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Update Oct 11, 2013:  I’ve been given the “all clear” by Microsoft and from readers that as of this week, Excel 2013 Standalone DOES include and successfully install Power Pivot!

See this post for details.


…and there was much rejoicing

Well folks the wait is over.  Microsoft now offers a way for us to get Power Pivot at home in 2013!

It’s not quite “free” like it used to be (and still is) in 2010, but it’s not super expensive either, and the mere fact that we CAN buy it through retail channels is a big deal.  All in all, I call this a Good Thing.  It is most welcome.

All you need is love.  Oh, and Excel Standalone.

So, if you have Office 2013 already installed and you want to add Power Pivot, you just buy Excel Standalone and install THAT over the top, and you get Power Pivot and Power View.

If you have don’t have 2013 installed and have no desire to get all of the other apps, hey, you can just get Excel Standalone and forgo the rest I guess Winking smile

Power Pivot Inside:  A 2013 Option At Last             Power Pivot Inside:  A 2013 Option At Last

Amazon Purchasing Options:  $99 Download (Left), $79 “Non-Commercial” Version (Right)
Click Images for their respective product pages
HOLD OFF UNTIL SEPTEMBER 10th – see the update at the top of this post

(Note that both of those image links are affiliate links – if you purchase through those, I get a few dollars and you pay nothing extra.  Support the site, that sort of thing.)

“Non-Commercial” Version?

Yeah what the heck IS that?  From a trusted Microsoft source, we have this definition:


“The [non-commercial] edition of Excel Standalone may not be used for commercial, non-profit or revenue generating activities, thus the price difference.”

Hrm.  So…  purely recreational purposes then?  Power Pivot IS fun for sure, but…  puzzling.

Almost sounds to me like a “wink wink, go ahead and buy the $79 version if you are an individual.  But if you’re an organization buying this version for everyone, we’re gonna bust your ass.”

I’m sure I am mistaken about that.  Come to your own conclusions and then buy the one that makes the most sense for you.

So…  what happened?  Why did they change their minds?


“Perhaps it’s time to re-institute an old custom – Prima Standa?”

The last time Microsoft did this whole “take some features out of certain versions” thing (in Office 2003), those “targeted for high-end SKUs” features WERE included in the Standalone products.

So it’s not clear to me – at all – that they intended to do things differently in 2013.  It may have in fact been an oversight, and Power Pivot was supposed to be in Standalone all along – sounds impossible but trust me, the Standalone SKU’s get very little attention.  The revenue from the Standalone products rounds to zero.

So in some sense, they may have just corrected an honest oversight.

But doing anything like this, after the fact, takes a tremendous amount of energy.

So no matter what, I think we can be quite certain that public reaction drove this change.  It’s nice that they listened.

Take a bow, everyone.  Now we just need them to put measure/calc field editing back in the field list where it belongs.

Rob Collie

Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has 51 Comments
  1. This work-around is great but I am running both PowerPivot in Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 (on separate computers) and I ran into the following version compatibility issue (see link below):

    “Version compatibility between PowerPivot Data Models in Excel 2010 and Excel 2013”

    As a result even though I have the Excel 2013 version with PowerPivot, i am doing all my work in the Excel 2010 version because I suspect that most customers will still be running Excel 2010 for quite some time. Once one upgrades a PowerPivot to 2013 you can not go back to 2010 and have it function.

    1. I’m in the same boat. I run 2010 and 2013 side by side on each one of my computers, and default to 2010 for compat reasons.

  2. Great news about the availability of PowerPivot in Excel 2013!
    I guess MS realised that a large percentage of Excel Pros are individuals.

    Since you have readers in countries around the world, you may want to warn them about the download availability outside of the USA. This may also apply to other retail sources.

    I followed your links to Amazon, read through the conditions carefully, and found the following “Product Details”.

    Microsoft Excel 2013 (full version)
    Downloading: Currently, this item is available only to customers
    located in the United States and who have a U.S. billing address.
    Note: Gifting is not available for this item.

