Later this month, some Office Insiders will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows.
Microsoft, of course, would prefer the masses of its customer base to actually move across to its Office 365 subscription package, but for those who haven't yet done that, or who choose not to for their own internal reasons, Microsoft offers a yearly update of Office that allows businesses to handle all of their productivity needs. Microsoft is overhauling the interfaces of all the Office versions to bring a much more consistent look and feel across the various platforms that the applications support.
The improved Office ribbon will only roll out to Office.com starting today, with Insiders seeing it in Outlook for Windows starting in July.
Next up, with the new colors and designs, users can expect to see Fluent-Design inspired changes across the Office web apps.
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The most recent version of Office is Microsoft Office 2016, which was actually released in 2015.
Microsoft is adding new colors and icons to Office, starting, again with the web version of Word at Office.com. 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.
For everyone else, Microsoft is moving forward cautiously, especially when it comes to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. The roaming pencil case also makes its way to Powerpoint as well, besides the new update will bring the ability to insert and manage icons, SVG, and 3D models on board. The new icons are all vector graphics, so they can be scaled and resized while retaining their clean, crisp lines. Microsoft is now making it so the search functionality can provide access to commands, content, and people. In August, they will roll out to Outlook for Mac. Nearly all these features are already available for Office 365 ProPlus users, but owners and users of stand-alone Office for Mac 2016 have been missing out on them.
It sounds like these are just the first new features in a larger Office redesign. This smarter search box is already available in the Web apps, SharePoint Online, and Outlook mobile; in August it will also be coming to Outlook on the Web. Microsoft will monitor the usage of these new features and will listen to feedback from users.