Microsoft Office appears to finally be headed for the Mac App Store as soon as this week, based on a couple of clues. Apple first announced that Microsoft would bring Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to the Mac App Store back in June 2018 as part of its Worldwide Developer Conference.
The announcement was made as part of Apple’s macOS Mojave operating system keynote demonstration. macOS Mojave introduces a redesigned Mac App Store with new editorial content promoting popular and updated software.
Microsoft was named alongside Panic and Bare Bones Software as developers who plan to bring their apps to the Mac App Store either for the first time or once again.
Microsoft has a half-dozen apps on the Mac App Store today, including OneDrive and OneNote, but the full Microsoft Office suite has not been available on the Mac App Store to date. Instead, customers searching the Mac App Store for Office, Word, PowerPoint, or Keynote will find apps taking advantage of the popular search terms.
macOS Mojave launched last fall, but Office hasn’t quite reached the Mac App Store yet. That appears to be changing any moment now.
In a few regions around the world including France, Apple is running a promotional story highlighting Mac App Store availability for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The same promotional story hasn’t reached the App Store in the United States, and the Microsoft apps don’t appear on the Mac App Store yet either.
Roughly translated from French, the story reads:
We are proud to announce that Microsoft Office 365 is now available on the Mac App Store. Your Office 365 subscription gives you access to all the features on all the platforms. To subscribe, register in any of the Office apps, and update your subscription. Discover all the apps of the Office suite, and start collaborating and creating!
Microsoft has also signaled that its Office apps are landing on the Mac App Store any moment now. The company has published a new support document detailing how to activate Microsoft Office when downloaded from the Mac App Store. Office apps have long been available on the Mac, but not through the Mac App Store despite Office apps on iOS through the iPhone and iPad App Store.
Microsoft Office apps from the Mac App Store will require an active Office 365 subscription to unlock full functionality, similar to Office apps on iOS.
From the support document:
When downloaded from the Mac App Store, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint require an Office 365 subscription to create and edit documents. To send and receive email, Outlook requires an Office 365 subscription. You can activate an existing Office 365 subscription, or use the in-app purchase option to start a new subscription.
One-time Office licenses (also known as perpetual), such as Office 2019 Home & Business, Office 2019 Home & Student, and Volume License are not compatible with Office apps downloaded from the Mac App Store. These licenses can only be used with Office apps downloaded directly from Microsoft.
If a one-time Office license is used with an app from the Mac App Store, you will see a yellow message bar stating No subscription found and the app will be in reduced functionality mode.
Microsoft goes on to detail how to activate Microsoft Office for Mac without a subscription for customers who purchased a one-time license. In short, Microsoft instructs customers to delete the Mac App Store versions which require subscriptions and instead download the apps through the web.
We’ll update when Microsoft Office officially arrives on the Mac App Store.
Update: Comments from Apple and Microsoft execs:
“We are excited to welcome Microsoft Office 365 to the all new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Apple and Microsoft have worked together to bring great Office productivity to Mac users from the very beginning. Now, with Office 365 on the Mac App Store, it’s easier than ever to get the latest and best version of Office 365 for Mac, iPad and iPhone.”
“We are excited to announce that today Office 365 is arriving in the Mac App Store,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “We have worked closely with Apple to provide Mac users with the very best productivity experience — one that offers everything they know and love about Office through an experience uniquely designed for the Mac.”