Office apps have been redesigned to run natively on Apple’s new M1 chip.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is rolling out new versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for Macs powered by Apple’s new M1 chip.

The new Microsoft 365 for Mac Apps have been designed to run natively on the ARM-based M1 chip, which underpins Apple’s latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini devices.

SEE: Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini (TechRepublic)

The redesigned versions of Microsoft’s core Office productivity apps have been designed to “take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs” – meaning they’ll run faster – and have also been “redesigned to match the new look of macOS Big Sur,” Microsoft said.

Additions include support for iCloud accounts in the new Outlook for Mac, as well as a new dictation toolbar that will be soon be coming to both Outlook and Word for Mac.

The new updates began rolling out yesterday (December 15) and users who have automatic updates turned on should receive the new versions of the apps automatically. Failing that, users can check for updates via the Mac App Store.

The new Office apps are Universal, meaning they’ll still run well on Mac devices sporting Intel processors.

SEE: How Apple users can make the most of Microsoft 365 at work (TechRepublic Premium)

Previous versions of Microsoft 365 apps for Mac are emulated via Rosetta, a translation layer built into Big Sur that allows M1-based Macs to run apps built for older Intel chips.

For the time being, Microsoft Teams is exempt from the redesign treatment, though Bill Doll, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft 365, suggested that an updated version for M1 devices was in the works.

Doll said in a blog post: “Microsoft Teams is currently available in Rosetta emulation mode on Macs with M1 and the browser. We are working on universal app support for M1 Macs and will share more news as our work progresses.”