If you’re using Microsoft Office on a new Mac with an Apple M1 chip, you’ll be happy to hear that your user experience is about to improve. Microsoft is announcing an update to Office 365 that brings native support for Apple’s new custom chip architecture. The applications affected by these updates are Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. However, Teams is missing from the list.
Of course, Office 365 already works on Apple Silicon Macs, although this was done by emulation. Apple’s Rosetta 2 allows third-party software that is not yet updated with support for its ARM-based chips to run on macOS Big Sur, but without necessarily taking advantage of its peak performance – or, in fact, allow a longer autonomy.
The updates make apps universal, which means these versions will work on Macs with an Intel or Apple Silicon chip, so any upcoming updates or features will arrive at the same time for both platforms.
If you are a heavy user of Teams, you might be disappointed to learn that it was not included in today’s update rollout. Microsoft promises to work on this platform in its blog, but the company has not announced a timetable. Until then, Microsoft’s main communications competitor, Slack, has native support available in a public beta. It looks like you’ll have to stick with the emulated version for now if your team is using Teams.
Office users with Automatic Updates turned on should have the new versions available today, and anyone can update them from the Mac App Store or Microsoft AutoUpdate software (depending on whether you have downloaded Office from the App Store or directly from Microsoft). Outlook users will not only get native support for the Apple Silicon chip, but also support for iCloud accounts, which will allow them to sync their emails, contacts, and calendars with the app. if they use Apple’s service to store them.
A new style to align with macOS Big Sur
Obviously, as said above, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft’s job is done. The company is currently working on a version of Teams, its collaboration app, with native support for Apple Silicon Macs. “Microsoft Teams is currently available in Rosetta emulation mode on Macs with a chip,” confirms Bill Doll, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft 365. “We are working on universal app support for Macs M1 and will share other news as our work progresses”.