New User Experience Improvements coming in Office 2010

Ok, so maybe I was wrong about Zack Whittaker’s sources concerning visual changes coming in Office 2010. Zack recently wrote an article displaying early screenshots of user experience aspects to Office 2010 such as Microsoft Word 2010 splash screen. Zack strengthens this with further screenshots of the new Outlook, About UI interface and possibly a new Office 2010 logo.

Office Outlook 2010 with Aero Glass (click to enlarge)

Office Fluent applications now feature a tabbed File button instead of the pearl button Office 2007 users are familiar with. The interface features more transparency along the title bar region when installed on Windows 7/Vista with Aero enabled. Office 2010 applications also feature a professional theme that’s silver/grayish with a more vibrant colour scheme that’s respective to the application branding. Outlook for instance uses a gold icon, users will see a gold File Menu along with appropriate application branding throughout the user interface. Office users can also take advantage of Windows features such as the ability to change your Product Key. An early Office 2010 alpha build that leaked back in January showed some improvements to managing Office 2010 such as, Anytime Upgrade and the ability to carry Office on your thumb drive with you.

Office 2010 application ‘About UI’ – new Office logo? (click to enlarge)

Zack notes changes to the Office logo itself, which last saw an update with the release of Office 2003. Prior to that Office used an interlocked puzzle to represent the Office brand. The new gold Office logo is still a work in progress, but the fact that it is similar in colour to the Outlook branding probably means, if you had Word 2010 from that same build of Office 2010 opened you would see a blue Office logo or a green one from Excel.

Why do I care so much about this? Well, its not overall important to the applications functionality and features that much. Outlook 2010 which supports a lot of integration with Exchange 2010 such as threaded conversations, Mail Tips, Ignore Conversation, Text previews of voicemails, tracking messages shows that Office 2010 is not about another pretty UI, but that is the first thing a lot of people see. We also always want to see something a little different from the last version. Windows 7 is a great example of this, we expected something radical and that’s what we got, the improved Taskbar, improved Search technology, simplified networking, in addition to under the hood improvements. I don’t know about Office 2010 yet, but based on the early screenshots, the Office Team seems to be further simplifying the user interface while adding a strong set of integrated features that can harness the power of Microsoft Office server products as evidenced by Outlook 2010 and Exchange 2010.


Microsoft Office ‘14’ now Office 2010 – I don’t think so, not yet

Screenshot of Microsoft Office Outlook 2010
Office ‘14’ branded Office 2010, Exchange 2010 BETA expected Wednesday
Its official – Office ‘14’ will be available in both 32 and 64 bit
Microsoft Office ‘14’ to include native 64-bit support?
Office 14 – Finally! Anytime Upgrade, Portable Office?
Confirmed: Office 14 will support Windows XP
Ballmer: Office 14 not this year
Just a Note: A small change I noticed in Microsoft Word 14



Filed under Office Productivity

6 responses to “New User Experience Improvements coming in Office 2010

  1. Chris

    My guess is Microsoft either changed how maximized windows are shown, (even as an option) or it is in fact an actual office style theme (like the blue, sliver and (my favorite) black themes in 2007)

  2. Chris

    BTW, I\’m saying the black theme is my favorite in office 2007

  3. Andre

    Based on leaked screenshots, each Office 2010 application carries a distinct color scheme to represent the application. Word – Blue, Excel – Green, PowerPoint – Orange, Outlook – Bright yellow, Access – Purple.

  4. Michael

    I like the 2003 Office logo, but I\’m not sure I like it being all gold; it\’d look kind of gaudy. Thought a white version with different background colors depending on the Office application would be good. The default background behind the logo for all of Office could be black.

  5. Andre

    A lot of this user experience functionality will be out of your when you are using the product. As you can see in the first screenshot, its professional, serious look thats not over powering. A lot of the branding colour is mostly in the Options area of the product just to help users better associate what\’s what in the product suite.

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