Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 updates arrive with Apple Silicon and Big Sur support

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The latest Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 updates make the productivity suite fully compatible with macOS Big Sur and Apple Silicon — but it is not native code for the M1 processor.

The latest release of Microsoft's Office suite of apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive can be installed on devices that are based on the Apple Silicon architecture. For the best experience, install the November 2020 build 16.43, or newer.

Beyond Apple Silicon compatibility, the new release includes the "latest optimizations for macOS Big Sur" which is expected to be made available on Thursday afternoon.

Microsoft says that the Apple Silicon updates have feature parity with the previous versions. It also says that the first launch of each Office app will take a bit longer, as macOS is generating optimized code for the Apple Silicon processor — confirming that the code isn't native to Apple Silicon, and is relying on Rosetta 2 for operation.

There does not appear to be any discrete download at this time. The new updates are available through the Microsoft Update utility in macOS.

A Microsoft 365 subscription comes in business, personal and family versions. The business version costs from $5 per month per user, and the personal edition is $6.99 per month.

Microsoft recently announced that it was officially ending support for Office 2016 for Mac on October 13, 2020. Apple Silicon compatibility in Office 2016 is questionable.