The Least Common Denominator Effect on features?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/10/21 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

Regular reader Ivan Petrov asked, over in the Suggestion box:

Hi Michael,

There has past a long time I've not posted here :-(

Anyway, my question is:

Why in Microsoft Office 2010 the 'Choose ScreenTip Language' Preference respectively the 'Set your ScreenTip language' Option has not been added to the 'Microsoft Office 2010 language Preferences' application instead in the 'Language option' of every 'Microsoft Office Application', as 'ScreenTip Language' option is a Global preference for all 'Microsoft Office Applications' (Word, Excel and etc.).

Ivan Petrov.

That's an interesting question. :-)

In the absence of a member of the Office division, we'll have to see if we can find hints about the reason.

Starting from the Microsoft Office 2010 Language Preferences:

Okay. Good.

There is a lot going on there, but it is kind of clear what is happening.

Now let's see what the fuss is about.

First in Word:

Ah, I see what Ivan meant.

A lot of settings are shared defaults from the one dialog thast you can then override in the individual Office application.


In PowerPoint:

Yep, there too.

I sense a pattern.

Oh, wait a minute.

I know the best place to break a suspected Office pattern.

In Access!

Ah, it isn't there -- this looks like the same subset of controls!

Perhaps an accident/coincidence.

Maybe there is an Office person lurking nearby who knows if it more complicated than a Microsoft Office 2010 Language Preferences Least Common Denominator effect?

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