Microsoft is Giving Office Apps a Huge Makeover

Microsoft’s productivity suite of apps, Microsoft Office, has continuously evolved over the years to introduce new features and UI tweaks. So far, the UI tweaks have been minor, but Microsoft is now working on a major visual overhaul for the Office suite.

The main focus of this update is going to be reducing distractions and improving focus. The software maker says that these changes should help improve the way you work in Office.

5 screens across desktop, tablet, and mobile showing explorations of future UI.

One of the biggest changes coming to Office 365 apps is a rework to the ribbon button that sits at the top of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to provide quick access to tools and features. This button will become simpler and smarter with the upcoming update.

Jon Friedman, the Head of Microsoft Office design said in his blog post that the new flexible Ribbon button will progressively disclose relevant commands right when you need them. It will no longer be static and will be movable. By predicting the options you might need according to your work, it will become more efficient and overall reduce clutter.

AI upgrades should also help boost productivity, which is why Cortana will evolve to better assist you with your work too. Cortana will understand the relationships between different topics, content, and work to assist better in the future.

Friedman said:

In Planner, we’re exploring how AI can auto-suggest end dates for tasks based on their descriptions, which is akin to how Forms currently leverages AI to auto-populate questions based on the title you entered.

Security enhancements are also coming with this update so people can protect sensitive documents and prevent accidental shares and leaks better than before. These security measures may help prevent documents from getting hacked as well.

Microsoft will roll out these changes one after another over the years. There are plenty of other updates as well which you can check out in detail at Jon Friedman’s blog post on Medium

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