Microsoft introduces Apple Silicon support in beta build of Excel for Mac

Posted:
in General Discussion
Microsoft has updated a beta build of Office for Mac to support upcoming but unreleased Apple Silicon devices.

Credit: Microsoft
Credit: Microsoft


Although Apple has yet to release a consumer-facing Apple Silicon device, the company is expected to debut new models with first-party processors at its Nov. 10 "One more thing" event.

Ahead of that date, Microsoft appears to be introducing some Apple Silicon-compatible features in its Office Insider beta testing program. A new build released on Nov. 2 contains support for Apple-designed processors for SQL Server connectivity settings.

More specifically, the built-in SQL Open Data Connectivity (ODBC) provider in Excel for Mac now supports Apple Silicon devices. Microsoft also added support for 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," Microsoft wrote in its release notes.

The Excel feature is one that allows users to access data from SQL server databases using baked-in ODBC drivers. Since the feature is in beta testing, it may be a while before it arrives on Apple Silicon devices.

Apple's first Macs with its own processors are rumored to be a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, and a 13-inch MacBook Air.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Well, that solves any questions I might have on Apple silicon. No hesitation on my part to buy into this new line of Apple.
    tmay
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    razorpit
  • Reply 3 of 18
    JinTech said:
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    I'm waiting to find out if there will be any way to run x64 software virtualized. I run a lot of server tools within Docker containers, and losing this would likely force me (and a lot of other developers) on to commodity hardware running Linux...
    vannygeerazorpit
  • Reply 4 of 18
    I'm waiting to find out if there will be any way to run x64 software virtualized. I run a lot of server tools within Docker containers, and losing this would likely force me (and a lot of other developers) on to commodity hardware running Linux...
    Virtualisation is a need for professionals. Hopefully they won't be discontinuing Intel based pro models until everything that I can do an Intel CPU can be done on Apple Silicon
    razorpitdjames4242
  • Reply 5 of 18
    M68000M68000 Posts: 378member
    JinTech said:
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    That would be good to know.  But, also how long will current hardware be supported with OS updates, etc. Wonder if Apple will make a statement on it?  If they did, sorry I missed it. 
  • Reply 6 of 18
    I'm waiting to find out if there will be any way to run x64 software virtualized. I run a lot of server tools within Docker containers, and losing this would likely force me (and a lot of other developers) on to commodity hardware running Linux...

    Docker already runs on arm64 (I actually run it on an rpi4 for home automation), so Docker Desktop for MacOS will be likely ready for Apple Silicon on day 1. Most containerized products, especially open source servers like prometheus, haproxy, mariadb, nginx, etc., already provide docker images for arm64. You can check their repository listings check if they support arm64, and file issues if they do not. Millions of people around the world use these tools, so there is no reason they will not become available rather quickly.
    razorpitdjames4242
  • Reply 7 of 18
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,946member
    Very interesting. Nothing to do with Apple, but if Microsoft can bring the core apps of its Microsoft 365 suite, i.e., Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to ARM it seems like support for ARM on Linux would not be a stretch. This would open up these apps to platforms like Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400. I figure that if the Pi4/400 can run LibreOffice 6.x apps with greater than acceptable performance, which they do, Microsoft should be capable of doing the same for its comparable apps. This would be great for families who pay for the $99/year subscription because they would now be able to use these apps on sub $100 computers hooked up to the kids' TVs.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    JinTech said:
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    100% of every current Apple iOS application, would be a safe starting point.
    means at minimum,

    iMovie
    Photos
    Pages
     ...heck, ....well you get the picture
    rezwitsentropys
  • Reply 9 of 18
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 791member
    JinTech said:
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    100% of every current Apple iOS application, would be a safe starting point.
    means at minimum,

    iMovie
    Photos
    Pages
     ...heck, ....well you get the picture
    Well yeah that's an absolute given. If they are going to be announcing a 16" MacBook Pro on the 10th, then they better have Logic and Final Cut Ready to go by the time these machines ship. They gotta lead by example and what better way to say that they are serious about this transition than having all the Pro apps ready by the time the first Apple Silicon.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 791member

