The new icons will roll out across the various platform on which Office runs "in the coming months", starting with mobile and Web.
Microsoft's goal here is to focus on the content rather than a specific format and highlight the collaborative nature of Office apps. Microsoft is always looking to improve the Office apps, even if it means just minor visual alterations. It'll streamlining the ribbon and carrying over its Fluent Design from Windows 10 to the Office apps. Despite that, these new icons look familiar and are easy to identify. The redesign will first apply to programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook and Skype, among a few others.
Each icon has symbols that are unique and denotes a connection with the collective suite. But now, it has been redesigned to emphasize the symbol, because it connects more to people's creation, while the letter can represent the tool itself. The color palettes for each one of the icons will, fortunately, remain the same, with some slightly updated hues that are brighter and more modern-looking.
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The company has been working on a single core codebase for Office, which is now available across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Earlier, letters occupied two-third of the icon, leaving one-third for the symbol.
The icons are part of the smaller updates that have been happening to the Office Suite over the past year or so.
Access, Visio, Publisher, and Project aren't featured among the new icons, because although Microsoft continues to distribute them, the applications are all functionally abandonware, with no new feature work being performed.