Almost two years after Apple’s M1 launch, Microsoft Teams goes native

Microsoft Teams running on a Mac.
Enlarge / Microsoft Teams running on a Mac.

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Microsoft has announced plans to roll out an Apple Silicon-native version of Microsoft Teams, but the release isn’t going to happen overnight.

In a blog post on its website, Microsoft claims the update will offer “a significant boost in performance” to users of Macs with Apple’s M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, M1 Ultra, and M2 chips.

Teams has just been running as an Intel app via Rosetta 2 on M1 Macs since the beginning of the Apple Silicon transition in 2020. Direct competitors Zoom and Slack have offered native Apple Silicon support since December 2020 and February 2021, respectively.

This was a hotly requested feature among Microsoft’s users. One feedback item on the topic submitted by users six months ago has been upvoted more than 3,000 times since.

However, despite the long delay, the Teams rollout for M1 and M2 Macs will be a slow process. Rather than offering a universal binary right now alongside the announcement, Microsoft instead announced vague plans to automatically roll out the update “to customers in increments over the coming months.” (Members of Microsoft’s Insider program have had access to an M1-native version of Teams in beta since April.)

When Apple launched its first M1-equipped Macs in late 2020, we wrote about how impressed we were with Rosetta 2—in most cases, many users wouldn’t even know they were running legacy Intel versions of their applications instead of Apple Silicon-native versions if they weren’t told.

But nonetheless, users can expect native software to be more performant, and we’d expect nothing less from Teams. Several other major software packages have been updated to run natively on Apple’s new architecture over the past couple of years, from Adobe to Unity to Microsoft’s own Office suite and beyond.

But Teams probably won’t be the last to make the move, as there are still some stragglers left—even among the big hitters.

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