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Office on M1 Macs: Microsoft provides another great reason to upgrade

If you’re waiting on Microsoft to update its Office productivity suite before jumping on a new M1-powered Apple Mac, then get your credit card at the ready.

Microsoft has announced the likes of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and One Note are now fully compatible with the new computers running the new Apple Silicon processors.

The update, which doesn’t include Teams as yet, gives the apps universal status, which means they’ll run natively on both Intel and M1 Macs without the need for visualisation software.

“This means that now our core flagship Office apps—Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote—will run faster and take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs, making you even more productive on the latest MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The new Office apps are Universal, so they will continue to run great on Macs with Intel processors,” Microsoft writes in a blog post.

In another bonus for all Mac users, Microsoft says the update also delivers a visual update to play nice with the aesthetic of the new macOS 11 Big Sur operating system, with a new Office Start experience.

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Microsoft adds: “Experiences that feel both unmistakably Microsoft 365 and include elements that are native to the look of macOS so they are also unmistakably made for Mac.”

Apple launched its first products running the so-called Apple Silicon architecture in November, with the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini the first to get the refresh. The company plans to kit its entire computing line out with homemade processors by the end of 2022. It’s unclear right now whether Apple plans to launch more Macs with Intel processors, or whether we’ve seen the last of them.

Right now, early adopters are experiencing serious speed benefits, access to native iOS apps on the desktop and improvements in battery life. Now more and more apps are supporting the platform, there are few barriers to upgrade.