Office 2016 Preview – Compare the Ribbon

I’ve been running Office 2016 for about a week now in my Windows 10 preview and loving them both.  I’d be perfectly happy having these running on my main machine, but have learnt the hard way the previews are best kept to virtual machines.

(In case you are wondering about the technical set up I’m running) I’m using Hyper-V on Surface Pro 3 (i7 8GB) and I gave the VM 2GB of RAM and 30GB hard drive.  The performance is more than satisfactory with the exception of internet connection is very slow.

So my first task on getting a new preview of Office is to compare the ribbon.  And I was surprised by how few differences there were.  There are other new features in Office 2016 Preview, but for now I’m just looking to highlight visible changes on the ribbon.  No doubt as I explore further using the features and updating training materials that use the context sensitive tabs, I’ll see more of the advertised new features at work.

Colours – Office 2016 Preview has a colourful mode, which is nice though currently quick access toolbar icons are a bit difficult to see in this mode.  White and grey modes echo 2013.


I couldn’t spot any differences on the ribbons.  However I’m really impressed with performance on my basic spec VM.  Looks like Outlook may no longer be a resource sponge.


Word, again is very similar.  There are differences in the backstage view (but that’s for another article).  The Page Layout tab is now Layout, and otherwise could easily be mistaken for 2013.


The only difference on the ribbon is the addition of Power QueryExcel16_PoerQuery.


Following the rest of the suite PowerPoint takes on the colourful mode, but otherwise the ribbon remains the same.


And finally another app where the enhancements are not on the surface.

Writing this article has highlighted for me how few changes there are in the user interface, yet it still feels like a new version – new but familiar.  Great for users, but it’s not going to drive lots of new version training for me!

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