Microsoft Office Updated for Apple Silicon M1 Chip

Did you know that Microsoft finally updated Office to support the Apple Silicon M1 chip natively ? Neither did anyone else !!! Office is still crap. And they did not update Teams. But it's somethin' at least.

Did you know that Microsoft finally updated Office to support the Apple Silicon M1 chip natively ? Neither did I, cause they kept it really quiet. No one noticed. Probably embarrassed that it took them so long.

Finally !!!!

Microsoft FINALLY got their act in gear and shipped Office support (sort of – not all apps) for Apple Silicon. It has been over 1 year and 2 months since the first Apple Silicon Mac shipped. That was the M1 MacBook Air that shipped in Nov 2020. And it has been 1 year and 7 months since Apple officially announced Apple Silicon at Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).  That WWDC was in June 2020 and Apple shipped developers test hardware in the summer.

And anyone paying attention knew that it was coming for years and years. Check out This Was Inevitable in my article Apple Silicon Macs Are About More Than Just Better Performance.

Did Anyone Notice ?

Not really, no.

Microsoft had just a teeny tiny note about referring to it in the January 13, 2022 section of their Release notes for Office for Mac that only says this:

Excel is fully supported on devices with Apple Silicon CPUs: Power Query in Excel for Mac is now natively supported on Apple Silicon processors. If you previously used Rosetta emulator to run Excel, you may now disable it and run Excel natively on your devices.

Microsoft, January 13, 2022 section of their Release notes for Office for Mac

There is ZERO other references to supporting Apple Silicon natively.

Perhaps Microsoft is embarrassed it took so long.

Yet I didn’t realize until MacRumors noticed it 5 DAYS after Microsoft released the updates and I read MacRumors January 18th article, Microsoft Releases Office for Mac Update With Full Apple Silicon Support in Excel. FYI: It’s more than just Excel.

And…. So What ?

I am forced to use Microsoft Office every day – sadly and very unfortunately. And the Microsoft AutoUpdate app installed the updates on January 13, and I didn’t notice. Most apps gain a significant and very noticeable performance improvement. Later on when I looked closely, I could notice tiny performance improvements. But nothing like other apps. Perhaps this is due to the crap technology and ancient code buried deep in all of the older Office apps.

I’m glad they finally updated, but it does not fix Office’s real problems. Microsoft’s problems, really. Just really awful User eXperience (UX) design. Microsoft went astray and down the road of UX ruin many many years ago, when they move to the ribbon UX. Eventually eliminating menu bars entirely in Office apps and Windows, and replacing them ribbons. Ribbons !!! The bane of existence of every person that cares about product and UX design. Hell, if you are forced to use Microsoft Office apps, the biggest and best reason to switch from Windows to macOS is that on macOS Office must also have menus. It still has the crap ribbons, but at least you get your menus back on macOS.

Ribbons aren’t all of it. There is so so much wrong, bad and awful about the UX in Microsoft Office apps, and Windows. So don’t get me started…

But Not Teams

But Microsoft Teams still does not have native support for Apple Silicon. It is still only compiled for Intel, and therefore requires Rosetta to run. I did not think it was possible to have a worse app than the other Office apps, but Teams is much worse. And Teams is much slower, thanks to the crap technology Microsoft built it with – Electron which uses Chromium. Google technology. The same crap that Microsoft’s Edge and Google’s Chrome web browsers are built with.

Teams is designed to use modern web technology. To achieve this, the Teams desktop client was developed on Electron, which uses Chromium for rendering. This is the same rendering engine behind many of today’s most popular browsers, including Edge and Chrome.

Microsoft, How Microsoft Teams uses memory

Saying Teams uses “modern web technology” is a euphemism that really means crap technology that is slow, massive inefficient, sucks up tons of memory and has a garbage User eXperience (UX) design. Most of that also applies to Microsoft Office, so Teams fits right in.

BTW, the answer to the title of that Microsoft article How Microsoft Teams uses memory is – very poorly. Just like every other Electron app.

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