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  Microsoft BOB Review
  By Andy

  Front > Software > Operating Systems
  11/18/2005
  Specifications    Images    

 

What Else is in Our House?

Let’s explore around a bit.  If we click on the door on the left, we are given the option to leave the room and go somewhere else.

Let
Let's Switch Rooms 

And here it is, “The Public Family Room”:

The Family Room
The Family Room 

Notice that the stuff here is different, and the ticking clock now looks a little different.  Also of note: the truly awful art design.  We also noticed around this time that, like the Office Assistants, Rover has certain idle behaviors that are invoked if you don’t do anything – little animations designed to demonstrate how lifelike he is.  Unfortunately, one of these is a bark.  Talk about annoying: the last thing I need when I’m trying to get work done is a barking virtual dog that won’t shut up.

Bob Programs

So what are these special active objects that come pre-installed?  Each one launches a special BOB-themed (read: dumbed down) program that performs a specific function.  These objects are littered about the house, and can occur in separate rooms simultaneously.  Let’s take a look at Letter Writer:

BOB Apps Have Splash Screens
BOB Apps Have Splash Screens 

Letter writer is essentially a stripped-down Works-like word processor.  A simple wizard guides you through creating a letter and then you are taken to the main screen:

Letter Writer
Letter Writer 

One feature that makes it different from most word processors is that the user is not required to save their documents.  When you create a new document you are asked for a name for the document.  Saving is automatic.  It’s certainly no replacement for Word, but it does handle the basics reasonably well.  I would have to say, though, that rather than simplifying the process of writing a letter, it actually just dumbs things down.




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