Microsoft has begun its rollout of its new Office UI to all users this week. The visual update was announced earlier this year and went into testing in the summer. Now, the company has started the rollout of all Office 365 and Office 2021 users.
The new Office UI design matches the visual changes in Windows 11 and includes a more rounded design on the Office ribbon bar, with subtle changes in buttons across all apps in the suite. It is a simple revamp, with the option to match the dark or light theme that you set inside Windows.
Subtle and dramatic changes
The new look can be toggled on and off like skin using an upcoming megaphone icon in the top right-hand corners of Office apps. It should be available for Windows 11 users already, with Microsoft saying that 50% of channel subscribers will have the visual update enabled automatically.
Most of the design changes are subtle but Microsoft teased changes to its Office UI that may be a departure from the subtler norms. One of those dramatic changes would have to be the move to a command bar instead of the traditional ribbon interface.
The Fluent Design system continues to deliver
There is an expectation that we will see these changes in the web and mobile versions of Office first. On top of that, Microsoft said that the more dramatic changes in the Office UI would take a year or two to roll out to everyone. The company gave us teasers for these changes, especially the traditional ribbon interface.
Microsoft is using its Fluent Design system which over the past couple of years has brought changes like new icons, a dark mode, and an overhaul of the ribbon toolbar to make it easier to use.