Change is scary.
And for a product that’s used by more than one billion people, change can cause a lot of confusion and disruption.
That’s why Microsoft is giving people plenty of time to prepare for the first redesign of its Office apps in three years.
The popular suite of productivity apps, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, is getting a makeover that will make some familiar parts of the interface, including the uppermost “ribbon” of tools, look different. Overall, it’s a sleeker look that will weave in new search capabilities.
But instead of flipping a switch, Microsoft said the new features will roll out to Office365 and Office.com users over the next few months, “after they’ve made it through rigorous rounds of validation and refinement.”
“Users have a lot of ‘muscle memory’ built around these versions [of the productivity apps], so we plan on being especially careful with changes that could disrupt their work,” the company said.
Here are some of the changes you can expect to see in your favorite productivity apps (don’t be scared):
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