Thursday, January 24, 2019

Microsoft Office in the Mac App Store


We’re committed to delivering the power and simplicity of Office in an experience designed specifically for Mac, and we continue to make significant investments in the platform. Today, we’re excited to announce that Office 365 is now available on the newly redesigned Mac App Store. With one click, Mac users can download the cloud-connected, always-up-to-date version of the Office suite—including full installs of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive.

Mitchel Broussard:

Microsoft Office apps have been available on Mac for years, but users have had to download them from the web or in physical retail boxes since Apple has never offered them directly in its Mac App Store. This should make the process of getting programs like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel much easier for Mac owners.

Like other versions of Office, you’ll need a subscription to Office 365 to gain access to the full features of each app.

Erik Schwiebert:

the only thing different is that the apps from the MAS are signed by Apple’s App Store cert instead of Microsoft’s corporate developer cert. That means some saved keychain access will break if you mix apps from the two sources, because the code signatures are different.


In business, as at home, employees want access to the best devices and apps to do their work. With Office 365 on the Mac App Store, these apps can now be easily distributed to employees using Apple Business Manager, a central dashboard where IT can deploy devices, apps and licenses. Now IT can quickly enable employees to get to work with their favorite Office tools across Mac, iPad and iPhone, with great new features designed specifically for Apple devices.


This article covers frequently asked questions about the availability of Office from the Mac App Store, and the differences between downloading Office apps directly from Microsoft.

Clearly, the best part is not having to use the annoying Microsoft AutoUpdate app.


Update (2019-01-25): Christopher P. Atlan:

Interesting that they choose to use the same bundle identifier.


Wondering if Microsoft is paying the same 30% commission.

My guess is that they are for IAP. But, because Office is a cross-platform app, they can use their own payment processing like Netflix and bypass Apple’s commission entirely:

3.1.3(b) Multiplatform Services: Apps that operate across multiple platforms may allow users to access content, subscriptions, or features they have acquired elsewhere, including consumable items in multi-platform games, provided those items are also available as in-app purchases within the app. You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase.

In a way, Apple is disincentivising exclusive apps. Make a Mac app? Apple takes 30%. Add a Windows version? Now Apple gives you free distribution.

But, unlike Netflix, Microsoft lets you subscribe via IAP. So you can manage it along with your other subscriptions and pay for it using discounted iTunes gift cards. In that case, after a year, Microsoft is getting 85%, and I’m paying only 80%, so I wonder if that means Apple is actually paying Microsoft.

Erik Schwiebert:

Bundles don’t have metadata entries for minimum OS, and I suspect the MAS code fills in “missing”metadata with that old minimum version string. I argue it should report the newest minimum version of all the apps in the bundle. But that’s up to Apple to fix (Radar 47520238).

John Gruber:

I’d bet a fortune Microsoft isn’t paying Apple the standard 70/30 split for the first year of a subscription. Maybe they’ve jumped right to 85/15? Maybe even more favorable to Microsoft? I’d love to know.

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I must be in the minority but I actually like the Microsoft AutoUpdate app since it stopped launching the Apple Installer a while back. It now handles things like updating apps which are in use quite seamlessly, and you can set it to update almost silently in the background.

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