Microsoft today announced the release of updated Office apps for Mac. The November 2020 release (build 16.43) includes optimizations for macOS Big Sur, which supports Apple Silicon.
Microsoft is not delivering native Office apps for Apple Silicon-based macOS devices. Instead, Microsoft will make use of the Rosetta 2 feature that allows Apple Silicon processors to run apps that are compiled for the Intel chipset through software technology. As a result, end-users and business customers can use existing methods to install and deploy Office. Also, there are no feature differences. Due to Rosetta 2 translation, the startup performance of these apps will not be good when compared to Intel apps.
The first launch of each Office app will take longer as the operating system has to generate optimized code for the Apple Silicon processor. Users will notice that the apps ‘bounce’ in the dock for approximately 20 seconds while this process completes. Subsequent app launches will be fast.