    Microsoft Excel 2013 Key Card (Non-Commercial)
    Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries
    outside the U.S.

    It may be advisable for prospective purchasers outside of the USA to check the availability of the non-commercial version in their own country. Also, there was no mention of gifting availability of the non-commercial version.

  3. Ok … I bought Home Premium months ago. Why? for $10 more you get Publisher, Word and some other things that I don’t use (Outlook … blah blah blah). After all, Excel is Excel. Uh, no.

    This great announcement still leaves Home Premium users (and users of the other packages) still having to either subscribe to Pro Plus or buy the stand-alone Excel in addition to the one we have in the bundle.

    While adding to the existing confusion, the good news is that Power View and PowerPivot are accessible to more people. More people to share Power View and PowerPivot solutions with.

    (AARRRGGHHH! And I just sent an email to clients who are Mac users, explaining that they don’t have access to solutions that include slicers. Keeping up with all of these differences … GEEZ!)

    1. That’s correct. I’ve been running Excel versions side-by-side for quite some years now. Excel gives no problems whatsoever, so long as you install in the right order (oldest to newest). This can’t always be said for other programs, like Word, which will want to reestablish dominance in the registry saying it’s now the default version, and you get the install dialog for a brief time. Other than that it’s all good. I generally don’t keep any prior versions except Excel though, no need.

      1. Another option, if you encounter a co-existence problem… create a VM (Virtual Machine – I’ve used VMware (to create another Windows7 instance) and have also used Windows7 “XP Mode” for older programs). Then you can have the different vintages of your programs running in their own environments on the same physical machine.

  4. ‘Almost sounds to me like a “wink wink, go ahead and buy the $79 version if you are an individual. But if you’re an organization buying this version for everyone, we’re gonna bust your ass.”’

    I’m sorry, but this tone of celebration seems way overblown to me. A huge proportion of the people who complained on the earlier thread were in the same boat I’m in: we work in small to medium-sized businesses that could really use PowerPivot, and we don’t get any benefit from this “victory” at all. Recommending that we pay an extra $1600 for 20 “standalone” seats — squarely in violation of the licensing agreement — is a non-starter.

    I’m glad that some individual consultants or smaller business units will get to use PowerPivot and PowerView more cheaply, but anyone who put trust in Microsoft’s vision of BI, and been hoping to use those tools to transform their organization is still pretty squarely screwed.

    1. Wouldnt you just install the powerpivot version on those few that needs to slice and dice data and then create pdfs that you use VBA and batch programs to mail across the organization for reporting purposes?. In my experience comming from smaller companies 3-5 users on powerpivot is common and rest is meerly interest in static output. That said i hear you, but im not even eligble for a version since im from Europe

      1. That’s basically a version of how we use it right now, but the goal for us would be to put a lot of the BI more squarely in the hands of the people who really need to close to the data, rather than having someone else package it up for them, and send it out every once in a while. (For example, as a digital marketing agency, just about everyone who works here is constantly tracking different data from a lot of different clients — each of our PPC people is looking at numbers from their respective clients, our social folks are monitoring data on their channels every day, etc., and then each “practice” is internally responsible for managing their utilization, project profitability, etc. The _best_ model would be to give them all real-time access to the data they need, and give them the ability to slice, dice and analyze their own data. They’re all smart, data-centric people — they totally have the _skills_ to do it. This pricing model just stands in the way of giving them the _tools_ to do it.)

    2. You’re in a horrible spot, for sure. Have you thought about volume licensing? If you have 20 people who are going to be working inside the PowerPivot model, that’s pretty amazing. Remember, 2013 has the xVelocity engine based on VertiPaq – which means everyone can run a PowerPivot model in 2013 – everyone. The only thing you need PowerPivot for is to manage that model.


  5. It sounds good, but as others have said, it’s salt on the wound for some of us… I thought Microsoft was pushing their subscription service. I bought into that. Now I can’t get PowerPivot with the “preferred” method of purchase? I’d really like to be happy about this “concession” by Microsoft, but I’m sorry. I just can’t.

