Microsoft Office apps already up and running on Apple's new Mac chips

Powerpoint Running On Apple silicon Mac
Powerpoint Running On Apple silicon Mac (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Office apps are already up and running natively on Apple's new Mac silicon.
  • Apple showed off Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in action during its WWDC 2020 presentation.
  • The new Apple-designed chips will start shipping in Macs later this year.

At its WWDC 2020 conference today, Apple announced that it is preparing to start shipping its own processors in Macs (opens in new tab). The move will see Apple silicon replace Intel and unite the full Apple ecosystem on one platform. That will require some work from developers to get their Mac apps transitioned to run on the new platform, but it looks like Microsoft is already among the earliest adopters.

During the segment focusing on the new chips, Apple showed off Microsoft Office apps running natively on a Mac using an Apple A12Z Bionic processor. The apps looked just like the desktop Office apps you're used to seeing today, and they ran as smooth as you could expect. Check out a demo of them in action below.

Microsoft has been in-step with big changes coming to Apple platforms in recent years. It was among the first to adopt iOS' dark mode support, for example. It's not a huge surprise to see Microsoft is early in making sure the Office apps are ready for this transition as well.

Apple says that it expects the first Mac using its own silicon to ship later this year. The full transition period, Apple estimated, will take about two years.

In other Microsoft-related news coming out of WWDC, Apple revealed that it is adding support for the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 and Xbox Adaptive Controller with tvOS 14 later this year.

