Microsoft has just released native versions of core Office applications for Apple’s new portable computers with M1 processors, based on ARM technology.
This suite of applications is now called Microsoft 365 for Mac Apps and includes Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word, which have been updated to work natively on the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini hardware, based on the new processor M1 developed by Apple, without the need to use the x86 processor compatibility system, which is included in the new Big Sur operating system.
On models using the new M1 processor, the operating system, called Big Sur, uses Rosetta 2 technology to run applications that have been designed for Intel processors, which Apple has used so far.
This technology translates the x86 code of the old applications, so that it can be used in the new processor, as soon as one of these applications is launched for the first time. Then, save the translated code for use when the application is used again. On the other hand, native applications do not need to go through this process and are therefore activated much more quickly. The use of native applications for the M1 also limits the possibility of possible compatibility problems.
To simplify the lives of users, those responsible for publishing software for Mac can distribute applications that include both x86 code and native code for M1 in a single file called “Universal App”.
This process is not new, Rosetta technology was first launched in 2006 with the Mac OS X Tiger, to allow applications made for PowerPC processors to run on computers with Intel processors that Apple had started using at the time.
Microsoft 365 users who have automatic league updates will start receiving applications for M1 soon. Alternatively, users can access the app store to force the update.