Autodesk has just published the announced ribbon user interface for Inventor – the add-on module “UI Technology Preview for Autodesk Inventor 2009“. This add-on is downloadable from labs.autodesk.com.
It is not a small file – the download has full 67 MB of data. The installation went flawlessly, it works also on a localized version of Inventor 2009. Just make sure you have Admin rights (UAC) when installing it in Vista.
It is safe to test as the UI Preview creates a separate icon for starting Inventor (the old one remains in the original version). The ribbon user interace is convenient and when you switch to full screen (the same keyboard shortcut as in AutoCAD – Ctrl+0), it gives you even more screen space than the old user interface. Many users refuse to use ribbon just because they think it eats too much screen space (which may be true for MS Office, but not for AutoCAD and Inventor).
The history of old documents (with thumbnails) is nice, the dynamic tooltips are nice, Inventor seems to be easier to use for me. Try it.