    M68000 said:
    JinTech said:
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    That would be good to know.  But, also how long will current hardware be supported with OS updates, etc. Wonder if Apple will make a statement on it?  If they did, sorry I missed it. 
    I'm sure we will continue to get OS updates for x86 hardware for at least five years since some of us have sinked a lot of money into hardware.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    brianusbrianus Posts: 147member
    JinTech said:
    I'm sure we will continue to get OS updates for x86 hardware for at least five years since some of us have sinked a lot of money into hardware.
    Wouldn't be so sure it'll last that long. The very last PowerPC models released (fall 2005) only got software updates through the summer of 2009, so just shy of four years. 
  • Reply 12 of 18
    brianus said:
    JinTech said:
    I'm sure we will continue to get OS updates for x86 hardware for at least five years since some of us have sinked a lot of money into hardware.
    Wouldn't be so sure it'll last that long. The very last PowerPC models released (fall 2005) only got software updates through the summer of 2009, so just shy of four years. 
    Four years is a reasonable amount of time and about the time I would expect Apple to give support for x86. Of course the machines will still be plenty useable but with a machine four years old, if you are using it to make money, time to move on.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,490member
    brianus said:
    JinTech said:
    I'm sure we will continue to get OS updates for x86 hardware for at least five years since some of us have sinked a lot of money into hardware.
    Wouldn't be so sure it'll last that long. The very last PowerPC models released (fall 2005) only got software updates through the summer of 2009, so just shy of four years. 

    You can’t really go by the last transition. I believe the Mac user base was floating around 30-40 million then... now it is well over 100 million. It may take longer to hit a certain threshold where they feel the Intel base is no longer big enough to sustain.

    JinTech said:
    Raises the question, how much Apple software will be ready to go by November 10?
    I'm waiting to find out if there will be any way to run x64 software virtualized. I run a lot of server tools within Docker containers, and losing this would likely force me (and a lot of other developers) on to commodity hardware running Linux...

    I’m sure there will be an x64 hardware emulation application eventually... if there’s a need, some developer will come along and fill it. If not, your current Mac will continue to work - so I don’t see this need to buy a Linux box?
    razorpit
  • Reply 14 of 18
    ranson said:
    I'm waiting to find out if there will be any way to run x64 software virtualized. I run a lot of server tools within Docker containers, and losing this would likely force me (and a lot of other developers) on to commodity hardware running Linux...

    Docker already runs on arm64 (I actually run it on an rpi4 for home automation), so Docker Desktop for MacOS will be likely ready for Apple Silicon on day 1. Most containerized products, especially open source servers like prometheus, haproxy, mariadb, nginx, etc., already provide docker images for arm64. You can check their repository listings check if they support arm64, and file issues if they do not. Millions of people around the world use these tools, so there is no reason they will not become available rather quickly.
    Please realize that when you see "arm64" that refers to generic ARM that is compatible with the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek, Allwinner etc. It is not the specialized ARM that Apple uses. For example, this is why Oracle is working on a special build of Java for Apple Silicon - https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/09/22/microsoft-contributes-to-java-port-for-apple-silicon-macs - despite having had an arm64 version of Java for years: their current arm64 Java runs fine on, say, ChromeOS devices in Linux mode running MediaTek chips like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet but do not run on Apple Silicon as of yet because the architecture and instruction set are different. So if Docker is ready for Apple Silicon day one, it will be because the entity responsible for that application has recompiled it against the new architecture, with all that entails.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    cloudguy said:

    Please realize that when you see "arm64" that refers to generic ARM that is compatible with the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek, Allwinner etc. It is not the specialized ARM that Apple uses. For example, this is why Oracle is working on a special build of Java for Apple Silicon - https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/09/22/microsoft-contributes-to-java-port-for-apple-silicon-macs - despite having had an arm64 version of Java for years: their current arm64 Java runs fine on, say, ChromeOS devices in Linux mode running MediaTek chips like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet but do not run on Apple Silicon as of yet because the architecture and instruction set are different. So if Docker is ready for Apple Silicon day one, it will be because the entity responsible for that application has recompiled it against the new architecture, with all that entails.
    Just a quick correction: Apple Silicon does use the same ISA as those generic arm64 platforms which you described. The ISA is precisely what Apple owns a license to, which means they can build a different system architecture around it, unlike those other licensees which license the generic ARM architecture itself (i.e. the entire combination of cores, caches, interconnects, etc.), to which they bolt on additional components on their SoCs.

    This doesn’t take away from what you said, quite the contrary, because it’s all those specialized Apple cores (arm64-based as they may all be, yes) and their respective calls and APIs which developers must target so as to ensure their software isn’t a crappy, lowest-common-denominator affair. But the ISA, and those entire big/little endian and instruction complexity discussions – which, mind you, are mostly moot anyway thanks to modern compilers –, are definitely not an issue for those developers which already have arm64 code ready.
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 16 of 18
    I am curious how Apple will balance performance and price of machines. They can not introduce Air that will perform better them 16 MBP. So it could be reason why are rumored13" and 16" as first candidates.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Apple and Microsoft working together. Feel the love!


  • Reply 18 of 18
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,865member
    Great. Adobe should be ready to go in 6-8yrs.
Sign In or Register to comment.