Change is coming, but you don’t have to rush things.
Microsoft has announced a new interface for the Office 365 applications which is simpler and has fewer icons on the ribbons. While the current “ribbon” interface has been in place since roughly 2007 (for perspective, Adobe Acrobat has had at least two major UI updates during the same period (Acrobat X in 2010 and Acrobat DC in 2015). The mouse-click masters at Microsoft have decided that we need a change in how we use Outlook. Unfortunately, this update is just now being noticed by many practitioners during the time of the year when we need to be the most productive.
The “Coming Soon” button in Outlook for Office 365 gives you an opportunity to “evaluate”…. er, test, new features in Outlook, and give Microsoft feedback on the new features. Unfortunately, this switch is getting turned on sometimes by accident, resulting in some confusion, like this e-mail I received yesterday from one of the gentle readers of this blog:
Yesterday when I booted-up my Outlook365 I noticed a significant change in the “look”. My main complaint is the double line-spacing. I can now only see a portion of the emails in my inbox (as well as the other boxes). Even the From/To/Cc/Subject lines are now double spaced. Heck, everything, including the Ribbon, is double-line spaced. When composing a new email Microsoft has inverted the To/From lines. What’s that about? I know I’m sending it out. This makes working in Outlook365 much less productive.
Fear not, gentle reader. Nobody moved your cheese. The old interface is still alive and well – you just have to know how to “re-enable” it. In the upper right corner of the screen is a on/off switch that is labeled “coming soon” (shown in the picture above). Flip it to the off position, restart Outlook, and you probably will be back to what it was before.
For my friends who wish to block this tool from being implemented in their organizations, there’s a link at the bottom of this blog post which allows you to update your group policy templates to allow you to disable this feature for your users. (If the last sentence you read sounds like gibberish, or Charlie Brown’s parents speaking, then forward it to your friendly neighborhood network administrator, and they will help you take care of this issue).
Have a great year end/tax season/first quarter, and I look forward to seeing many of you in my travels for K2 Enterprises later in 2019.