A quick glance at the new Ribbon reveals them to indeed be easier on the eyes. The tech giant assures, however, that you can still go back to the old ribbon after the new one arrives on those applications. But perhaps the new space-saving design will make this a moot point.
The changes are based on a "Three Cs" - customers, context and control - principle, created to focus on the features people use most and making it easier to access them.
That subscription qualification is important: only Office 365 subscribers will get this new interface. This is clearly the case on the Office.com landing page, where the app buttons use shadow and depth to highlight what's under the mouse, but I didn't see any Fluent influence in screenshots and videos of the actual program windows, aside from animations that happen when you hover the mouse over top menus.
Finally, Microsoft will implement a "zero query search".
Word for Office.com will be the first app to feature the new colors and icons, followed by Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows sometime in June for some Office Insiders and Outlook for Windows users in July.
While there are more changes in the works, Microsoft corporate vice president for Office and Windows marketing Jared Spataro previewed three of the upcoming changes.
But instead of flipping a switch, Microsoftsaid the new features will roll out to Office365 and Office.com users over the next few months, "after they've made it through rigorous rounds of validation and refinement".
Rafael Nadal yet to take a call on Wimbledon 2018 participation
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Anthony Martial wants to leave Man Utd
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