Microsoft has made some major announcements for companies using Mac and iOS, including moves to a new «perpetual» version of Office and enhancements to its popular Teams collaboration application.
Because it is important: Anything Microsoft does with its productivity suite has consequences for business professionals, even those who use Mac, iPad and iPhone. After all, 650,000 American companies have standardized around Office, and Microsoft has over 258 million monthly Office 365 / Microsoft 365 monthly users, including many who use the suite in Apple products. Powered by COVID-19 and moving to remote work, the company told us in October that its collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, now sees 115 million daily active users .
So what’s new in Office?
Not all consumers or companies want, need, or can use Microsoft 365 based on the company’s subscription, but the company wants to keep those customers, so it usually offers what it calls a «perpetual» version of the suite that doesn’t do it. requires a subscription and does not receive feature updates.
Microsoft has also confirmed a business-focused product, Office LTSC, which is pretty much the same, but for companies that maintain offline systems.
«The next perpetual version of Office for Business Customers is designed specifically for organizations running regulated devices that can’t accept feature updates for years, process control devices that aren’t connected to the Internet in production facilities, and specialized systems that they must remain stuck in time and require a long-term service channel ”, the company said He said when he announced his plans.
Both Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac have been made available to companies on Microsoft’s official preview channel, suggesting that products should be available in the coming weeks. Office 2021 Standard for Mac (Preview) includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and Teams. The preview will update approximately once a month during the preview period and works natively on both Apple Silicon and Intel Mac. Companies can try Office 2021 for Mac Here .
The company has not yet told us when it plans to launch Office 2021 for Mac.
So what’s new in Teams?
Microsoft has also updated Teams for iOS (with some Android enhancements). For iOS users, the biggest change is the introduction of new ways to manage conversation flows. IPhone and iPad users will be able to view, set and manage fixed chats.
The update also introduces new emojis and recovers Zoom, adding the ability to change the background in calls and appointments. Another new feature allows iPhone and iPad users to invite groups and distribution lists when scheduling a meeting.
What else is new?
A recent move by Microsoft may not seem Apple-centered at first. The last one Windows 10 version for Insiders allows Windows users to run native Linux applications thanks to the first preview of GUI application support in the Windows subsystem for Linux.
Now this isn’t particularly interesting for Mac users, except, of course, when considering the ongoing speculation about Microsoft’s plans around Windows for ARM .
The reason I think the forecast looks positive is because Microsoft GUI support for Linux is the degree to which the company’s PC strategy has changed. It does not want to be the operating system for all computers, but it wants to provide software, services and infrastructure within each ecosystem. In this context, it makes sense that Windows for ARM is available to Mac users who run Parallels . It could also make sense for Windows users, as the Mac M1 runs the operating system faster than most computers .
Of course, Microsoft may have other plans to make its operating system available cloud-based client system But its Office plans show that it recognizes that not all users want to be exposed online. In fact, a recent Microsoft article on the hybrid workforce emphasizes the need for flexibility.
Apple is rapidly increasing its market share. Your recently announced spring products attracts millions of remote workers , so it makes sense to anticipate that Microsoft will want to join them. A year after we learned that Apple intends to migrate Macs to Apple Silicon, the official introduction of Windows in ARM could be one of the highlights of the announcement at WWDC 2021 ?