There is no denying that Office programs are Microsoft's most important product, even more critical to the company's success than…
There is no denying that Office programs are Microsoft’s most important product, even more critical to the company’s success than Windows. This is because many already use alternatives to Windows, including Mac and Chrome OS. Also iOS and Android count as Windows 10 options.
However, regardless of operating system settings, Microsoft Office is still the best productivity package out there. And Office works over platforms, as it is available on Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android. Microsoft is always looking to improve the Office device, even if it only means less visual changes. For that purpose, for the first time in five years, the Office icons change, and we already have a preview of how they will look.
The Office apps icons are easily recognizable across platforms, especially if you have been a long-term user. The last time Microsoft updated them was five years ago, but an update is overdue. As you can see in the following presentation video, Microsoft goes for simplicity with its new icon designer, as well as focusing on collaboration:
The icons still keep their personality and you will quickly to be able to recognize Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps in any list of computer or mobile applications. The letters Microsoft uses for their Office apps remains, but the background has been changed to slightly simpler geometric shapes associated with apps.
Microsoft’s goal here is to focus on content rather than a particular format and highlight the collaboration features of Office apps. That’s why the Word app loses the document’s disposition in favor of shapes that suggest text lines. Similar changes affect the Excel and PowerPoint icons.
“Our design solution was to unlink the letter and the symbol from the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate,” wrote Microsoft’s Jon Friedman on Medium. “This allows us to keep familiar, while emphasizing simplicity when in the app.”
Icon design updates also come to other apps, including OneDrive, Outlook Mobile, and Skype. The new icons will roll out to users over the coming months, from mobile and web apps.