Microsoft on Wednesday issued a preview of Office for the Mac that will run natively on Apple’s upcoming ARM-based laptops.
The Redmond, Wash. company also modified its Intel-based macOS Office applications so that they run on Apple’s newest, Big Sur, and have been optimized for translation by Rosetta 2 — the built-in technology that makes it possible to run older software on the ARM silicon inside the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.
In effect, Microsoft now has two lines of Office for the Mac.
The latest, a Universal App iteration of Office, was released to the Beta channel of Office Insider, Microsoft’s preview program, on Nov. 11, according to Erik Schwiebert, a principal software engineer for Apple products at Microsoft. A Universal App is one with binaries that run on Intel-based and Apple Silicon Mac hardware.