With Windows 11 coming next autumn, the Office suite will also get a new coat of paint. The first pre-release version can now be tried out. In addition, Office comes as a native 64-bit ARM version, but add-ons still work.
Till now Office has been available as a partially native version for Windows on ARM, although this name is quite euphemistic. Office predominantly runs under Windows on ARM in the x86 emulation to ensure compatibility with add-ons that would otherwise not work. A native version would have had more disadvantages than advantages so far.
Office for Windows on ARM
That changes with “ARM64EC” for Windows on ARM. The EC stands for “Emulation Compatible”. Now an application can be developed and compiled natively for Windows on ARM, but if there are components that rely on the x86 platform, then these can be integrated. In the case of Microsoft Office, the result is a native ARM application that makes optimal use of the performance and energy efficiency of the platform, but still allows the execution of add-ons that are based on x86 without exception.
Now if you want to try out the native ARM Office, you have to install the Insider version of Windows 11 on an ARM device, remove Office and install the latest Click and Run version and then join the Office Insider program. More information here: 64-Bit Office for Windows on ARM.
It easy if you want to test the new design of Office. In Windows 10, you just have to be an Office Insider and receive updates from the beta channel (it’s very easy: Click on File / Office Account in an Office application and follow the instructions under “Office Insider” ).
At first glance, it is a modernization and not a large-scale renovation. The Office programs should look more modern and tidy, but at the same time look familiar. Above all, the latter worked for me straight away, I didn’t even notice the new look at first glance.
Note: After issues with various bugs Microsoft withdrew this update on Windows.