Starting today Microsoft is bringing the Fluent Design from Windows 10 to Office 365. This design is aimed to offer more a streamlined interface with depth, the right amount of colors, and transition animations that make using Office a cleaner and easier experience.
This new design is being rolled out gradually, with the new interface coming today for Word users on Office.com Later this month, a test group of Office Insiders will will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. Starting in July, it will be available in Outlook for Windows and Outlook for Mac in August.
This Fluent update brings a simplified ribbon to Office that contains new icons and colors that make it easy to use while working. Included in the ribbon will be new collaborative controls that allow you to see small avatars of others who are working with you on the document, the ability to easily share the documents, and access to the comments pane.
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. You can see the evolution of Microsoft Office icons over the years in the image below.
In addition to the Fluent Design being added, Microsoft has added a new search experience that uses machine learning and Microsoft AI. In addition to allowing you to search for documents or text within documents, this new search also includes a feature called "zero query search"
Zero query search allows you to simply click in the search field and before you type anything, Microsoft AI will offer a list of related documents, people you can collaborate with, and commands that you may want to execute.
This new search feature is already available in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app and will be rolling out to Outlook on the web in August.