Visual revamp for Office desktop apps on Windows now available for more users


Neowin writes:

Back in June, Microsoft announced that it is revamping the Office desktop apps for Windows. The idea was to bring the apps in line with Windows 11’s design language, even on Windows 10. In the following weeks, the company began rolling out the refresh to those on the Beta Channel, and in September, this extended to Current Channel users, but only as a preview. Today, Microsoft has announced that it is speeding up the pace of rollout.

This story links to a “new” Microsoft forum post that is just a reposting of the original post, and it’s really hard to see what’s changed in that post. But Neowin offers this clarification:

If you’re on Windows 10 and running Office version 2110 and build 14527.20226 or later, there’s a possibility that the visual update will be available to you. This is because Microsoft has made the update automatically available to 50% of all users on the Current Channel. Meanwhile, if you’re on Windows 11, the revamp will necessarily [?] be available to you.

So I don’t know. Maybe it’s available, I guess.

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Visual revamp for Office desktop apps on Windows now available for more users”

  1. jimchamplin

    Is there a particular reason that something as simple as a visual refresh needed this sort of absurdly complicated introduction? Why not just release an update and the UI code is different? On 11 it defaults to the new look and on 10, users can activate it via options.

    Why are these things not obvious to Microsoft? Why is overcomplication part of their DNA?

    • dftf

      "On 11 it defaults to the new look and on 10, users can activate it via options"

      I highly-doubt they will let users swap between the two interfaces -- Windows 10 users will just get the same Windows 11 look. Office 2007 was when the current UI style first came in, and that didn't allow reverting to the old menu-and-toolbars UI, even when running on Windows XP.

      (If anyone still prefers the non-Ribbon UI, I'd suggest SoftMaker FreeOffice, which lets you choose either interface-style. There is also WPS Office, though I've not found it as-good lately. And I think LibreOffice is old-style only -- not sure there is a Ribbon UI available there?)

  2. ianw789

    I think I've had it on Win 10 for at least a week (or two??). I'm now on 14527.20276. Not sure I like the all-grey title bar for every app, which makes then harder to distinguish at a glance. Nor the less-prominent identification of the selected ribbon.

    I suppose if this is the most important thing to be working on, that must be a good sign.

    • dftf

      It's never the case that everyone gets a new feature at the same-time thanks to this confusing "A/B testing" malarkey Microsoft insist on, which just leads to endless user confusion.

      • lvthunder

        It's not A/B testing. They aren't testing this. They are rolling it out. My guess is it takes time to get installed on everyone's account. Every feature in Office gets rolled out tenant (that's what they call an account) by tenant. It's a question I would like to hear from Microsoft on. Why does it take so long for features to roll out.

        • ianw789

          Correct: I'm not on any early release plan.

          For the record: To get rid of the all-grey I was grumbling about: File - Office Account - Office Theme - select "Colorful"

  3. dkrowe

    On a similar note, The Outlook PWA vertical toolbar (left edge) has been moving from the top to the bottom, seemingly at random. Icons appear and disappear, and now the "..." has made an appearance, hiding some apps behind another click. On my work account (O365 Business Premium) they launch the web app versions of Word/Excel/etc., but on my personal email they launch an about:blank web page.

  4. Benoit Lamarche

    The updated visual style clashes on Windows 10. It is also buggy, especially Outlook. I reinstalled Office and changed to an older, semi-annual channel version which does not include the updated visuals.