Skip to content

Two Important Differences to Know about the Python Excel Trial Release

The trial release of Python in Excel is very interesting but it’s not the usual “Insiders” feature release with two important differences that will cost you later.

“Insiders” is Microsoft’s name for their beta testing option to try upcoming features to the public Office apps.

Excel gets Python – who, when and why

Usually features added to Insiders releases will match the availability when that feature goes public.  Features only for business or education licenses will only appear to those Insiders users.

The Python in Excel trial is different, all Insiders are (or will) get to try out this interesting feature but that does NOT mean they’ll be able to continue using Python when it goes public.

Insiders as a sales tactic

In other words, Microsoft is using Insiders as a promotional tactic for Python. The company hopes that people will be so interested in the uses of Python that they’ll switch to a more expensive plan that includes it.

Python in Excel will cost you … but how much?

Adding Python into Excel is running as an ‘Insiders’ trial at the moment but when released it’ll cost you.

That’s made ‘clear’ in the fine print of the intro pane for Python in Excel (our bold text).

“While Python in Excel is in public preview, you will be able to use this feature as part of your subscription. After the preview, you will need to purchase an additional license to use it.”

There’s no sign of how much Python will cost in addition to an existing Microsoft 365 plan or even which plans will be eligible for the paid upgrade.  It’s possible that consumer and low-end Business plans might not be able to get Python at any price.

Excel gets Python – who, when and why
Python Editor for Excel is out and essential
A new way to get UTC time into Excel

About this author

Office Watch is the independent source of Microsoft Office news, tips and help since 1996. Don't miss our famous free newsletter.