It features "roaming pencil case and ribbon customizations across Office apps; focus mode in Word; Morph transitions, in-click sequence, and 4K video export in PowerPoint; new charts and functions in Excel; and focused inbox in Outlook", according to Spataro.
On the Microsoft 365 blog, Chief Designer Jon Friedman notes that Fluent Design is coming to Office and Office.com. The simplified ribbon will be landing on the web version of Word initially - and only to some users at first - while some Insiders will see it go live in Outlook beginning next month.
The first major change is the updated design for the ribbon. There will be new colors, icons, and new animations and reveal effects in ribbons. With the redesign, the traditional three-line ribbon has been shrunk down to a single line with more pops of color to help command icons better stand out.
As with the previous release back in April of this year, this latest Office 2019 preview will be available internally to businesses who have yet to take the move over to Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 offering. The firm explained that users have muscle memory with the current ribbon, and it doesn't want to disrupt their work flow, so it will be careful in how this is implemented across those apps.
That subscription qualification is important: only Office 365 subscribers will get this new interface. The new look, Microsoft says, sports a cleaner and simpler look while giving users the ability to customize it with the tools they use most, mimicking the experience of pinning items to your taskbar in Windows.
Speaking of colors, users will also start to notice new colors and icons across Office apps that are built as scalable graphics meant to both modernize the experience and make it more accessible. In August, they will roll out to Outlook for Mac. Leveraging the Microsoft graph, the new search experience will immediately bring up search recommendations when you place your cursor in the search box.
The new search features are already available to commercial users on Office.com, SharePoint Online, and Outlook Mobile, and will show up on Outlook Online in August. Word on Windows will also have to wait as Microsoft collects feedback from a broader set of users.