Microsoft is changing the way both its web and app version of Office looks over the next few months.
The rollout out of this update will happen in many stages. It’s beginning with a set of scalable icons, so they’ll appear crisp on any displays size.
These icons are arriving on the web version of Word first. Followed by the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Windows, near the end of June. In July Outlook for Windows will get a refresh and finally, in August, Outlook for Mac is getting the update as well.
The next update will be a scaled-down version of the top menu bar. Microsoft calls this bar the ribbon and it’s trying to make it easier to use. It’s now a lot thinner and only offers the necessities at first glance. It expands to show all of the traditional options for users that really want to dig into their work.
This change also starts in the web version of Word and is coming to some Outlook users in July. Microsoft says it isnt comfortable changing the Windows versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint just yet, since they are used in a different way than their online counterparts.
“Users have a lot of “muscle memory” built around these versions, so we plan on being especially careful with changes that could disrupt their work,” said Jared Spataro the vice president of Office and Windows Marketing, in a recent press release.
The redesign of the apps makes them more in line with Windows modern Fluent design language.
The web apps are not only being redesigned, but re-built as well. The new code should make them faster and more responsive. Microsoft revamped some of its collaboration features too. Now users are colour coded, so it’s easy to identify who’s editing what.
There are a few more changes being made and they can all be looked at on Microsoft’s blog here.