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As Apple’s new ARM-powered Macs prepare to arrive, a big question facing the products is which third-party apps will be able to run natively on the hardware.
The good news is that Microsoft is working to make Office 2019 compatible with the new Macs on day one. The company is releasing a beta of the software build later today, according to Microsoft engineer Erik Schwiebert.
“We don’t have a public date or version for a final release; this is an initial peek for customers to test on hardware they may be acquiring this week,” he wrote in a tweet.
Programs that can run natively on the new ARM-based Macs are officially being called “Universal apps.” And according to Apple, every app that normally comes with Mac is already optimized for the ARM architecture, ensuring the programs run smoothly.
The Universal apps will be available for download over Apple’s App Store. However, not every major third-party software title will be able to run natively on the new Macs on day one. Adobe, for example, plans on releasing the Universal version of Photoshop early next year.
Fortunately, Microsoft has been quick to bring Office 2019 support to the new Macs, which go on sale next week. The company is releasing the beta through the Office beta channel.
In the event you want to run Mac apps originally designed for Intel’s silicon, Apple has created Rosetta 2, which can translate the computer code to run over the ARM architecture. But it’s possible the performance may be sluggish. On the plus side, the new ARM-based Macs can natively run iPhone and iPad apps for the first time.
Stay tuned for our reviews when we can put the new Macs to the test.
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