Microsoft starts rolling out native Microsoft 365 for Mac apps for Macs with M1

Microsoft's new 'Universal' Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps for Mac will work on both Apple's M1 Arm silicon and Intel processors.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is beginning to roll out today, December 15, new versions of many of its Microsoft 365 for Mac apps that are able to run natively on Macs with M1 Arm processors. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will work faster and better on the new Macs, officials said, while also continuing to run "great" on Macs with Intel processors.

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

Last month, Microsoft made its core Microsoft 365 and Office 209 apps available for Mac devices with M1 via the Rosetta 2 translation layer that is automatically enabled in macOS Big Sur. At that time, Microsoft execs noted they'd already started moving the Mac apps to universal binaries, thus natively supporting both Apple's new Arm silicon and Intel chipsets with the same executable.

Microsoft officials also said today that the new Outlook for Mac experience, with an updated Office Start experience for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for Mac, is now available. This new look and feel uses the Microsoft Fluent UI design system, officials said. Support for iCloud accounts is available in the new Outlook for Mac, enabling uses to bring together work and personal emails, contacts and calendars into a single app. The iCloud account support will be rolling out via the new Outlook for Mac over the coming weeks.

Mac users also are getting new collaboration capabilities, including shared calendars and a new commenting experience for Word for Mac. And there are also new tools, like the dictation toolbar with voice commands coming for Word and Outlook for Mac.

Microsoft officials said Mac users with automatic updates turned on will start getting these updates today. Otherwise, users can go to the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab or use Microsoft AutoUpdate to check for updates.