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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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FAIL

They seem to have forgotten why they made Office cheap on the Mac

Apart from the fact that they missed out some functionality, they needed to compete with iWork, which could be bought as individual packages for £13.99 a pop (and run on multiple machines). Most home users will find Apple's offerings sufficient so increasing the price is a great way to start a downward spiral.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple Stores

The price rise doesn't matter. The guys in the local Apple store here just ignore the licensing rules. I have a business client who walked into that store and bought two Macs. For his business. Paid for from his business account. And they sold him the Home and Student edition. Which is clearly not for business use.

As an ex-developer myself that always annoys me. Why shouldn't Microsoft be paid for their product? Most businesses with a computer spend the majority of their time in Word, Excel, Powerpoint or Outlook.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Stores

Our business doesn't [spend all its time in one of MS' office suite].

You need a compelling reason to be allowed to use any Office products. We have one VM (per supported Office version) for testing the documents we create. A few salespeople have insisted on Outlook, so they get that (and nothing else) from our pool of old office licenses.

Google Apps costs about $10 per seat per year, and provides virtually unlimited email archiving, full (but slightly limited) office suite, calendaring that can synch to devices easily, no magic outlook connectors required.

We don't have to maintain our email architecture any more - there was special jubilation, involving a sledgehammer, when the final domino server was retired. Files are seamlessly shared between people and edited in real time by multiple people around the world simultaneously, which actually works wonderfully.

If the license was cheaper, would we take it? Maybe, but as cheap as Google Apps? Unlikely to happen.

Salesforce tried something similar, we increased our licenses with them, they then racked up the prices, so we trimmed full SF access to just those who absolutely need full access, and wrote an in house app to update SF with information gathered from those who don't, saving tens of thousands a year.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Stores

I agree with your last point... those who absolutely must (or so they say) have a premium-priced product should jolly well pay the premium price. What's the point of proclaiming "I love vendor X, they are the best" and then violating vendor X's licensing terms?

The problem is, vendor X has a vested interest in keeping things that way - it closes off the market to cheaper but less functional competitors who then never get the traction needed to produce a full-featured product.

I'm also a former developer, but have noted that 80% of the income of Microsoft's Windows and Office division is pure profit. Couple that with the twisty maze of licensing that is designed to extract the maximum of cash from each type of customer and I can't really say there is any sympathy left for Microsoft when people use the "wrong edition" of MS Office. After all, they are still making a handsome profit on the 3-license Home and Student edition.

As you go up the "ladder" of editions all that happens is that the profit margin transitions from handsome to usurious to outrageous.

All told my real sympathy is with developers working for other firms who produce good product at a fair price but who have been elbowed aside in the marketplace.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Stores

Sorry. When I said "Most businesses with a computer spend the majority of their time in Word, Excel, Powerpoint or Outlook." I meant many Small Businesses. I'm thinking of the little guys here with just a few machines and employees.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 16:05GMT - Re: Apple Stores

I have no compassion for those small, medium or big businesses. If they allowed themselves to be tied up and locked to the Microsoft wagon, they should pay for that. As they say in my country of origin, those who don't open their eyes will have to open their purse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Stores

Google Apps costs about $10 per seat per year

.. and the service is subject to the same flawed Privacy Policy as has been questioned by the EU. If you use Google Apps for business, this means your company will be breaking EU privacy laws instead of Google. You may want to check up on that is you're in the EU..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 16:05GMT - Apple Stores

>I have no compassion for those small, medium or big businesses.

I'm sure they're heartbroken.

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Windows price

Did they also change the licence so you can only install it on one computer like Office 2013?

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when with $ parity == feature parity

I actually don't mind paying $20 more for Office for Mac (well, I wouldn't, but I'm planning on getting O365 Family Edition or whatever it's called anyway so it's moot) but I'd like to see feature parity, not a half arsed attempt at keeping up with the previous version. Word, Excel etc aren't bad but Outlook is a world of pain

I found the experience so painful that I run Outlook in a WM under Fusion rather than use either mail.app or Outlook for Mac!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: when with $ parity == feature parity

yeah it's a big issue. because of that i'm using now mail & calendar from mac and outlook only for complicated tasks.

