Microsoft Office arrives on Apple Silicon Macs

A mouse hovering over the Microsoft Word icon on macOS

Microsoft has announced that it is updating its Office productivity suite to run natively on Macs powered by Apple’s new Arm-based M1 processor.

In a statement, the firm said its core flagship Office apps - Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote –- will run “faster and take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs”.

Notable by its absence from this line up is Microsoft Teams, although the communications app will it work in Rosetta emulation mode on Apple Silicon-powered Macs.

The updates will be universal, which means that Office will be able to run both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. The apps have also had a bit of a facelift to match the look of macOS Big Sur.

“We are working on universal app support for M1 Macs and will share more news as our work progresses,” said Microsoft.

Mac users who have automatic updates turned on will start to receive these updates now. Everyone else can go to the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab.

Outlook users not only get support for M1-based Macs, but now have added support for iCloud accounts, so they can bring together work and personal emails, contacts, and calendars together in one app. The new Outlook for Mac will also support shared calendars for customers subscribed to the Office Insider Mac Beta Channel in the first months of next year.

Microsoft also announced it will finally be bringing Microsoft Editor in Word for Mac. It plans to make these updates available to customers with access to Microsoft 365 for Insiders in early 2021.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.