Microsoft is Giving its Office 365 UI a Refreshed Look and Feel

Microsoft is Giving its Office 365 UI a Refreshed Look and Feel

The new icons are meant to render more crisply and cleanly on screens of any size and to look better for those with vision 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. The firm explained that users have muscle memory with the current ribbon, and it doesn't want to disrupt their work flow, so it will be careful in how this is implemented across those apps.

Next up, with the new colors and designs, users can expect to see Fluent-Design inspired changes across the Office web apps. The simplified ribbon will be landing on the web version of Word initially - and only to some users at first - while some Insiders will see it go live in Outlook beginning next month.

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

Powerpoint also gets a new Morph transition feature, 4K video support, play-in-click sequence.

Microsoft isn't the only technology giant that has been brushing up the interfaces of some of its most popular products. Microsoft notes that it has no plans to remove the full interface in the future from Office 365. As such, simply placing your cursor in the search box will trigger a "zero query search" with recommendations power by AI and the Microsoft Graph. And almost two months later, the company is back with another important announcement about the Office 2019.

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Later in June, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows will get the new colours and icons, with Outlook for Windows and Mac getting them in August.

Microsoft said the Mac variant of its Office productivity suite is set to ship alongside Office 2019 for Windows some time in the second half of this year.

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".

Customers: We're using a customer-driven innovation process to co-create the design of the Office apps. The new search functionality is already available for commercial users of, SharePoint Online and the Outlook mobile app, and will start rolling out to the web version of Outlook in August.

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