Microsoft is giving its Office 365 apps a makeover

Microsoft is giving its Office 365 apps a makeover

Microsoft is giving its Office 365 apps a makeover

The new ribbon experience is rolling out first to the web version of Word starting today, and Insiders will start to see it pop up in Outlook for Windows in July. Created to make the apps look more modern, the new icons are built as scalable graphics "so they render with crisp, clean lines on screens of any size", Microsoft says.

Microsoft has announced that it's giving its flagship Office suite a makeover created to deliver a balance of "power and simplicity". While two are relatively minor and focus on visuals and efficiency, there's one major change that even Microsoft knows it needs to tread carefully with. These will first appear in in the web version of Word for Office.com, and then roll out in later this month to the Insider versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.

Microsoft is giving its Office 365 apps a makeover

Over the next few months, Outlook, Word and other cornerstone Office applications will feature some revamped interface elements meant to help users get the most out of the productivity software suite from Microsoft.

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

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Microsoft said in a blog post published today that it's refreshing Office 365 apps, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, in part so that they're more accessible for users with disabilities.

In addition to new features baked right into the array of apps within Office 2019, the new suite will also include a set of command-line tools that, as Microsoft puts it, "will allow IT admins to centrally control how and when Office updates are applied to users' devices". These updates icons will render with crisp, clean lines on screens of any size.

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That subscription qualification is important: only Office 365 subscribers will get this new interface.

Microsoft also is making search smarter by providing recommendations that officials said are "powered by AI" and the Microsoft Graph programming interfaces. Microsoft had released a preview build of Office 2019 for Windows users back in April itself. 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. Microsoft will monitor the usage of these new features and will listen to feedback from users.

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