    1. Office 365 is a huge animal, and very, very confusing. Unfortunately no, you can’t, not unless you get the ProPlus version. Or buy the standalone separately.

      Did I mention this is different than the Professional Plus version? That’s the MSI, where ProPlus is C2R (Click to Run, web install). Oh the joys.


  6. I have seen this too, and am sticking with 2010 for now – which means only PowerView with Sharepoint and no maps. Major bummer!

  7. It might be nice to see (again?) a comparison, or list of features, of Excel PowerPivot 2010 vs Excel PowerPivot 2013. Since you guys have the most experience in using both, can you talk us through the reasons that we should migrate to 2013? Thanks.

  8. OK, Microsoft, this was a BAD idea. I work with Federal Government agencies and I need PowerPivot. When I signed up for Office 365, I assumed (I know bad on me) that the features that we used in 2010 on any flavor would be available in 2013 in any flavor. It is not nice to act in this matter. Instead of downgrading the other versions, add new capability to the higher versions. Thanks for nothing and hampering a business Microsoft Office Team. And Makingf u spay for it and then OVERWRITE a version straight from Microsoft is NOT acceptable!

  9. I clicked on the link, spent my money, and guess what, NO NO NO NO PowerPivot in Excel 2013 standalone. I spent over an hour on phone support asking what happend and where is the PowerPivot?
    Perhaps I have misread something above but doesn’t it say that I can have PowerPivot in Excel 2013 Standalone if I click the link and help support this website?
    REFUND is not in their vocabulary but you can go pound sand all you want or purchase a PLUS version.

    1. Grr. I did in fact say that, and that it what I was told by my former colleagues at MS. Let me look into this Lee, my apologies.

    2. AFAIK that *shouldn’t* have been the case. Did you try a manual update? The word from up high was that everyone who had a standalone Excel would have the Power add-ins available once they ran an update. I wonder if this is the case post-install of a “new” standalone purchase. It would be good to know. Please post back and let us know if that helped any Lee.


  10. Have 2013 Office installed running Windows 07. Went to one of links provided in article. Purchased stand alone copy. Installed it. Still no Power Pivot. What am I missing?

    1. I think we have discovered that there is some sort of glitch in their upgrade logic. Lee is also having a problem. We are talking to MS behind the scenes, I will add you to that email thread.

    2. I was tempted to get the standalone Excel to add to my Home Premium and let go of the monthly subscription that I’m paying for ProPlus.

      Thanks for your warning. I’ll sit tight and see what happens.

  11. On one hand I think this is good news, on the other hand having all these different editions (most of them without Power Pivot) is way too complicated imo…

  12. Hi

    I am confused – before I spend anything on excel 2013 I want to make double sure about whether I will be able to use powerpivot

    According Ioana (a live salesperson on a chat from Microsoft), powerpivot has always been available on excel 2013, after I asked her if this is a recent development:
    “Ioana: No, this is not a recent development. It was like this from the moment Excel 2013 launched.”
    When I mentioned that this is coinflicting to the experts (powerpivotpro, chandoo et al) in the field:
    “Those are not official Microsoft websites.”

    With this I am not trying to say that the salesperson is misinformed, but I am more inclined to believe people who I know actually use powerpivot.

    1. Working with Microsoft engineers yesterday, we discovered that there IS a glitch in the upgrade logic when you install Standalone. That glitch will be corrected on September 10th. See the top of this post – I just updated it.

      The sales people *are* generally poorly informed about details like these, but there is a LOT of variation. Call three times and you will get three answers, one of them will be correct 🙂

  13. I live in Australia and we are screwed. I tried upgrading from 365 home premium to 365 pro plus and I was blocked.
    The Microsoft help staff are in the dark but I have discovered power pivot is only available through volume licensing and I have to buy 5 licences. It appears that the standalone excel 2013 in the stores will not upgrade no matter what Microsoft has said. I am excited about power pivot as my sheets run about 300 k rows. I work by my self so having to buy 5 licences is just over the top.

