Office 365 is getting fluent design, simplified ribbon, other design changes

Excel 2019
Power Point 2019
Word 2019

Later this month, some Office Insiders will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.

Also going live on the Office.com iteration of Microsoft's productivity suite, this new redesign has three major focuses in all.

Microsoft has a new redesign coming up for Office 365 users.

Next up, with the new colors and designs, users can expect to see Fluent-Design inspired changes across the Office web apps. Also, some Office Insiders will see the simplified ribbon in Outlook for Windows in July.

Microsoft is adding new colors and icons to Office, starting, again with the web version of Word at Office.com.

Excel 2019
Power Point 2019
Word 2019
Excel 2019 Power Point 2019 Word 2019

The most recent version of Office is Microsoft Office 2016, which was actually released in 2015. Even when simplified ribbon does roll out at some point in the future, you'll still be able to pull up the current three-line ribbon whenever you need it.

For everyone else, Microsoft is moving forward cautiously, especially when it comes to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.

A final and very welcome development, according to Friedman, is that the apps open faster, having been rebuilt on top of a new platform.

The new icons are meant to render more crisply and cleanly on screens of any size and to look better for those with vision impairments.now there are more than 10,000 different icons in Office, Friedman noted, and Microsoft wanted to make them more consistent and accessible from the get-go, using color, contrast and other design elements. These updates icons will render with crisp, clean lines on screens of any size. Then in July, they'll show up for users of Outlook for Windows and in August for Outlook for Mac users.

Zero query search allows you to simply click in the search field and before you type anything, Microsoft AI will offer a list of related documents, people you can collaborate with, and commands that you may want to execute. This further cements the subscription-versus-perpetual license split that the company has already been exploiting over the last few years: Office 365 subscribers get a trickle of new features each month to their desktop applications; perpetually licensed customers don't. Microsoft is rolling out new features in waves so it can collect feedback and improve Office slowly, which is definitely a good idea given the reaction to some of the changes it's previously implemented.

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