As we reported yesterday when it was all just a leak, Microsoft is working on bringing Fluent Design to its Office productivity suite, with several refinements to be made to key features of the included apps.
In an announcement today, Microsoft confirmed that the Office user experience would be revamped with a simplified ribbon that will put the focus on the features that users rely on the most. The company will still offer the choice of going back to the classic ribbon, it says.
This facelift will first go live in the web-based version of Microsoft Word and is already available right now, while Office insiders will get the same improvements in Outlook for Windows in July.
Gradual rollout to users
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows will receive the update at a later time, as the current ribbon design is seen as one of the main features that help customers be productive every day.
“We aren’t ready to bring the simplified ribbon to these versions yet because we feel like we need more feedback from a broader set of users first. But when we do, users will always be able to revert back to the classic ribbon with one click,” Microsoft explains.
Additionally, Microsoft is also preparing new colors and icons, which will be all built as scalable graphics, which means they’ll look good on all devices. These will go live in Word on Office.com, while in late June insiders will receive them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. Outlook for Mac users will get their hands on the same features in August.
And last but not least, search will be updated to offer access to commands, content, and people, and simply placing the mouse cursor in the search box will offer relevant suggestions based on AI and Microsoft Graph. The rollout has already started for commercial users in Office.com and the Outlook mobile app, while Outlook users on the web will get it in August.