Microsoft readies Office for Big Sur, M1-based Macs

Microsoft readies Office for Big Sur, M1-based Macs

One day after Apple unveiled new computers that run on Apple-designed silicon, Microsoft issued a preview of Office for the Mac that will run natively on the new hardware

Credit: Apple

Microsoft has issued a preview of Office for the Mac that will run natively on Apple's upcoming ARM-based laptops.

Redmond also modified its Intel-based macOS Office applications so that they run on Apple's newest, Big Sur, and have been optimised for translation by Rosetta 2 — the built-in technology that makes it possible to run older software on the ARM silicon inside the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.

In effect, Microsoft now has two lines of Office for the Mac.

The latest, a Universal App iteration of Office, was released to the Beta channel of Office Insider, Microsoft's preview program, on November 11, according to Erik Schwiebert, a principal software engineer for Apple products at Microsoft. A Universal App is one with binaries that run on Intel-based and Apple Silicon Mac hardware.

On Tuesday, Apple unveiled three Mac models powered by its own ARM-based silicon, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) dubbed M1. While those machines — configurations of the MacBook Air, the 13-in. MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini — can be ordered now, they are to be delivered to buyers in a few days and reach retail on November 17.

Users must have an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 account to join Office Insider, and thus experiment with the Beta of the Office Universal App. Instructions on installing the Beta are available here.

Also this month, Microsoft updated the Office applications — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive — to include "the latest optimisations for macOS Big Sur, which is the first operating system to support Apple Silicon."

On M1-powered systems, Big Sur — aka macOS 11 — relies on Rosetta 2 to run existing Intel-based applications. Rosetta does this by translating Intel-based code into code that runs on the M1 SoC. Rather than do that in real time, again and again each time the application is launched, Rosetta 2 can do the translation once, prior to the first time the app is run on Apple silicon, then stores the translated code for subsequent use.

"The first launch of each Office app will take longer as the operating system has to generate optimised code for the Apple Silicon processor," a Microsoft support document said. "Users will notice that the apps 'bounce' in the dock for approximately 20 seconds while this process completes. Subsequent app launches will be fast."

Office's applications were optimised for Rosetta 2 with the 16.43 update, which was released November 10.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftAppleofficeMac



How MSPs can capitalise on integrating AI into existing services

How MSPs can capitalise on integrating AI into existing services

​Given the pace of change, scale of digitalisation and evolution of generative AI, partners must get ahead of the trends to capture the best use of innovative AI solutions to develop new service opportunities. For MSPs, integrating AI capabilities into existing service portfolios can unlock enhancements in key areas including managed hosting, cloud computing and data centre management. This exclusive Reseller News roundtable in association with rhipe, a Crayon company and VMware, focused on how partners can integrate generative AI solutions into existing service offerings and unlocking new revenue streams.

How MSPs can capitalise on integrating AI into existing services
Access4 holds inaugural A/NZ Annual Conference

Access4 holds inaugural A/NZ Annual Conference

​Access4 held its inaugural Annual Conference in Port Douglass, Queensland, for Australia and New Zealand from 9-11 October, hosting partners from across the region with presentations on Access4 product updates, its 2023 Partner of the Year awards and more.

Access4 holds inaugural A/NZ Annual Conference
Show Comments