Apple is trying its level best to cushion itself as the company braces for not being able to meet its first quarter fiscal results. They brought back some of their discontinued earlier iPhone models as clearance items following the low sales of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR; the SE sold out in hours.

Then Apple tried to shift focus from their devices to their online services, not tied to their hardware. That approach went over about as well as their streaming service last year. While Apple is gearing up to introduce the future iPhone 11, their Mac App Store is taking a bold step by allowing a major Microsoft app suite inside.

Office for Mac in a bundle

As of Thursday, January 24, Mac users can now avail themselves of the Microsoft Office suite on the Mac App Store, as reported on tech Crunch. In effect, one can now, if they want, use the word processing of Microsoft Word, spreadsheet management of Excel, presentation-making capabilities of PowerPoint, and so on, on any Mac.

The installable Office suite made available on Apple computers also includes the Outlook email manager and OneNote. This availability is the result of a 2018 App Store overhaul, which allowed bundling of multiple individual apps into a unified subscription package.

Senior director of Apple’s worldwide development relations Shaan Pruden is quite frank about implementing App Store bundles in order to bring in Microsoft with their Office suite.

And therein is the catch for being able to use the Office app bundle on one’s Mac computer: it requires an Office 365 subscription with Microsoft.

“Apple and Microsoft have worked together to bring great Office productivity to Mac users from the very beginning,” Paul Schiller, Apple senior VP for worldwide marketing, tells The Verge.

“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.”

Mac’s Office suite requires Microsoft 365 subscription.

This is not the first time Microsoft Office apps became usable of Apple Macs. Originally a Mac user could download Office apps from the Microsoft website but must rely on their MAU Auto-Update tool to keep their versions at the latest.

By bundling the Office suite at the Mac App Store, it now becomes the direct handler of any future updates to the individual Office apps rather than a separate Microsoft tool.

Now, with the new arrangement with Apple, Microsoft can start offering subscriptions to Office 365 through the App Store. If Mac users enjoy using the Office suite with its one-month free trial, they can avail of a monthly 365 Personal subscription at $6.99 or a $69.99 annual fee. The more feature-laden Office 365 Home version has a $9.99 monthly fee or a $99.99 annual. All these subscription packages include 1TB storage at OneDrive.