back to article Microsoft: You want Office for Mac, fanboi? You'll pay Windows prices

Microsoft has increased the price of Office for Mac by up to 17 per cent, another move in the software giant's territory battle with Apple in the personal computing market. The new pricing structure, which was not officially announced by Redmond, asks Mac users to hand over around the same amount as users of Office 2013 for …

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Anonymous Coward

Wonder if Open or Libre Office can be compiled for the Mac?

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Open office is already I believe.

http://www.openoffice.org/porting/mac/

Though it would not surprise me that most mac users use iworks, just because a) it works and b) is a fraction of the price of MS office. Thought I can't say I'm a fan (especially given the stupidly restrictive cloud requirements).

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Linux

Libre Office

Can be easily downloaded for the Mac- no messing.

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You have been able to download Mac versions of both of those for a very long time. You can also get Neo Office if you want a more native port, but the advantages of that over Libre Office are not as great as they used to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Thanks :)

Well looks like LO will be getting a few more downloads thanks to MS's promotional skills :)

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FAIL

That would only apply if people were happy to pay the original price. Somehow I doubt that there were many fence-sitting people at the old price that subsequently decided to get the likes of LibreOffice just because of the $20 hike.

In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - you either were going to buy it anyway and still are, or you were never going to buy it and still aren't.

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JDX
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>>Wonder if Open or Libre Office can be compiled for the Mac?

Hang on, that was a serious question rather than snide sarcasm?!

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Angel

Libre office for Mac...

is great, i bought M$ office for the Mac, then junked it for Libre office - it worked fine but i just prefer it.

Does everything i need it too, and sometimes i swap files with work plebs and walking pound signs, sorry i mean customers and they are none the wiser that i dont use office, not been a problem as of yet.

If there is a problem, i will probably head in the direction of office365, but it would have to be a major problem. and i would use Safari just to annoy M$ :D

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@Test Man

I disagree, because there's something important the article misses out: Previously, Office 2011 Home And Student could be had in a retail box 3-licence, 3-machine pack for ~$140/£100. These licences involve activation, as I understand it, but should still work because each pack comes with 3 keys, and each key allows for installation on one desktop and one laptop as long as there is no concurrent use. There was a similar setup with 2 licences for the Home & Business edition, which is required if the software is being used for non-personal (ie commercial) purposes.

For home users, you could previously get up to 6 machines set up for the same price that Microsoft will now charge for 1 machine, and if they follow the logic they're imposing with Office 2013, those will be node-locked licences too.

I figure people who realise what's going on and belatedly realise they need Office 2011 as there won't be an Office 2014 will first look in the retail channel to try and find the 3-licence box sets, and then consider whether the software's really worth the money without first at least evaluating LibreOffice or whatever other alternatives they want to try out.

It's not a smart move IMO, and speaks volumes as to how much faith MS actually have in Office 365 as a compelling proposition in its own right - if they're having to hobble their own competing products to make it seem an attractive proposition, that's a bad sign.

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Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

IIRC Apple charge $20 to change major version of OS (eg, 10.6 -> 10.7).

Google docs is more than adequate for most peoples requirements, and completely free.

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Re: Libre Office

"Can be easily downloaded for the Mac- no messing."

I've been using it on Mac, Linux and Windows systems for a good while now.

On the Mac I find iWork and Libre Office complementary. I use each for the purposes they are best for.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

> Apple charges about as much for an entire operating system upgrade.

Apple charges about as much for a glorified OS service pack that will only run on their overpriced hardware. The only reason why they charge anything at all is that psychologically $20 compared with the cost of Windows makes Microsoft look worse than $0 versus the cost of Windows.

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Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

By the same standard MS charged how much for glorified service packs? (2k to XP, Vista to 7, any version of office ever to another version of Office)

I think it's more likely this will simply get people off the upgrading office treadmill. You pay how much for a whole bunch of features you never use anyway.

If it weren't for hyperlinks, I could get everything I need do e in word for windows 2.0; I can only wonder how many others could, but have been duped by the shiny-shiny express.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

Apple charges about as much for a glorified OS service pack that will only run on their overpriced hardware

Says someone who hasn't been near a Mac in years. MS Office is by some serious distance the most expensive software I have on OSX, and its license is the most restrictive one. I'm very happy with the price hike as it will encourage more people to discover the free alternatives.

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Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

You do not mind that Google uses Machine Learning algorithms to go through all your Google docs?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Libre office for Mac...

