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Microsoft Unveils Office Apps Revamp With Simplified Ribbon, Search Functions

11:12 AM, Jun 13, 2018 — Microsoft (MSFT) is revamping its Office applications, which the company said is the world’s most-used productivity product, after it gathered feedback from users to guide design changes that it’s touting as a “balance of power and simplicity.”

Business and consumer customers will start getting the refreshed design of the software beginning from Wednesday, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said. The technology giant also said it’s conducted a survey within the product to “ascertain how features make people feel.”

“Through gathering feedback from thousands of people, we’ve found that people react most positively to feeling in control, productive and secure,” Trish Miner, Microsoft’s principal design researcher, said in a statement. The Office suite includes Word for documents, PowerPoint for presentations, Excel for spreadsheets and Outlook for email.

Initial changes including new icons and colors meant to modernize Office and make it “more inclusive and accessible,” Microsoft said. The revamp is offering a simplified version of the ribbon set of toolbars, and the search function will bring up suggestions when a user just places their cursor in the search box.

“Customers will benefit from a more simplified experience while maintaining the full power of Office and a design ethos that is more inclusive — empowering everyone to create, communicate and collaborate,” Microsoft said.

In a blog post, Microsoft said the updates will be deployed to select customers in stages and will be moved into production “only after they’ve made it through rigorous rounds of validation and refinement.”

Companies: Microsoft Corporation
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