For more WWDC 2020 coverage, out sister site iMore has been hard at work compiling all of the announcements and everything you need to know.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • After Apple keynote today, I am once again convinced that everything that Apple touches turns to gold and a massive success without comparison and in their own league, and everything Microsoft touches (Beam) is a total failure. Every single year since 2007. For gods sake the once arguably World's biggest OS maker surrendered and is now dependant on its biggest rival Google and its Android OS and embracing Linux kernel...
    Give it a few years and I bet Apple is preparing a gaming maching in some form and will demolish Xbox, PS and Nintendo combined. Won't even mention the rumours about Apple's AR glasses...
    And God be beside Microsoft IF Apple someday decides to go full in with Cloud and business Apple is just the better company, always has been. Inb4 Rubino writes a piece analizing the situation with Apple, casually sneaking how Microsoft was first.. like it matters, as usual
  • Let's see how this turns out. I am not fully convinced it is as easy as it sounds. When I see MATLAB, Adobe Photoshop running natively on an ARM chip (Apple or otherwise), then I know that real heavyweight productivity tools are going to be recompiled for ARM. Office has been well handled by Microsoft even on Windows on ARM, so this comes as no real surprise for Office. But give me my ADS, MATLAB, Ansys, etc. then I can safely say that ARM will truly be supported by real productivity tools. For now, I am waiting to see how it goes.
  • "...everything that Apple touches turns to gold and a massive success without comparison and in their own league... Every single year since 2007."
  • As I said, let's see how this goes. It's a different matter building a fresh system and apps from start (iOS) vs. carrying the legacy weight that are productivity tools over to a new platform. I want to see if the Apple 'magic' can truly convince heavyweight developers to dig into their legacy x64 codebase and port the software to ARM. This will be interesting.
  • "Every single year since 2007."
  • Not easy does not mean that it is not possible. It WILL take work to tweak the existing codebase for MATLAB and other tools to ARM but it can be done if the motivation is there.
  • Of course, 'everything' is possible with sufficient motivation. But the question is will it be done? Is it worth it? With x64 chips from Intel and AMD in abundance, why should they bother?? It's the same problem MS is facing with Windows on ARM.
  • Why should they bother? I just checked MATLAB's page and they offer their software on Intel Macs. However, with today's Apple ARM announcement, the company is on notice that the Intel Mac's days are over and will sooner or later have to make an ARM version of MATLAB to satisfy their Mac userbase, which will eventually migrate to the ARM Macs in the future. It will happen sooner or later.
  • Unlike Microsoft, when Apple does something, it often does right, and at the right pace. Windows on ARM is dumpster fire because it lacks commitment, and because at the same time they want to move to ARM, they can't. Also, the Neo would be a perfect fit for an ARM processor, but they chose the way of Intel instead. Apple is planning a transition. Microsoft planned the Pro X and that's it.
  • Dumpster fire? It's my main driver and works great. Ya'll keep propping up Matlab as if people care. I've never heard of and I'm an IT professional.
  • The strategy and marketing is a dumpster fire. A half-hearted effort that doesn't make sense. Their new "Pro" machine is ARM while the new consumption platform (Neo, 10X) is Intel? Makes zero sense. Whoever came up with this strategy needs to be fired tomorrow. Maybe they were already, with Panos taking over?
  • It does make sense just for niche groups.
  • Awesome. Microsoft built their whole Windows strategy around a unicorn. Great leadership!
  • Referring WOA to "Microsoft built their whole Windows strategy around a unicorn. ", trollolol
  • "When I see MATLAB, Adobe Photoshop running natively on an ARM chip" Watch the keynote. you'll see Photoshop.
  • Yeah, right. Xbox, PS, Nintendo. Maybe they should start making cars, and aircraft as well. Wow.
  • What, they might as well start their own eBay, Amazon, and Telco Carrier while at it.
  • "And God be beside Microsoft IF Apple someday decides to go full in with Cloud and business"
    Apple is certainly a class of their own that in many aspects (not all), Microsoft and Google don't succeed at matching, but that's a wholly different market, especially cloud. Microsoft has nothing to fear there from Apple and Apple won't enter that market anyway. It's simply not what they do, their business are "consumers", creators and developers.
  • He is also forgetting a fact that Apple's Os is only for their hardware, while MSFT and Alphabet OS are for All OEMs.
  • I am not forgetting that at all, it's just not relevant to what I said.
  • That's why I emphasized the IF. It's a hypothetical situation that IF anytime happens Microsoft are f***ed
  • Well, yeah, and I said that even if Apple were to enter that market, Microsoft wouldn't be f***ed as you say.
  • But I can give you like thousand of examples from history when Apple enters a new business (and usually they throw everything in and are gosh darn serious) and demolish everyone already there including Microsoft. Your argument is based on what stat? History is not on your side, and history has repeated itself every single time...
  • You forgot Apple would have gone bankrupt at a time if MS didn't save their asses? ^.^
  • What's up with your aggressive rhetoric? Companies are f**cked, demolished... Not to mention this isn't true, what have Apple Music, TV or TV+ demolished?
