MICROSOFT HAS UNVEILED a new version of its Office suite user interface, all ready for the imminent release of Office 2019. It will also introduce the Ribbon changes first at Office.com an then to a subset of Office 365 users, "because we feel like we need more feedback from a broader set of users first".
Jared Spataro, who runs Office and Windows marketing, said "the Three Cs" were the guiding principles behind the redesign.
The ribbon bar icons have also been updated to use less color and more detail so that they are not distracting and offer a cleaner look. The features which the new update will carry resemble the ones found in the Office 365 subscription.The new Office 2019 for Mac will encompass features which will be liked by both the end users and the IT department.
The Ribbon-that collection of icons for frequently needed functions at the top of the program window-drew ire when it first appeared in Microsoft Office, but most users now find it indispensable.
Microsoft announced that starting today the most-used productivity product in the world is getting a makeover.
The preview comprises Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, and is the "perpetual update" - Microsoft's term for standalone software - for Apple's macOS operating system. The tech giant assures, however, that you can still go back to the old ribbon after the new one arrives on those applications.
Automated recommendations reflect Microsoft's belief that Office should deliver the commands users are likely to want while they work, rather than making them pause to hunt something down.
There are also features for IT that will help them simplify deployment and management. Users should also expect a "zero query search" when hovering over the search box, powered by AI and the Microsoft Graph.
Spataro explained that for the new design effort, Microsoft had researched and analysed customer input, and given them access to concepts and involvement in creating the new look for Office 365. In July, they'll be added to Outlook for Windows, and in August, Outlook for Mac. To name a few, features like the roaming pencil case and ribbon customisations will debut in the Office apps with the new edition. 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.