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The Start Jewel and Office Jewel

written by: J. Peter•edited by: John Garger•updated: 1/20/2010

From Microsoft Office 2007, you've likely been told that the Start button and Office buttons are ORBS. In actuality, Microsoft calls them Jewels. Learn about Jewels and other Office lingo here.

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    Over the years, Microsoft has changed the name of some of its software components as newer versions were released and new features were added. Sometimes a name lingers on from version to version because people get used to calling something by its original name. Sometimes the press uses the wrong term and the public picks up on it quickly. The Jewels found in Windows Vista, WIndows7, and Office 2007 are good examples.

    My long distance friend and colleague Long Zheng, the creator of www.istartedsomething.com just recently mentioned that the next version of Windows (version 7) will include the new ribbon interface with the new Jewel button.

    I thought... hmmm.. I like the ribbon interface in Office. But what is the Jewel button?

    Well, apparently while I've been calling the new Start Button in Vista and the new Office Button in Office 2007 an ORB... others have called it a pearl or Jewel. And, apparently Microsoft themselves have coined the term Jewel.

    In their statement they wrote (although you cannot find the posting any longer):

    "Come lead the effort to update the Windows 7 platform with the latest advancements in User Interface design. Bring the Ribbon, Jewel, and other new UI concepts to the Windows platform and work with internal partners and ISVs to update their applications to utilize these hot new UI technologies"

    I thought that was a little interesting tidbit readers should know about. You can call it what you want. Regardless... it is the launching pad for all things either Vista or Office oriented. My favorite part is the way it peers up off the Taskbar and into the actual desktop. Just slightly... a sliver of overextension... but very cool.

    Well... we should know what it is called because apparently we are going to be seeing a lot more of it in future versions of Windows.

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