Microsoft Plans to Bring Office’s New Iconography Style to Windows 10

Posted on November 30, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Office 365, Windows, Windows 10 with 33 Comments

Microsoft introduced some gorgeous new Office icons yesterday. The company announced the new Office iconography as part of the company’s major overhaul of Office as a platform. And although Microsoft didn’t mention anything about bringing the same iconography style to its other products like Windows 10, the video for the new Office icon design featured shots of Windows 10 with these new logos.

The video showed off apps like Photos, Mail, Calculator, Calendar, File Explorer, and Microsoft News with the new iconography style on the Start Menu, and they actually look really good. And that, of course, led to people speculating if Windows 10 will eventually get this new style of icons. The shots on the Office video are likely just concepts, but it now seems like Microsoft actually wants to bring the new iconography to Windows 10.

“It is a huge undertaking to build a common system and design 10 icons at the same time. Now that we have established the system we will start to scale it across all of Microsoft,” Jon Friedman, the head of Office design at Microsoft, said in a response to a question about the Office icons. In another response, Friedman said the Office icons are just a beginning of a “cross-company effort to update all icons in the same style.”

And if Microsoft is to eventually bring the same style to other products, Windows 10 is likely going to be one of the first products to get the new design. After all, these new icons are inspired by Windows 10’s Fluent Design system, and so it makes a lot of sense to bring the same iconography to Windows 10. But of course, we are yet to know Microsoft’s plans for the new iconography here — it’s possible we could see some of the stock Windows 10 apps getting the new iconography in 2019 with Windows 10 19H1, or it could take even longer.

Thanks for the tip, Luke!

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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Microsoft Plans to Bring Office’s New Iconography Style to Windows 10”

  1. jimchamplin

    Honestly, if they don't replace every icon in 19H1 with the new visual style...

    ... It will be stupid, lazy, and pitiful but absolutely par for the course.

    Remember that Apple can implement a new visual style in a single release of macOS or iOS. Even Canonical can implement a new Gnome theme for Ubuntu within a few months. But Microsoft? They need like 18 months to partially implement a damn desktop theme.

  2. thewarragulman

    I mean, Windows 10 still has icons from Vista in it *cough cough*Notepad*cough*, so here we go for yet another icon update for Windows that will just leave is half finished again.

  3. Bats

    These icons are "gorgeous?" Dude, you have a girlfriend? If so, which one is more gorgeous, the girl or the icons?

    • locust infested orchard inc

      In reply to Bats:

      The snowflake generation live and breath the modern take on hieroglyphics, with emojis and animojis. So you'll have to forgive Mehedi for getting a little too excited with these "gorgeous" icons.

      Bear in mind his girlfriend could well be "extremely gorgeous", a number of magnitudes more "gorgeous" than these icons.

      Make no mistake though, design and the look of a product is absolutely critical in giving any product a certain feel, through the use of a certain typeface, colour, logo, and even icons.

      So don't dismiss Microsoft attempting to revamp their iconography, and making the feel consistent across all their products. It's a noble effort, and presentation can make a great product truly astounding, but the main substance/content needs to be perfect – but Windows 10 has a fair amount of work to be considered anything close to being perfect.

  4. Tony Barrett

    FFS, it's just a bunch of icons - MS even have to make their own video to show how 'wonderful' they are. Just where are Microsoft's priorities these days? A bunch of art students could probably come up with something equivalent - or better.

    I'll tell you where Microsoft's priorities are - cloud and subscriptions. Nothing else really. Everything they're doing right now leads towards that end goal. Every. Single. Thing - 'as a service'. It's not about what's best for their customers - it's what's best for Microsoft. Subscriptions, control, data collection, lock-in, revenue, profit. Nothing else. Of course companies have to make money - I get that, but at what expense? Where does it end exactly? Get out before it's too late - it's a subliminal form of brainwashing, and the more they talk about it, the more you believe it, and all the big tech companies are doing it to one degree or another.

    • bytemyascii

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Someone designing icons has a very different skillset to those fixing bugs with audio for example.

      That says nothing about priorities, because what this is showing is only the work of a small number.

      What do you think should be their priority, and why do you think it would benefit from having one or more icon designers involved on that rather than this.

  5. RonV42

    If Apple introduced new Icons the bloggers would be falling all over themselves trying to deconstruct every nuance in them.

  6. Oasis

    Good to see some pretty colorful, not flat icons finally. So, it doesn't look like almost every version on Linux.

  7. Greg Green

    They remind me of the Win 3.1 icons, only with less detail. It’s nice to see MS rediscovering colors.

  8. Greg Green

    In reply to dontbe_evil:

    Yes, that flat, bland crap. It doesn’t look good on any of them.

  9. mattbg

    “It is a huge undertaking to build a common system and design 10 icons at the same time. Now that we have established the system we will start to scale it across all of Microsoft,” Jon Friedman

    This has to be up there with "it's a difficult computer science problem" when discussing power management, no?

  10. Pedro Vieira

    Monochromatic, all-white flat icons made sense back in Windows 8 because they were supposed to give some visual room to all the live content provided by apps.

    Now that Windows apps (UWP, whatever) are finished, we can go back to professional looking, vivid and colorful icons.

  11. navarac

    "Microsoft introduced some gorgeous new Office icons yesterday"

    Seriously Mehedi? Nothing gorgeous about computers. It's an icon - click it and be done. Nothing to drool over here, mate.

  12. skane2600

    The demo provided very little information on how the iconography would actually look. Kind of reminds me of Apple's "epic" iPhone commercials where you expect Also sprach Zarathustra to be playing in the background with an ape throwing a bone which turns into an iPhone.

  13. wright_is

    Any news on when the new icons will actually be released? I have Office 365 Home and Microsoft 365 at work and neither show the new icons...

  14. kroembke

    Oh look, its new icons!

    Microsoft has finally figured out we have the most powerful devices ever running Windows, maybe it's time to go back to the future and implement a nice looking interface (like Windows 7), instead of an ugly, flat, monochromatic, interface.

    IMHO, the flat, boxy, ugly, HALF-FINISHED, interface of Windows 10 can't be replaced soon enough. And it probably won't be...

  15. warren

    I really wish they'd bring the Outlook orange back. There are too many everyday Microsoft products with blue icons now.

  16. SherlockHolmes

    The problem with Microsoft is: They never finish the job. My guess is that we have more then one style of icons in the near future.

  17. Jeff Jones

    Weren't we all saying, back in the first Windows 10 preview, that the colorful Win7/8 icons were much better looking than the flat and bland crap that their intern kept churning out for those preview releases?

  18. Lewk

    The thing that is so satisfying about all this is that this is one big step in polishing Windows and adding that much needed consistency. I like live tiles, but the flat white icons have always been ugly. There's been no reason that they can't have proper, colourful icons on the live tiles.

  19. john

    New Icons arrived today for Office applications. Nice!