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The Silicon Review Asia

Microsoft Is All Set To Roll Out the New Look For MS Office

Microsoft Is All Set To Roll Out the New Look For MS Office

Microsoft has just announced that it is all set to launch its new user interface for its apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook in line with Fluent Design, a design system that is used to build user interfaces across devices. The primary objective of Fluent is to provide developers access to a single design language that will work well across all devices. The ideas behind Fluent are quite similar to Google’s Material Design language. Material Design is a visual language that integrates the classic principals of good design with the innovation of science and technology to develop a single underlying system that unifies the user experience across platforms, devices and input methods.

Besides switching to Fluent Design, which is inspired by what Google is implementing with Material Design, there are three major changes that have been introduced to the interface design of the Office Apps.

Firstly, it has redesigned and simplified its Ribbon feature. While it was a bit controversial when Microsoft first launched Ribbon back in 2007, most users however adapted to the new interface soon enough and Microsoft eventually brought it to all its Windows and Online Applications. With its new update, Microsoft is planning to collapse the traditional three-row view into a single line highlighting the most important features. Users who want the traditional view can expand the Ribbon and get that full view. Since this might be a controversial move, the Redmond-based tech giant plans to launch the new Ribbon only for the web version of Word as of now. For Microsoft outlook, you may see the changes by July 2018.

The second major overhaul is the addition of a new set of colors and icons to all Office applications. It will be launched on the Web version of office.com followed by an Insider release for Windows Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook respectively. Lastly, they have introduced a new feature which is less about the design and more about the user experience called the “zero query search”. This AI and Microsoft Graph powered feature brings up useful search recommendations by simply placing the cursor on the search box.

“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. 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”, the company wrote in its blog post.

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