"and i would use Safari just to annoy M$"

Instead of using IE5 on your mac? Really? I don't suppose they care which browser you use, as long as you pay them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

@Eadon Don't be so literal. Testman means it will not sway a significant amount of people. Your x is so close to zero it's negligible. In fact, the price rise will earn more than they lose from the few people unwilling to pay the small incremental increase. Testman's basic statement is correct

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Trollface

Re: In other words, $20 isn't going to sway anyone - WRONG

Google docs is more than adequate for most peoples requirements, and completely free.

Except for the part where you have to create a Google account...

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Megaphone

NeoOffice is OO for Mac OSX

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Gimp

I still haven't used all the features in Office 11, so methinks I'll happily pass this time.

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jai
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another move in the software giant's territory battle

Territory battles in software usually result in prices being brought down, not up.

Someone needs to explain to M$ that increasing prices isn't the right way to attract new customers - perhaps they had a price-userbase graph displaying upside down on their Surface pad

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Especially in this situation when they're competing with iworks.

Ignoring the fact the iworks apps are actually not that good - they come pre-loaded (in trial form) on new macs, costs a fraction of the MS office price, and can even be installed on your iphone/ipad allowing documents to be synced transparently between them via icloud (though why you'd want to trust Apple like that is the topic for another discussion).

That's an uphill sell for MS. They need to bring the price down to $40 just to be level pegging.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed...

...not that good, but good enough to be usable as an alternative for all but power users.

Seems a bit daft to me - surely the ubiquity of Office is what keeps the vice like grip and let's MS milk corporates for licences. Any dilution of that ubiquity reduces the impetus surely?

I really don't think anyone in Redmond can see past the end of their noses these days, never mind strategically... :-/

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Re: Agreed...

There's nothing missing or wrong with iWork that 90% of users would ever spot. So in practical terms it's 90% as good.

Weirdly it wasn't preinstalled on the Mac I bought recently; I'm not sure if that's because it was refurbished (though iPhoto, GarageBand, etc, were there).

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Re: Agreed...

@ThomH

"Weirdly it wasn't preinstalled on the Mac I bought recently; I'm not sure if that's because it was refurbished (though iPhoto, GarageBand, etc, were there)."

As far as I am aware iWork doesn't come on new Macs either, but iWeb, iPhoto, Garageband etc do.

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"iworks apps are actually not that good"

When was the last time you actually compared modern versions of iWork and MS Office for Mac?

My employer provided a licence for Office 2011, but for most jobs I end up using iWork's Pages and Keynote instead of Word and Powerpoint, simply because it's easier to produce professional results with iWork -- and because Microsoft decided to manage keybindings on their own, disabling standard Cocoa keybindings and forcing the Windows CUA on Mac users. So far everyone has been happy with the Word files I export from Pages.

(When it comes to academic writing, neither Pages nor Word are up to the task, so I (like most of my colleagues) use LaTeX. I suppose that the capabilities of Excel outstrip Numbers; but I'm a scientist, so I use Matlab, R, and Octave instead of spreadsheets.)

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Re: Agreed... (@Wensleydale Cheese)

That was my impression too; I was writing in response to Silverburn though I realise I was slightly ambiguous so: it was a MacBook Pro (ie, a 'professional' model) but had no trial versions of anything preinstalled. Not Office, not iWork, not anything.

I tend to prefer Pages over Word because it fits so much better into the OS and hence so much better into normal workflows. Last time I used Word it had not just its own keybindings as referenced by Quxy but its own dictionaries and its own text rendering — which was very heavily hinted and not pair kerned, like Windows XP used to be, so stuck out like a sore thumb. Before Pages I was using IBM Lotus Symphony, which was OpenOffice under a different UI and is now discontinued.

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@Silverburn

Ignoring the fact that it some considerable time since iWork (in trial form) came installed on new Macs. It's never been installed on new macs as standard, and it sounds as though your experience is of the pre-2006 version (which admittedley, was not that brilliant).

However, it has changed. I open all word docs and docx sent to me in Pages and I send them back as doc. No-one knows. I use Pages in schools to produce booklets with young kids. When I do my presentations I get comments like "our Powerpoints never look as good as that' that's because Powerpoint is nowhere to be found on my macs, Keybote does it all.

My only downer on iWork is that Numbers (the spreadsheet module) is not as quick to learn if you want to develop large sheets. It is very clever (clever enough for most users (other than power users)) and produces great 3D charts with lots of control. It's just the getting there that takes a bit longer.

I can honestly say that I haven't opened Excel now since numbers was installed.

