I’ve been using the free, ad-enabled version of Word for editing since my old laptop crashed a few years ago, and only upgraded to the latest version of Office this week. I thought the flat, square-cornered design of the new windows and menu bar was peculiar and distracting, but then I started actually writing things with Word.
I figured it out: They have, basically, animated the cursor movement so it duplicates the action of an old-style text-only terminal from forty years ago. They’ve put in a small delay, and mimicked the way old phosphor-based cathode ray tubes would have an afterimage that lingers on the screen. In fact, quite literally, if you hit return at the end of an almost-full line, you can watch the cursor zoom backwards across the screen. When you scroll a page up or down, you actually watch the “page” moving. With normal (fast) touch typing, it makes the cursor move more smoothly across the screen, revealing one letter after another. The previous version just deleted the cursor in one place and made it reappear in another. There was no movement that you could see. The effect now is like what you would see in a 1980s movie when output from a slow dial-up connection would appear, byte by byte, in glowing green or amber letters, while the characters and moviegoers watched.
It’s an interesting choice, and I’m sure that I’ll get used to it sooner or later.