When I started learning programming with the .NET framework, I started by using WinForms as a UI technology. It uses “classic” menus just like this office 2000: A few years later Office 2007 was released, the ribbon was born: And even some years later Office 2010 was released, which also added new features like the stage: A few days ago Office 15 preview was released and they added more fancy new stuff: That's huge progress IMO, but why don’t they enable the developers to build UI’s like them? When I have a look at .NET, there’s still no way to build a ribbon. Even with WPF, which is highly extensible, there are no premade controls. So the community has started several projects to create all those "features". I know, today Microsoft has released a ribbon for WinForms and WPF, but that's still not part of any core framework (not even the 4.5 one). But this is not limited to .NET as far as I know? Today there are still no APIs for unmanaged applications to create those ribbon UI’s?!
In Germany they are offering free UX training to make sure everything fits their style! http://j.mp/NZGgH9
Why doesn’t Microsoft give the cool stuff to us developers? Do they want their applications to be unique?