I'd also pay for full office functionality on mac, but ms delivered a half baked product which is not compatible fully with the windows version. No need to pay them again. I'm starting to create my documents in pages (I'm pretty sure that Excel cannot be replaced).

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Trollface

What people are failing to see here is that Mac owners are used to paying silly amounts for things and that in all likelihood quite a few Macolytes complained that it wasn't expensive enough...

So now all that's happened is that Microsoft have brough their pricing in line with Apple Standards, and hey presto! All is well again.

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Stupid troll should check apples price for an office suite and come back.

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Anonymous Coward

What people are failing to see here is that Mac owners are used to paying silly amounts for things and that in all likelihood quite a few Macolytes complained that it wasn't expensive enough...

What people DO see is that you have never been close enough to the Apple platform to have an opinion based on actual facts, facts even the most cursory addition of costs available from any online shop would have demonstrated. A Mac is only expensive (and at risk from infection) if you use Microsoft and Adobe products. If your job allows you to avoid that, computing on a Mac is actually substantial cheaper.

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Silver badge

Microsoft has raised the price of Office for the Mac to be the same as Office for Windows. Mac users aren't paying a premium.

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Bronze badge

Is iWork like an office suite, or like things like Word Pad and Paint that come with Windows for free? I know that there used to be $29.95 semi-office-suites for the PC, and maybe iWork is better than those, but since Open Office is free, I don't see that iWork changes the situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Competition

Are Apple going to abandon their product ? iWork was significantly updated in 2009 - embarrassing.

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2013 windows bound to PC

According to danish website office 2013 license is tied to particular PC, so when your PC dies you have to cough up for a new license: http://epn.dk/teknologi2/computer/article5210229.ece

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Re: 2013 windows bound to PC

"consumer" version - doesn't mention change for Pro version (yet?...)

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Coffee/keyboard

Funniest concept ever.

"Microsoft Surface is competing with the Ipad."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

New keyboard please.

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Re: Funniest concept ever.

Why, yes it is. And so is Android. Android is doing quite well, thank you. As for Microsoft's Surface - competing doesn't have to mean competing successfully.

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Stop

Missing the forest for the trees

all of this talk about Office 365, Google Docs, and other cloud services -

is missing a very important issue -

THERE IS NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY

with any cloud based service. If you (collective you) are a Gov't, or business putting your daily correspondence and business documents in a cloud service is ASKING for trouble. Gov't (inter agency as well) spying*, competitor spying*, police spying*.

This is not to mention the issue of directed adverts, looking at you Google

* spying - in this instance, reading copying documents/information that the originator did not intend to for the 'spy' to see/read/have.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep.

I work for an EU-based multinational whose IT department moved all corporate email to Outlook 365 six months ago. Now the specific EU government with whom we have some defence development contracts is very pointedly asking our corporate lawyers why on earth they thought it was legal to store EU government email on US-controlled servers...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep.

Now the specific EU government with whom we have some defence development contracts is very pointedly asking our corporate lawyers why on earth they thought it was legal to store EU government email on US-controlled servers...

Yup, this is the kind of stuff we clean up on a daily basis.. We have also done some interesting research on the legality of Google services, and the conclusion is that not only is there quite a risk using Google for an EU company, looking at the *cough* "help" offered by Google, it appears Google itself may know full well they are on the wrong side of EU law.

The problem with *business* use of Google is that you inherit that liability as a company..

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Re: Yep.

Then someone in your company screwed up, since you can requests that your Office 365 data never leaves EU servers if you require it.

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Gold badge

Re: Yep.

you can requests that your Office 365 data never leaves EU servers if you require it.

That illusion only lasts until you read the US PATRIOT Act *properly*..

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Paris Hilton

Who actually pays for MS software other than businesses?

I sure never have and probably never will... I can always find a hacked copy, black copy (genius MS versions with no copyright in them), or a spare key from any number of places. Some of the keys I have used are even legal.

Last time I used a Mac (was it slow leper?) the office software didn't require any activation, just downloaded and installed.

Paris - as some things in life are not free.

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Silver badge

This just in....

