Microsoft announces design updates to its ‘Office’ suite

San Francisco: Microsoft has announced a design update to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook for “” and “Office 365” users.

The changes that are planned to roll out this month include a simplified command ribbon at the top, new icons and colours and a better search function, Microsoft wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“Through gathering feedback from thousands of people, we’ve found that people react most positively to feeling in control, productive and secure,” said Trish Miner, principal design researcher, Microsoft.

The new simplified ribbon will “help users focus on their work and collaborate naturally with others”, the new colours and icons, built as scalable graphics “are designed to make the software more inclusive and accessible”, according to the post.

The new search function would provide access to commands, content and people along with the “zero query search” that would bring up recommendations powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Microsoft Graph, just by placing the cursor on the search box.

The last version of “Office” was “Microsoft Office 2016”, which was actually released in 2015.