Microsoft is planning to make the process of using the next version of Office simpler, by utilising a system of graphics, moving the user away from having to navigate a system of complicated toolbars and menus. Gates has outlined a vision of Office 12 that makes it easier for people to visualize information that comes from different directions. The new design is said to adhere to concepts of elegance and style, with a system of menu boxes fading in and out of view depending on what tools are being used. The new system was designed by observing users as they operated Microsoft office.

The previews of Windows and Office focused on their use of graphics to give consumers more ways to manage information on the computer screen.

That's a growing issue as software applications become more complex. For instance, the first version of Word had 100 commands. The 2003 version has more than 1,500 commands and 35 tool bars.