Microsoft has announced plans to integrate the popular Python programming language into Excel. Stefan Kinnestrand, general manager of modern work at Microsoft, explains that users can now perform advanced data analysis in Excel by accessing Python directly from the Excel ribbon, without having to install any additional software or add-ins.

Python integration will be part of the built-in Power Query features in Excel. Microsoft is also introducing a new PY feature that allows you to display Python data in an Excel spreadsheet grid. This is made possible through a partnership with Anaconda, an enterprise Python repository that will make popular Python libraries such as pandas, statsmodels, and Matplotlib available in Excel.

Python calculations will be performed in the Microsoft Cloud, and the results will be returned to an Excel sheet. This allows Excel users to create formulas, pivot tables, and charts based on Python data. Users can also use Python-based charting libraries such as Matplotlib and Seaborn for advanced visualizations, including heat maps, violin charts, and swarm charts.

Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python and a prominent Microsoft engineer, expressed his excitement about this integration. He believes that the collaboration will open up new opportunities for the Python and Excel communities by empowering each other.

The Python in Excel integration is currently available as a public preview for Microsoft 365 Insiders on the Beta channel and is initially limited to Windows. It will be included with a Microsoft 365 subscription during the preview phase, but some features will require a paid license after the end of the testing period.