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The New Office Experience: Embracing the New Workflow (Premium)

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Granted, Microsoft has been working on abstracting the file system and moving towards a simpler user experience for years. For example, Windows 95 featured a short-lived document-centric user interface paradigm whereby users could create new documents---a new compound documents, another short-lived experiment---without first finding and launching an application. Windows Vista introduced virtual folders, so we could think of broad terms like documents, music, and pictures instead of manually navigating to specific folder locations. And Windows Phone furthered both concepts by trying to hide the file system and applications and providing sweeping “people-centric” (really, user-centric) hubs of functionality.

Those are just a few examples, but you get the idea: While power users like us spend time tweaking File Explorer, Microsoft Word, or whatever other tools to work just the way we want, mainstream users just want to get in and out. They want to get work done as simply and efficiently as possible and then move on. And they want to do so on whatever device or using whichever interface they prefer. Windows or Mac, perhaps. Mobile platforms like Android and iOS. The web. Whatever.

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