Microsoft announced today that it will release a new Universal build of its Mac Office 2019 beta today which includes support for Apple Silicon. While the latest Office 365 app updates are updated to work with macOS Big Sur and Apple Silicon via Rosetta 2. Apple initiated its transition away from using Intel chips in its desktops and notebooks with the first M1-powered Macs, announced during its ‘One more thing’ event a few days ago.
The latest release of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of apps includes Outlook, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Excel, and Word which can all be installed on devices that are based on the Apple Silicon architecture. For a flawless experience, it is highly recommended to install the November 2020 build 16.43 or newer.
Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 support macOS Big Sur and Apple Silicon
Apple Silicon Macs will arrive to customers starting November 17 with the new Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Since the M1-based Macs are going to be able to run x86 code which is written for Intel Macs, the process will involve the translation software Rosetta 2, to translate it to ARM code which is compatible with the M1. The translation will not happen in real-time, and x86 apps will require around 20 seconds on launch to complete the translation process.
Microsoft’s principal software engineer for Apple products, Erik Schwiebert tweeted today that a Universal build for Mac Office 2019 beta will arrive later today with native support for Apple Silicon.
MSFT plans to push a Universal build of Mac Office 2019 to the Beta Channel (formerly “Insider Fast”) by the end of today. We don’t have a public date or version for a final release; this is an initial peek for customers to test on hardware they may be acquiring this week… :)
When it comes to critical apps, many users will want to know if there is official support for Apple Silicon. While in some cases x86 apps run on Apple Silicon through Rosetta 2, better than they do natively on Intel Macs, that will not always be the case, says Apple.
According to Microsoft, the first launch of each Office app will take somewhat longer because macOS is generating optimized code for Apple Silicon processor – providing confirmation that the code is not native to Apple Silicon and relies on Rosetta 2 for further operation. The company also says that the Apple Silicon updates will have feature parity with the previous versions.
Microsoft 365 subscriptions are available in business, family, and personal tiers. The personal edition costs $6.99 per month and the business version starts from $5 per month per user.
Note that Apple Silicon compatibility is questionable in Office 2016 because Microsoft announced last month that it was officially ending support for Office 2016 for Mac.
If someone is interested to join the Mac Office 2019 Beta Channel, you can check Microsoft’s website here.