Microsoft adds Python to Excel

Several years late, it seems M$ is considering making Python native to Excel.

I wrote a … you guessed it … Quora answer as to why this makes sense for Microsoft.

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Python has become massively popular with the data and machine learning communities in the last few years.

Tools like JuPyter are increasingly popular and serious interfaces for data-modellers who previously would have used Excel.

It absolutely makes sense for Microsoft try to embed Excel and itself into that emerging Python data ecosystem by making Python a first-class citizen (ie. default, guaranteed to be there) of Excel.

Not just a third-party add on for those who know about it and can make the effort to install it.

Not only does Python need to be standard within Excel, but access to pip and all the Python libraries needs to be there too. So that Excel becomes the equivalent of Anaconda

That’s the way that M$ can keep Excel relevant in the new data age.

This is not only a good idea for Microsoft. It’s the difference between Excel remaining a major player in data modelling and analysis tools, vs. declining into obscurity.

A while ago on Platform Wars I wrote :

99% of the world’s “semi-structured” data is not in Microformats but in tables in spreadsheets.

Wildly inaccurate estimate I’m sure. But I’ll bet it dwarfs XML formats including RSS. So where’s the Yahoo Pipes for CSV and spreadsheet data? The mashing, pivot-tabling, cartesian joining of live grids?

Yahoo Pipes does have a CSV reader … but I’d like to see more. Particularly pivoting and SQL-like selects, projects and joins.