Reference image from Microsoft
Microsoft released the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build last week, bringing to users the next generation OS for testing. Along with that release, the company also revealed that a refreshed UI for its Office suite of apps will begin rolling out to users running test builds of the productivity suite. While the UI was slated to make it to both Windows 11 and Windows 10 users sometime last week, the firm informed of a slight delay in rolling out the refresh, promising to bring it to Office Insiders this week.
Now, it seems that the refreshed UI has begun rolling out to some Office Insiders, as spotted by the folks over at Petri. Currently, the release seems to be staggered and is showing up for some users. When the feature does become available, the new UI should be automatically enabled and can be manually disabled through the Coming Soon pane at the top of the apps. However, apps such as Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio that do not have the pane will adapt as per the other Office apps like Outlook.
As for what’s changed, the firm is embracing rounded corners, bringing the angular edges to the ribbon. The rounded corners also apply to the window borders, in line with the design changes coming with Windows 11. The firm also boasts of a neutral color palette and automatic theme switching between dark and light modes, based on the system theme. The Quick Access toolbar is also hidden by default to offer a cleaner UI, the firm says. The “Mica” background effect, however, will debut in the apps later.
Since the rollout has just begun, the new UI or the toggle to enable it might not show up for all users right away. However, it should be made available through the course of the week. Alternatively, you can check if you have an update available for you from the Office Updates section in the Account option found under the File menu.