“Scaling an icon design effort from 10 products to over a hundred to reflect this new world of work was both daunting and thrilling,” said Jon Friedman, head of Microsoft Office design.
“With the newest wave of icon redesigns, we faced two major creative challenges. We needed to signal innovation and change while maintaining familiarity for customers. We also had to develop a flexible and open design system to span a range of contexts while still being true to Microsoft.”
The icons use what Microsoft calls its Fluent Design System, which for these icons make use of 3D effects and curves to modernise the overall look and feel of all Microsoft software, not just Windows.
That said, the familiar Windows logo has had a lick of blue paint.
As Microsoft has fully embraced its software on other platforms (particularly iOS and Android), the new look does indeed reflect a cleaner, more appealing look for mobile devices with icons that are more akin to app icons.