Microsoft shows teasers of new Office 365 interface with redesigned taskbar

Microsoft has shown teasers of the upcoming Office 365 interface. The teasers show a simplified interface with muted colors and a new toolbar. The new look should be rolled out “ within a year or two ” for all Office 365 editions.

The upcoming vision for Office 365 is featured by Microsoft’s Jon Friedman. The company is making several changes to its office suite. For example, Microsoft is moving away from the traditional ‘ribbon toolbar’ that was placed at the top of a document. Microsoft claims this because this was mainly optimized for use on a desktop or laptop, while more and more people cross platform work on different devices.

The new design includes a renewed toolbar, which can be disconnected from the traditional ‘ribbon-toolbar ‘at the top of a document. The toolbar is visible around an ‘action’ in the new interface and shows contextual information. For example, the toolbar is visible when a user selects a piece of text in Word. This then contains options for the font type and text size, among other things.

Furthermore, the interface is simplified in its entirety, among other things by no longer showing colors at the top of the window. A small app icon is shown in that place in the new version. The search function between different Office programs is also being improved. Microsoft goes on to write that it will implement “artificial intelligence” in its upcoming Office versions. According to the company, this can be used, for example, to find errors in Excel formulas and then suggest a solution. In Tasker, AI can be used to ‘automatically suggest end dates’ for certain tasks based on their description.

Users should be able to indicate the ‘sensitivity levels’ of documents in the future. This can be done, for example, so that sensitive documents are not accidentally shared, Friedman writes. Other improvements are implemented, among other things, by means of a Family Safety app for parents.

It’s unclear exactly when Microsoft will release the revamped interface, but Jon Friedman writes that it should be “within a year or two.” It is also clear that the update will be rolling out to all versions of Microsoft 365, including the desktop apps, mobile applications and web versions of Office programs.