Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Microsoft Announces Office 2019 Commercial Preview for Mac Users

Microsoft Announces Office 2019 Commercial Preview for Mac Users

Microsoft will roll out this experience to the web version of Word first and will start to roll out to select consumer users today on Office.com.

Microsoft is taking a phased approach to introducing these changes because the company has found that muscle memory is strong among the one billion Office users on the planet. And almost two months later, the company is back with another important announcement about the Office 2019. Microsoft is launching new colors and icons in Office 365, with the new icons being launched as scalable graphs.

That's why Microsoft is giving people plenty of time to prepare for the first redesign of its Office apps in three years.

First is a simplified version of the ribbon.

The changes are based on a "Three Cs" - customers, context and control - principle, created to focus on the features people use most and making it easier to access them.

Microsoft says that it won't be rolling the feature out to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows just yet. They'll then make make their way to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows later this month, to Outlook for Windows in July and then to Outlook for Mac in August. The new update is aimed at delivering more screen space for the writing pad while users can still access the complete suite of commands by expanding the ribbon to classic three-line view. You can see the evolution of Microsoft Office icons over the years in the image below.

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Microsoft also explained in its blog, "Office 2019 for Mac also includes features for IT that will help simplify deployment and management".

Search will become more prominent with Microsoft saying it "will become a much more important element of the user experience, providing access to commands, content, and people".

A final and very welcome development, according to Friedman, is that the apps open faster, having been rebuilt on top of a new platform. Following on from the initial business preview of Office 2019 for Windows in April, the company has now announced that Office 2019 will be available as a preview for Mac machines with immediate effect.

And simply tapping in the search box will pop up suggestions based on Microsoft's AI.

"Commercial users can already see this experience in action in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app, and it will start rolling out to commercial users of Outlook on the web in August", Microsoft added.

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