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Microsoft Delivers Updates to Office 365 User Experience

Three user experience updates announced earlier this week to the Office 365 improving user experience with power and simplicity across the Office suite of applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.

“Office is used by more than a billion people every month,” so “while we’re excited about these changes, we also recognize how important it is to get things right,” stated Microsoft.

These new designs will be deployed to select customers in stages while carefully testing and learning gradually over the next few months. And, will go through rigorous rounds of validation and refinement before moving into production.

These updates, which are exclusive to Office.com and Office 365 – the always up-to-date versions of Microsoft’s apps and services.

Here are some highlights these changes:

Simplified Ribbon

The new version of the ribbon is designed around to help people focus on their work and collaborate naturally. It can also be expanded to the classic 3-line view, so users can have more dedicated screen space to the commands.

Redesigned ribbon is now available to the web version of Word as well as to select consumer users on Office.com. While, select Insiders will see this simplified ribbon in Outlook for Windows in July. Microsoft said, it’ll bring the simplified ribbon on Windows once it’s fined and will allow users to be able to revert back to the classic ribbon with one click. Because, they don’t want to disrupt users’ work.

New Colors and Icons

These new colors and icons are built as scalable graphics are designed to both modernize user experience and make it more inclusive and accessible —as they render with crisp, clean lines on different size screens.

These changes are now available on the web version of Word at Office.com. And, will be released to select Insiders in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. Then, In July, it’s planned to go to Outlook for Windows, and in August will roll out to Outlook for Mac.


Microsoft plans to make Search, as the more important element of user experience that will provide access to commands, content, and people. The new “zero query search” will bring up recommendations powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and Microsoft Graph—once a users places their cursor in the search box.

Commercial users can see this in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app. While, commercial users of Outlook on the web will see it in August.

Here is an image of the new search experience:

Zero Query Search in Microsoft Office

For an overview of above changes, you can watch this video below:

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