    Not all arguments are about statistics. By your argument, Apple would "demolish" everyone in the actual apple market through the power of past statistic and by virtue of them being Apple, and I hope we can agree that's obviously nonsense. And why, because it's a completely different market and business than what they're strong at. The same applies (to a lesser extent, of course), to the cloud business. Which isn't to say they couldn't somehow gain a foothold there, but what is there to indicate in any way that they would (besides your "statistic", which I just addressed)? Apple is a very successful company full of bright people, money and a passionate userbase. This does not mean they're gods. It also doesn't mean their userbase would care about every product they could launch. By the way, did you know about macOS Server?
  • He and bleach (and probably some others) are either clearly trolls or Apple fanboys or such. They always praise iOS and/or Android for being perfect, never mentioning the faults of those OS's.
  • Really? Like what? What Apple product has come in and destroyed something MS was doing. I can name a few things MS jumped into (late) and couldn't compete. Apple hasn't taken over the cell phone market, the personal PC market, the fitness wearable market, the streaming media market, the streaming media box market, the earphone/headphone market, the personal assistant/speaker market. They have pretty much taken over the making money market.
  • The good takeaway is that with Photoshop and other Adobe apps coming to ARM macs, it will probably mean it is more likely they will come to Windows on ARM as well (or at least I'd hope so).
  • Windows on ARM is a joke that sadly nobody even considers funny and always has been
  • And why is it a joke? It works great, except of course for the native ARM apps we are all 'waiting' for. I'm really interested in seeing the 'magic' Apple works with devs of legacy tools. If they simply sit on the virtualization option, then it is no better than the x86 emulation on WoA.
  • Windows on ARM will be discontinued within 2 years. Makes no sense to use ARM on full Windows while transitioning to 10X or whatever they end up canceling 10X for. Windows on ARM only brings limitations, very few, if any, benefits.
  • It is unbelievable what Apple does with ALL their OSes every year. Very useful feature upgrade and amazing looking OSes. While we here on Windows 10 in the last year got a less disruptive update experience (that's not even a feature), search in file manager that's broken, stupid kaomojis, can rename desktops (wow...), and have had Cortana scaled back. WTF Microsoft. The only thing keeping me with Windows is the touch and inking capabilities on all the devices.
  • If that's the only thing, jump already man
  • Gotta second that. Jump. Apple has touch and ink where it makes sense, across a cohesive stable of devices.
  • Is Office even available natively to Windows on ARM. It's sad that I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't.
  • Yes, it has been since Windows RT in October 2012. A simple Google search on Bing would have told you this.
  • Why would he bother to know when it is easy to bash MSFT
  • See the comment below. You don't get full office on ARM.
  • Calling it no "full office" is misleading, it just the difference between 32 bit and 64 bit which many won't notice (especially not on an ARM ultrabook which generally have 4 to 8 gb amount of ram).
  • Well, it is easy to bash on Microsoft...
  • Yes it is. However, Office for Windows on ARM is limited to 32-bit execution only, which means it's technically more limited than Office on a Surface Go (32-bit execution limits the size of documents and precision in Access and Excel). Since Office for Mac has always been more limited than Office on Windows, I wouldn't be surprised if Office for ARM-based Macs is fully-featured compared to Office on Intel-based Macs. Also, given that all Mac apps must be 64-bit, I wouldn't be surprised if Office on ARM-based Macs doesn't have the same limitations as Office on WoA devices.
  • One of the main differences between the two companies is the legacy culture. Perhaps because a good portion of its business is enterprise based, Microsoft is overly concerned in keeping legacy software operational. Apple couldn't care less. If you don't commit to keep legacy software working, the path is much easier and the resulting products will be much more efficient. I look forward to see what ARM based Macs and Windows PC can go further on.
  • Thanks to someone who understands the deferring business models.
  • I understand it perfectly too. But these business models, that translate in money, are matter of choice of each company. So one makes better choices and in result is a better company.
  • What do you mean, both companies make a similarly amount of profit? So according to your words they both make good choices.
  • Yet Apple have bigger pile of cash than Microsoft, so no they don't make a similarly amount of profit.
  • Apple has always traded at a lower PE than MSFT. I believe this is the result of the closed system. Apple gets a bunch of its cash from hardware sales. MSFT gets the bulk of its cash from subscriptions. Two different business models. However, if you are buying a new apple device every three years the reality is the cash flow is similar to MSFT subscriptions. So why the PE differential? Perceived risk to the ecosystem.
  • <comment inserted in wrong place>
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  • Love the zealotry in the comments here. The best business model ever is a cult. Anyway, Office already runs on W10 on ARM, so ... why is this surprising? <I give up, no idea why the comment is a reply>
  • It does not show as a reply here. (Firefox)
  • So if Microsoft Office can run on the new Mac chips, does that mean Office will come pre-installed on every Mac? If not, how would you purchase Office and install it on a chip so it can run natively?
  • The same way you have always purchased and installed software?
  • FYI! Say Goodbye to Bootcamp on Arm based Macs!!! The only way to get Windows 10 on an Arm-based PC is by buying a Windows 10 on Arm PC....which, means Snapdragon. Microsoft doesn't distribute Windows 10 on Arm separately. For now, if you want to dual-boot Windows on a Mac, users will need to stick with an Intel-based Mac