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When designing Outlook 2010, we worked hard to ensure that the colors, shapes, and text used within the product provide a pleasant experience and make it easy for you to get work done. We have done this by redesigning parts of the user interface to give Outlook a clean, crisp, high-quality look that is free from distracting visual elements. By simplifying many parts of the user interface, we’ve allowed your e-mail messages and meetings to shine in the foreground better than ever before! Let’s take a look at some examples of how the new visuals improve Outlook.
For instance, in the screenshots below, notice how the new look of the Navigation Pane buttons is simpler. We have removed the glassy blue gradients and bright orange selection color so that the buttons are less distracting and more refined. For more about the changes in the Navigation Pane, see Melissa’s earlier post.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
The To-Do Bar and Navigation Pane have been darkened in Outlook 2010 – this makes your message list and reading pane pop out from the surface of Outlook so that it is easier to focus on the content that matters – your messages!
We also flattened and simplified the Calendar to achieve the same goals as in the Inbox – to make your content easier to focus on.
The ribbon has been simplified as well – notice how buttons and groups of buttons no longer have borders.
We have also removed unnecessary visual elements (like the Inbox header below) to provide more room on screen to show your messages.
The default theme for Outlook 2010 is the Silver theme, as shown in the screenshots above. In addition to the Silver theme, Outlook 2010 includes two more great color themes — Blue and Black.
Outlook 2010 Blue Theme
Outlook 2010 Black Theme
Outlook 2010 Silver Theme
To change an Office theme, click the File tab, click Options, and then on the General tab, choose a different color scheme.
I hope you will agree that Outlook 2010 is the best-looking Outlook, ever! Let me know what you think in the comments!
For more about the goals behind the Office 2010 refresh, see Keri’s post on the Office 2010 Blog.
Tom O’Neill Outlook Program Manager
More info on Outlook themes:
Changing your themeChange the Outlook 2010 color scheme
I like some of the changes in Office 2010 but I thing the visual appearance is a real step backwards, it looks very basic and messy. Outlook 2010 is a real 50/50 for me. Some new functionality is great but some (i.e. conversations) is absolutely terrible. I really hope this will be improved before RTM.
Agreed. The new visual changes are a step backwards.
Sorry, have to agree with the majority of the comments here. When I first used Outlook 2010 my first thought was, "Oh they've not finished off the new UI yet".
Whilst some of the changes are very welcome (see getting rid of the Inbox header), some areas like Navigation Pane don't look like they are "clickable" areas. There are no visual clues and so contributing to the "flat" and "lifeless" feel of the application.
Calendar tasks were much easier to recognise when they were colour coded instead of having the tiny rectangle at the right hand side of the text.
On balance, the new UI looks bland and unfinished. It also doesn't give the necessary visual clues to show which areas are clickable and which aren't.
The only reason I'm looking forward to Outlook 2010 is the Office Communicator integration. Finally!
Now I am using Lotus but I will try new outlook 2010
You are fixing the wrong problems. The usefulness of "Categories" appears to remain diminished because of the loss of the master category list and because of the large amount of space wasted in the present presentation. Try working with 100 categories in an environment where the master list of categories needs to undergo continuos revision as projects come and go. And category trees as suggested in an earlier comment would be a welcome improvement. One still can't combine EMail, Tasks, and Appointments in a single project-related folder as one can in GroupWise. One cannot place pointers to EMail or other objects in multiple folders, to account for EMail that applies to more than one project, for example (don't say to use categories -- they are too restricted). The loss of menu-based functionality and of user-defined toolbars remains distressing. The unflexibility of the ribbons is a problem -- the whole concept of ribbons instead of toolbars seems a deference to glitz over usefulness. And the HELP system has been completely trashed. Context-sensitive help seems to have vanished altogether, and many definitions use terms that are themselves undefined.
I just want them to fix this nasty graphical bug with the buttons when the navigation pane is collapsed. img5.imageshack.us/.../buttonss.png
Have html standards been fixed yet? seems like a lot of outlook 2010 is stepping backwards!
Thanks for the feedback! We thoroughly user test everything we do in Outlook to make sure that what we’re building benefits our users – the new color scheme was no exception. Specifically regarding the new colors, we’ve found that many users appreciate the way the peripheral content (folders, upcoming meetings, tasks) are visually separated from their mail. Many users have also commented on how Outlook looks “stylish” and “modern”, thanks to these same color changes. Of course, not everyone will like every color choice we’ve made and that’s one of the reasons Outlook supports three different color schemes – I encourage you to try them out!
I don't like the look of the new Outlook 2010. I love the look and feel of 2007. I agree with most people here, the new UI is very plain and boring. It would be nice if we could choose the 2007 theme as in option in office 2010.
I've been using the beta for a few weeks now and I must say, well done! Although the "plain look" as some have called it is actually much easier to navigate. I and finding more time saved by the ease of the new UI. The plain look actually looks better in use then in picture.
Don't like the new look much either.
What's with the nasty pixelated graphics under the "view" tab "Conversations" ... check out the envelope graphics ... good heavens!
Colors are nice (and I do wish there were more options to change them from time to time) but PLEASE FIX THE LIVE MEETING ISSUES WITH OUTLOOK 2010! IT REALLY SUCKS!
And I really don't care about the looks. As long it will work fast with Gmail IMAP, and will not be bloated with useless features like categories and flags which no one.
Make outlook smarter, smarter to know where the messages come from, smarter to decide. The looks is nice, but much less important.
I posted this report in a previous thread, but it appears the Outlook team did not notice it... Not sure if this is the best place to post this serious bug report. If not, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE. In testing the latest Outlook 2010 beta under Windows 7 (64 bit), we found serious issues with the MAPI PR_TRANSPORT_MESSAGE_HEADERS property. Reading the property value does not return the stored RFC header, but creates a new one that lacks many fields like Received and Delivered-To. The Message-ID and Thread-Index values also no longer match the original values. This is a serious issue when processing mail for eDiscovery and forensics. Using IConverterSession.MIMEToMAPI fails to store the original RFC header under the PR_TRANSPORT_MESSAGE_HEADERS property. As in the first issue above, a new header is inserted and the original Message-ID and Thread-Index values are lost. PR_TRANSPORT_MESSAGE_HEADERS has always been reliable in previous released versions of Outlook. Therefore I doubt that the behavior in Outlook 2010 is intended and hope that Microsoft will fix it before the final release. Thanks for listening.