back to article Sing a song of Office, a pocketful of why: ARM64 version running in a Pi

The Register's adventures into the world of Pi-powered Windows 11 continued today with the installation of the ARM64 version of Microsoft's popular Office suite. To recap, following some freely available instructions, we managed to get the Windows 11 Preview working on our Pi-400 last week. There were, however, a few hoops to …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    Microsoft briefly showed off a version of Office compiled for ARM running on Windows, also compiled for ARM, a very long time ago: 2008? "Oh goodie" we all thought, "MS are getting into this ARM thing heavily, we'll all have ARM desktops before too long (glad I kept the old Archimedes)". And what came out was - tada - WinRT.

    What a let down.

    So 13 years later they finally seem to be getting the idea.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Fear of a generation coming along who've played with Linux on Pis and will prefer to keep using it on the big stuff when they get older. They need to get them while they're young.

      1. UdoGoetz

        LibreOffice

        ...works very nicely on even RPI 2

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Indeed. Not sure why MS took so long to get this act together. The chaotic state of arm platform (non-)standards probably had a lot to do with it, as Windows/Office tends to get deep and dirty with the system architecture. And of course the chronic OS bloat never helped on ARM.

      With mobile-oriented OS eating steadily into the workspace market and *nix unshakably entrenched in service/cloud space, Office is the only monopoly product M$ has left. It makes sense to roll it out across as much of the new ecology as can be reached.

      Maybe now is the moment when these two things can at last come together. I'm glad for Microsoft, but kinda nervous for my unencumbered and less fashion-laden LibreOfiice.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what we all want to know is

    Will it run WSL under Win11 with a decent distro at a reasonable speed so we can fire up Wine to see if it'll run Crysis?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually, the popular KMS_VL_ALL crack for Windows provides x64, x86 and A64 dll hooks to allow a localhost activation. It would be interesting to see if this works well on the Pi.

    Sadly enough it has reached a point where I just don't quite care about Windows enough any more to try it myself. How in the world did that happen? I used to love all this stuff.

    Possibly because I realize that even if it is cracked, it still feels like an advert infested demo that I really don't want to actually use any more. Nice work Microsoft.

  4. J. Cook Silver badge

    So, I have a stupid windows 11 question:

    as you have additional apps/windows open, does the entire start menu and button start shifting to the left, or does it just all sort of mush together in the center and make a giant mess of the GUI? I think I see what they were getting at, but OSX/MacOS does it SO much better...

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: So, I have a stupid windows 11 question:

      I'm glad you asked.

      The idea of shifting everything to the left and adding at the right when adding tasks makes sense. (Arabic et al versions presumably vice versa).

      Knowing M$, they will add alternate additions to the left and to the right, with them jumping to the other side at random if an existing process closes.

    2. thondwe

      Or just tick the setting that puts it back to bottom left - muscle memory says that's where it should be...

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        That sort of makes sense, but knowing M$ that will be in the 11.1 release (like what they did with windows 8 and the start button...)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Microsoft finally starts to figure out ARM, once those who had ARM sorted eons ago start looking to RISC-V?

  6. EricB123

    You Guys Should be Songwriters

    This is the second best headline I've seen from The Register. The best was from a few months back "Super Cali Covid count is somewhat out of focus, server crash and expired cert made numbers quite atrocious" (yes, I typed that in entire from memory).

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: You Guys Should be Songwriters

      You're clearly new around here. The "Super Cali..." sub-head pun has been ongoing for several years. My search engine foo reveals this as an example from 2017. If your search engine skills are better than mine (Not hard) I'm sure you can catch 'em all.

      1. Hawkeye Pierce

        Re: You Guys Should be Songwriters

        As far as I know (* meaning someone will be along and correct me shortly *), The Sun were first following Caledonian Thistle's dramatic 3-1 win against Celtic in 2000, leading to their backpage headline of "Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious".

        That said, fair play to El Reg for inventiveness for continuously getting appropriate wording to fit.

  7. msknight Silver badge

    "popular" office suite?

    From where I'm sitting, the only reason it's popular is because the competition has been all but squashed for the every day Joe. There is no viable alternative on their radar and when I talk about Libre Office, I'm met with a blank stare. As far as Google office goes, it still validates, "wugahumphtama" as a correctly spelled word, despite showing this to a Google engineer in 2013 who promptly said, "Oh, it shouldn't be doing that..." and even checking on the document just now, it's still accepting it.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: "wugahumphtama" as a correctly spelled word

      Maybe they use it for testing purposes. Strange that there's few hits (one) for it on Google: perhaps it is being suppressed by policy.

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: "wugahumphtama" as a correctly spelled word

        I think it was part of a joke by Jasper Carrot about the speed he filled in the times crossword... he could do it in seconds flat, but those are the kinds of words he ended up with.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: "popular" office suite?

      Hmm. Apple shoves iWork onto every Mac and iOS device, for free. Pages is as good as Word, better in some ways, Keynote is better than PowerPoint, and Numbers is… truly awful. WordPerfect Office is still cheap. WordPerfect itself is better than Word, always was, always will be. Quattro in competent, far better than Numbers, not that that’s difficult. I’ve never used the presentation component or the database component; I feel sure that the database is better than Access, again not difficult, but the presentation stuff simply can’t compete with PowerPoint or Keynote. Those are two that I can think of without trying. Hint: I was using WordPerfect in the dayze of DOS…

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    If Microsoft want to support other architectures...

    ... release a C/C++ compiler that targets an intermediate, portable format. i.e. app developers produce a universal binary and when you run it the first time, the operating system constructs a native version from it and runs that. In that way the app will run on anything that Windows itself runs on.

    Expecting developers to produce native builds for targets other than Intel has never gone well and never will. Maybe Microsoft and a few other companies will bother but the rest won't and they'll be stuck using emulation and the device itself will suck.

  9. Spoobistle

    running off SD card

    Was the comparable "low end PC" running off an SD card too? Can you run W11 and Office off a USB3 connected drive on a Pi, and would that help?

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