File Properties in Word 2007

A client asked me the other day what happened to File->Properties in Word 2007. They simply couldn't find it.
In the Beta1 TR, I remember it was confusingly located on the Status Bar (!) – right-click, pick View and View Properties. Very annoying.
In Beta 2 it took me a minute to find it, and I have to say the new location isn't much better – it's under File/Office/Orb -> Finish:   

This, I feel is hardly obvious. I don't necessarily want to input this data only when I'm finishing off the document. It contains other data, even if we ignore the statistics that can be seen elsewhere (again, on the status bar). 

Clicking Properties in the Finish menu, however, doesn't actually open the familiar dialog at all, but a strange new beast – the horizontal pane:   

This pane is, I feel, a mistake. There is some justification, perhaps, for the sudden appearance of a Mail Header pane when we send an email from Word. It sticks out a bit, but it brings the familiar Outlook UI, which makes sense when we're sending an email.
Here, however, it's just unexpected. There's no other use of this sort of UI in Word, so consistency is shot. It eats up a huge amount of screen real-estate that doesn't go away until you explicitly close it – wasn't the whole point of the ribbon to avoid all those messy toolbars that users bring up and don't know how to remove?
 
And all this for 7 text fields which also appear on the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, which can much more intuitively closed by pressing Ok on the dialog.  I really feel this is a bad UI choice for Office 2007. I hope they change it in the final release.

Enough of the rant. Now for proposed solutions. I went over this with a friend, and our opinions differed. I suggested sticking with the old familiar dialog for adding/seeing metadata, while he proposed a new solution: Add the metadata as a Cover sheet or End sheet, built into the document itself.
That means we'll add another virtual page to the beginning/end of the document that isn't, by default, shown or printed. The user will add the metadata fields (Creator, Title, etc) the same way he writes the document itself.
 
I feel this isn't a good idea. To my mind, the metadata is separate from the document text itself. Not only will most users not want to see it (which isn't really a problem if it's disabled by default) but I think that adding metadata is a separate thinking process. Putting it under the Finish submenu shows that Microsoft seem to feel the way I do. 

Enough of the rant. Now for proposed solutions. I went over this with a friend, and our opinions differed. I suggested sticking with the old familiar dialog for adding/seeing metadata, while he proposed a new solution: Add the metadata as a Cover sheet or End sheet, built into the document itself.
That means we'll add another virtual page to the beginning/end of the document that isn't, by default, shown or printed. The user will add the metadata fields (Creator, Title, etc) the same way he writes the document itself.
 
I feel this isn't a good idea. To my mind, the metadata is separate from the document text itself. Not only will most users not want to see it (which isn't really a problem if it's disabled by default) but I think that adding metadata is a separate thinking process. Putting it under the Finish submenu shows that Microsoft seem to feel the way I do. 

Any opinions or ideas?

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