Microsoft 365 apps are coming to Apple M1 Macs

Windows on Apple M1
(Image credit: Microsoft/Apple)

Microsoft has begun rolling out new versions of its Office productivity apps that work natively with Apple’s new ARM-based M1 chip. The chip has taken over the world by storm and powers the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini.

Tagged as Microsoft 365 for Mac Apps, the redesigned versions of the apps are built as Universal apps, meaning they're built to run on various architectures.

This means that unlike last month’s release of these Microsoft apps that ran on the M1-powered machines thanks to the Rosetta 2 translation technology, these new editions don’t require such translation and should perform much faster than the earlier incarnation.

Native apps

Specifically, the apps that Microsoft has ported to the new M1 are Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. 

In a blog post announcing the release, Bill Doll, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft 365 says the apps “will run faster and take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs.”

Image of the new native Outlook app for Apple's M1

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Doll also notes that it has also redesigned the apps “to match the new look of macOS Big Sur.” In addition to the visual upgrade, some of the apps also sport new features. For instance, you can now add iCloud accounts in Outlook for Mac.

Since these new apps are built as Universal apps, they’ll also run on the older Macs with Intel processors, without any issues.

However, the communication app Teams is conspicuous by its absence in the new portfolio. Microsoft claims the native version of the app is a work-in-progress, though you can use the previous Rosetta-based version in the meantime.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.