MC252056 – Updated May 13, 2021: Microsoft has updated the content below for additional clarity. Thank you for your feedback.
The new version of the Office App for Windows has improved performance, reliability, and includes the ability to open multiple instances of the app.
This update is specifically for the Office app on Windows and does not impact individual applications within the Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc). This update contains an update to the app header, and users can now open more than one app window at a time. Performance updates include efficiency improvements, like faster app loading time. This update should not impact the end user experience.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70811.
When this will happen
Microsoft will begin rolling this out in early June and expect to complete rollout by late June 2021.
How this will affect your organization
Users may notice faster and more reliable app performance when using this new Office App for Desktop update. In addition, they will see a new, cleaner app header and be able to open more than one app window at a time.
Users without WIN32 installed will be able to view files directly in the Office App for Desktop, and be able to compare documents using additional app windows.
What you need to do to prepare
You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.