Microsoft has made a variety of major announcements for Office 365 users on the Mac. With updates rolling out today, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for the Mac are all now optimized for Apple Silicon. The apps have also been redesigned with macOS Big Sur in mind, and more.

Microsoft says users should notice major performance improvements when using the Office apps on M1 Macs. The Office apps are Universal, which means they also continue to run with the latest updates and features on Intel Macs as well.

We are excited to announce that starting today we are releasing new versions of many of our Microsoft 365 for Mac apps that run natively on Macs with M1. This means that now our core flagship Office apps—Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote—will run faster and take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs, making you even more productive on the latest MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.

Microsoft is also making a notable change to Outlook for Mac today, bringing support for iCloud accounts for the first time. This means you can now add your Apple iCloud account to Outlook and keep it alongside your other accounts. Microsoft says this feature will start rolling out today:

We continue to learn how customers want to use our products through continued feedback. So, thank you to each and every one of you who have shared your experiences with us. Today we are pleased to announce support for iCloud accounts in the new Outlook for Mac. This will enable you to organize work and personal emails, contacts, and calendars together in one app so it is easier for you to stay connected to what matters. We will start to roll this out using the new Outlook for Mac in the coming weeks.

Other changes coming to Office apps on Mac:

  • The new Outlook for Mac has been redesigned that matches the new look of macOS Big Sur
  • Update Office Start experience for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for Mac that incorporates the Fluent UI design system
  • New Tell Me search box that “quickly gets you to the Office tools you need or actions you want to take by just typing what you are looking for in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote for Mac”
  • A new dictation toolbar with voice commands for creating content with your voice is coming to Word and Outlook for Mac
  • The new Outlook for Mac will support shared calendars for customers subscribed to the Office Insider Mac Beta Channel “in the first months of next year”
  • Redesigned commenting experience in Word for Mac

You can learn more in Microsoft’s full blog post right here.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author