Apple announces that Libre Office will be installed on all shipping Macs. Documentation book to be priced at $20. Apple also announces that they will be participating in the development and improvement of Libre Office in the near future.

Well, we can hope!

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Windows

Mail

Most people posting seem to stop their consideration of Office before reaching Outlook. Integrating mail and calendar better than any other app I've tried (most of them). Oh but Google Docs is... blah blah blah. GMail interface is ass unless you connect via IMAP from ... whoops, Outlook.

While email is falling into the legacy area for most personal use, in a corporate and SMB environment it's still the king. The increasing uptake of BYOD programs* means that people want/need a real mail client that talks to their Exchange clusters**. Or they're just like me and want to keep a good calendar integrated with a solid email platform.

Anyway, do what you will.

* In which they should only be using applications via Citrix anyway and ignoring their local apps for work use (small business is a special case, and they need helmets).

** Exchange, because lulz Domino.

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Outlook?

Well, I guess that it works well in comparison to any web-based solution, particularly (shudder) Microsoft's own OWA. But Mac's own mail and calendar applications now integrate seamlessly with corporate Exchange servers and Outlook 365, so it's hard to think of a reason for using Outlook on a Mac, unless you're a long-time Outlook user who doesn't want to switch.

Mail.app may not have as many features as Outlook, but filtering rules are easier to set up and (I would argue) more powerful; and best of all, it handles email formatting properly, properly implementing Internet (RFC 3676) quoting (which has been completely broken in Outlook since 2003) and avoiding the line wrapping errors that Outlook is so famous for.

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Re: Mail

Yes, that and the dead weight of the business logic encapsulated in the VBA and macros embedded in more Excel spreadsheets and Word templates than I would care to count, analyse, debug and re-implement.

For corporation-wide email nothing is as integrated or effective as Exchange. For everything else there is a viable no-Microsoft alternative, but not for Exchange. As soon as there is, then Microsoft is hosed.

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Re: Mail

@eadon Yes, I got the email, then I read our customers' security requirements and replied that a fully cloudy solution would be incompatible with them, so an internally managed solution was needed. Cross-portablity matter, yes, but whole heap less than pissing on your customer's chips.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mail

Cross-portablity matter, yes, but whole heap less than pissing on your customer's chips.

Got it in one. It is *extremely* hard to move an enterprise off a Microsoft platform because you're not just dealing with the cost of conversion of all the macros and other business logic glue, you also have to handle the fact that a vast amount of people have a vested interested in the status quo.

I worked at a consultancy where the IT department had cooked up document macros to create and manage reports. These things were barely suitable for use because the formatting mess they created meant it could only ever be used for something not longer than maybe 10 pages (read: the CEO got to play with it and saw It Was Good) - Word would eventually just die over the sheer volume of cut & paste errors and lie twitching on a heap in a corner while we used OpenOffice to rescue the information. Keeping that single tool from screwing up too much costed an entire FTE in the IT department - this was just creating work to keep someone employed. This same setup also did IT consulting, and here I found out the true reason they were recommending Microsoft. With Open Source based solutions, that would be that. It would work if properly designed, and keep working. No more followup maintenance contracts. Using Microsoft, any idiot knew maintenance was essential - it was an easy sell. And such consultancies advise decision makers - only now it is no longer feasible to undersell Open Source is there potential this may change. But I wouldn't bet on it just yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Access.

Access has never been available AFAIK. So this completely puts Office Mac into the more casual user market.

So if they're charging more and not making it available then it's a swizz.

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Linux

LibreOffice 4 was just released.

Use it.

There is no Microsoft, unless you look for it.

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Which alternative?

Do Open and Libre Office both require Java? Because prominent on Neo's website is the interesting fact....

• New Cocoa code replaces Java

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Gimp

"...as Microsoft begins to compete with Apple in the hardware market. Microsoft's new Surface..."

HaHa! In your dreams Redmond. In your dreams.

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Bronze badge

Although it's a price increase

Isn't most Mac software much more expensive than corresponding software for the Windows platform, because of the lack of competition? So this doesn't seem like too much of a disaster for Mac users. Who, of course, can always use Open Office, just like everyone else, since it's available for the Mac as well as for Windows and Linux.

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