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> Territory battles in software usually result in prices being brought down, not up.

The territory is MS ecosystem vs Apple ecosystem.

Raising the Office-for-Mac price narrows the difference between OSX+Office and Windows+Office.

Finger in the air guess - It probably won't have much impact. Most Mac's are personal devices and people don't often buy office retail - they get it at home using the $15 deal.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Office eventually arrives with a Windows CAL & price tag. Then MS can port to other OS' without losing revenue. Anti-trust issues just needs to be worked around probably by integration with an "online" service: a local windows CAL gives you a discount off the desktop required to run Office 365 from a remote host.

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What makes you think they're trying to attract NEW customers?

Someone needs to explain to M$ that increasing prices isn't the right way to attract new customers

The whole point of building a monopoly is that you have people who have little option but to buy your product, so that you can raise your prices exactly like they're doing.

The people who already own MS Office on OS X are going to pay the increase, because they wouldn't be using MS Office if they didn't need to. If they only needed office software that had OK but not perfect MS compatibility they'd be using iWork, LibreOffice or Google Docs.

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Re: "iworks apps are actually not that good"

Thats fine, I agree for your line of work, you need specific apps which do the job miles better, for me, iWork is fine, I know the limitations but it dosnt affect productivity & as for that its actually very good for what I do.

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JDX
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365

Does this work on Mac - is it fully web-based or does it [still?] require a downloaded component?

What about the instant-download feature... Windows only?

I was interested when browsing my local Fapple store, to note that they had MSOffice installed on all the demo machines. I'd never thought it was a big deal to Apple users but maybe it is now Apple has managed to get a half decent slice of market share.

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Mushroom

Office For Mac

Wonder if the equal parity in pricing will mean equal functionality! I have Office 2011 on this Mac and its pretty awful. My latest problem with it is that it refuses to load in filenames with hyphens or brackets across the network. It complains they are "illegal". Yet every other OSX app is happy with them and the files have been saved on a Windows 7 PC running office that sits next to the Mac! Same Windows box opens them happily!

Unfortunately for me, client requirements mean I need to reproduce their Powerpoint presentations with 100% accuracy so I'm stuck with the stinking thing.

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JDX
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Re: Office For Mac

Why don't you just use Parallels or VirtualBox? The latter is free, but the former would let you launch Word for Windwos et al from your OSX launch-bar (very cool).

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Gimp

Re: Office For Mac

Tried the Parallels route. Doing it that way is about the only way to make the Mac version look quick, elegant and slender. A VM is a big old resource hog remember.

Actually have just changed to VMware which seems marginally better. Although I opted to upgrade to Windows 8 which is "interesting":-)

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Linux

Can

we have Office for Linux please... without all that faffing about with wine

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Re: Can

Getting office to work with Linux will require lots of wine, I'm afraid. A case of Chateau Neuf at a minimum.

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Re: Can

Yes its call use the online version.

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Re: Can

>Uses Linux

>wants to buy overpriced MS software

Wut?

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windows' prices

That's not Windows' prices yet. To come equal, MS should have added Windows 8 Home price to the price of Office 2013 Home for Mac. E.g. price Office 2013 Home for Windows at $120 and Office 2013 Home for Mac at $220 ($220 == $120 for Office itself and $100 compensation for having not bought Windows 8 Home, bitch).

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JDX
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Re: Microsoft are going to upset Mac-using execs here

Terrified of Google Docs? People who find Google Docs an adequate substitute for Word could just as easily use WordPad!

Even Google aren't seemingly putting much effort into web-office, based on using it quite a lot the last few years at least.

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Mushroom

Re: could just as easily use WordPad!

Most Word users could just as easily use Wordpad --- or even Notepad!

The vast majority of office work could still be done on a typewriter.

Screwing Apple users? Microsoft is intent on screwing everybody. By tying Office licences to single machines it is screwing the whole user base that does not fit into one of its bulk licensing schemes. That is all individual users, and many, many small and not-quite-so-small companies. The cost of replacing or upgrading machines in those companies will be increased: there will be more nos to requests for a new PC. PC sales, already not the happiest industry, will be hit even further: Microsoft screws the resellers; Microsoft screws the manufacturers.

When will Microsoft screw itself? It's only a matter of time.

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Go

Moo. Mooooo. Mooooooooo.

Milk that cash cow....

Sod the future... they know it's rather limited, so milk milk milk whilst they can.

Moo.

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Joke

Re: Microsoft are going to upset Mac-using execs here

'cloudy office suits' sound cool where can I buy one?

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