Microsoft just gave its productivity tools an important makeover. The company has released a promised visual update for Office's Windows apps in either Microsoft 365 or perpetual licenses, giving you simpler and sleeker-looking interfaces across all apps. It's meant to complement Windows 11's style, as you might imagine, but it also promises some functional improvements regardless of the Windows version you use.
The interface should provide a more "natural and consistent" experience regardless of apps. The Quick Access Toolbar is now hidden by default (you can still bring it back). Office also matches your Windows theme by default, so launching Word or Excel at night shouldn't sear your eyes. You can still specific a different theme if you prefer.
The update is guaranteed if you're using Windows 11. If you're using Windows 10, you'll know that it's available when you see a megaphone icon in the top-right corner of a given app. While this won't fundamentally change your experience, it may be appreciated if Office has felt stale or out of place.