    1. Anthony did you see my note about the September 10th update to Standalone that should auto-download and fix your problem? I think a “wait and see” approach is appropriate here, but I’m cautiously optimistic that Standalone will work for you in a few days. Check back ok?

      1. The 10th has come and gone. Has any one official news if the excel 2013 retail standalone can be updated on line to a access powerpivot and power view. I have not seen any fireworks yet so I guess it was a fizzer

        1. Hi Anthony, yes, Microsoft has acknowledged they *will* be coming out with this in an update but failed to get it properly into the Sept 10th update as originally planned. When they get their irons worked out it will be included. If I were a guessing man, I’d guess within the next month, maybe two. This takes actual work from people and isn’t as easy as throwing a switch. It’s coming. 🙂


    1. Oscar, yes, as it stands you will not have the Power add-ins with only the Professional edition. The only versions which come with the Power add-ins are:
      1) Volume Licensing (Professional Plus)
      2) Office 365 (ProPlus edition)
      3) Standalone Excel (retail) SKU’s *

      * We’ve been told these will not have the Power add-ins until an Office update is ran on/after September 10th, 2013.

      You will, however, have the Vertipaq engine, which is what’s used to view a PowerPivot PivotTable. You will just not be able to manage the data model, but you can open the files just fine. While it’s not perfect, it’s better than it was.


          1. I have massive amounts of data I need to look at and somehow analyze. I was trying to find a low or zero cost way of doing it but I guess my search will continue.

          2. I use exactly what you described but what I loved about power pivot was that I could analyze large amounts of data. I have tables with over a million rows each. I have to condense the data into a summary table since I’ve had excel crash on me a few times.

          3. True that. I hear you loud and clear. But, Microsoft has heard as well. My source at Microsoft, as reliable as they come there, said it is coming for standalone Excel, they just couldn’t work it into this update. This was a LOT of gears turning at one of the largest companies on the planet. Things move slowly on their time. 🙂

  14. Hi, I would like to know the status on Excel 2013 PowerPivot? Is it shipped with the standalone download version or standalone ‘boxed’ version. Little confused !

      1. Maybe update the header of this string to note the update is NOT available on Sept 10th, but will be sometime in the next month instead?

  15. Today I downloaded Excel 2013 standalone through Microsoft; and techs told me that the standalone already had Power Pivot and Power Query. After download, neither the Power Pivot or Power Query tabs were visible. After over an hour with Microsoft tech support, I was told that Power Query would work (and it does), BUT Power Pivot cannot download unless I have Office Professional Pro. What is up with this?????

    1. 2013 Standalone WILL contain Power Pivot in a future maintenance update (these happen every couple of weeks). They are not giving me an ETA this time though 🙁

  16. Hi Rob
    Loving powerpivot and the 2013 data model, soooo many possibilities.

    I did wonder why you mentioned that you still had 2010 running in parallel, now I know.
    I send out 2013 workbooks just with pivot tables and people with 2010 ( I dont know anyone that has 2013) cannot open them so I am going to have to run parallel as well.

    Is that right or am I doing something wrong.

    I understand that the PowerPivot model is different but it seems that 2013 basic is not backward compatible to 2010.
    Is there a way for the little people to use ? sharepoint as a excel 2013 viewer.
    If there is no simple solution I will feel like I am trapped in a time warp with the rest of the world.

  17. Whiile waiting for the update for the standalone office 2013, I down loaded dtrial version of the office pro plus 2013, I can see the excel 2013 addin but yet I can work wt powerpoint. I need help on how to make the trial version work with my office home student 2013. Please urgent responses

  18. Wait, wait, wait, wait. I know I’m two years late, but… You’re telling me the Excel 2013 Standard that came with my Office Suite doesn’t have Power Pivot, and I need to buy ANOTHER copy of Excel 2013?

    That would make sense, but it’s weird that it took an hour of googling and a non-Microsoft site to find the answer. And two years after the fact!

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