsoft Office. If some feature of the standard interface is patented, that throws in a monkey wrench, but it doesn't change the basic principle that the optimal interface is the one people expect.

In terms of searching, ...

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