Microsoft Office to support ARM64 platform with Windows 11. Microsoft recently announced the next version of its operating system, Windows 11. The redesigned Windows introduced many new features such as support for Android apps with Amazon Appstore. Native apps are likely to be more efficient and deliver better performance than emulation.
In a blog post, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office will support the ARM64 platform with the recently announced next version of Windows. Microsoft partnered with Qualcomm to develop windows and ARM developer PC in May earlier this year for developers. The aim was to encourage developers to create ARM64 apps for Snapdragon-based PCs. Microsoft’s Surface Pro X laptops run on a custom Microsoft® SQ1™ processor, developed in partnership with Qualcomm. The goal was to maximize performance, productivity, connectivity, and battery life with a revolutionary, ultra-thin design. On these devices, Microsoft used a translator to run x86 64-bit apps on arm devices.
As per Microsoft, the new version of Office is tailored to the upcoming Windows on ARM operating system. It has been recompiled for the ARM architecture in order to run faster, have more memory available, support huge documents better, and keep compatibility with existing 64-bit add-ins using Windows’ new x64 emulation feature. The new version is currently offered as a beta through its Office Insider program.
How to try the new office version:
You’ll need to do the following to try out the 64-bit version of Office for Windows on ARM:
- Make sure you’re using a Windows device with an ARM processor.
- To check, in the Windows search box, type Settings, and then click System > About. In the Device Specifications section, check the System type and note whether the entry includes the words “ARM-based processor.”
- A Windows 11 Insider Preview build must be installed.
- Learn more about how to get and install Windows 11 Insider Preview builds.
- Uninstall any 32-bit versions of Office, if currently installed.
- Install Office using a most recent copy of the installer from office.com.
- Join the Office Insider program and update to the current Beta channel build. For more information about installation and deployment options, check out these resources:
- How to join the Office Insider program.
- If you are an IT Admin, learn how to deploy Office Insider builds in your organization.
The Office installer will automatically install ARM-optimized versions of Office programs when installing a 64-bit version of Office on ARM hardware running the current Windows Insiders release. Office for ARM will feel and behave just like Office on Intel-compatible CPUs, from installation to use.
Open Task Manager and look at the architecture of the Office programs to see if you’re running an ARM-optimized version of Office. Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word are among the ARM64-enabled programs already available. Other applications will run on X64 emulation mode.
Office Insiders operating Beta Channel Version 2106 have access to this feature (Build 14217.20002). While the next version of Windows is still in Insiders, Microsoft will continue to make improvements.
Visual Updates to Microsoft Office
Microsoft is also announced a Visual change to Microsoft Office desktop apps for Windows 10 and Windows 11. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio will be getting these design changes.
Visual refresh will be automatically available to any Office Insiders running Beta Channel builds. It can easily be turned off using the Coming Soon feature, located in the top right corner of the menu. In Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote, simply click the megaphone icon to open the Coming Soon pane, read more about the visual refresh changes, and use the toggle to move between the new and current interface, and apply the setting to all the Office apps.
This visual refresh will be available to Beta Channel users running build Version 2107 Build 14228.20000 or later on Windows 11 or Windows 10.