This new design is being rolled out gradually, with the new interface coming today for Word users on Office.com Later this month, a test group of Office Insiders will will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.
Microsoft on Wednesday said it's bringing a design update to Microsoft Office. Inspired by a new culture of work, the changes are created to meet the demands of customers who tell Microsoft they love the power that Office apps deliver but would prefer a simplified user experience.
Key to the Office app redesign are an updated Ribbon, icon refreshes and new ways to more easily see changes coming to the Office suite.
Next up, with the new colors and designs, users can expect to see Fluent-Design inspired changes across the Office web apps.
Microsoft is adding new colors and icons to Office, starting, again with the web version of Word at Office.com.
New features include a roaming pencil case and ribbon customizations in all these Office apps.
There's a simplified version of the Office Ribbon, which allows users to collapse it so it takes up less space and hides many options, or keep it expanded into the current three-line view. They'll hit Word on the Web first, followed by Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the desktop later this month. Created to make the apps look more modern, the new icons are built as scalable graphics "so they render with crisp, clean lines on screens of any size", Microsoft says.
It sounds like these are just the first new features in a larger Office redesign. The new icons will be vector graphics, so they should be able to render on screens of different sizes and resolutions. A rollout for Outlook for Windows is planned for July, along with Outlook for Mac in August. It can now bring up recommendations powered as soon as you place the cursor in the box, based on what its AI and the Microsoft Graph knows about your habits. This feature is already available for commercial users in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile.
According to Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing, search "will become a much more important element of the user experience, providing access to commands, content, and people". Word on Windows will also have to wait as Microsoft collects feedback from a broader set of users.