Microsoft “excels” at Apple ARM support in new Office preview build

Microsoft Excels at ARM rect

At WWDC this year, Apple made a statement to the world that it was going to transition from Intel processing to it’s own silicon for it’s full Mac lineup and they also promised that their first ARM Mac would be delivered by years-end…and it seems like that time is now.

Yesterday, Apple announced their “One more thing” event to take place on November 10th, and in typical Apple fashion, they included an Easter egg in the AR experience within the invitation. If you head over to the Apple Events webpage on your iPhone or iPad, it will bring up the AR Easter egg many are speculating to be the opening of a MacBook, and it seems that Microsoft is all-in on that idea.

Today, Microsoft shipped an updated Office preview build for Excel and Powerpoint with new framework designed to support Apple ARM processors. Below are the release notes for this Office Insider Ring update:


  • Introducing the Watch Window: Keep an eye on Cells across multiple sheets and books in the convenience of a single pane or window. When cells are not in view, you can watch those cells and their formulas in the Watch Window toolbar. The Watch Window makes it convenient to inspect, audit, or confirm formula calculations and results in large worksheets. By using the Watch Window, you don’t need to repeatedly scroll or go to different parts of your worksheet.
  • SQL ODBC support for Apple ARM: The built-in SQL Server ODBC data connection provider will now support the new Apple Silicon devices as well as the TLS v1.2 communication protocol. This feature provides support for SQL Server ODBC data connections to work properly on new devices that have Apple Silicon processors, as well as support for SQL Servers that require secure connections via the TLS v1.2 protocol.


  • Present your slide show in a windowed experience: Reading View lets you multitask and gives you access to other applications while you present. It lets you see and present your slide show in a windowed experience. You can use this feature for your next presentation.

Currently, this update is only available to macOS users enrolled in the Insider Slow Ring and is currently rolling out as version 16.43 (build 20110105).

At Tuesday’s “One More Thing”, we are currently expecting a new 13″ MacBook Air and also a new 13″ MacBook Pro. There is also a 16″ MacBook Pro in production, but the smaller models are farther ahead in production so the 16″ MacBook Pro may not be previewed at the event according to people familiar with the matter, as reported by Mark Gurman here.

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In 2006, with his first ever Apple purchase of an iPod Nano, sparked his curiosity and love for the revolutionary company. Flash forward 14 years, Zach is a 27 year old Ohio native who traveled across country to live in Sin City where he is an active Apple enthusiast and tech connoisseur. It is his passion to know and learn everything Apple and be part of the lifestyle that is to think different. With the eye for design, the passion for writing, and the knowledge of all that is Apple - he is making his mark on all that is possible.