Why Is Microsoft Office So Expensive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cdubb213, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm looking at the prices for Microsoft Office and the prices are too high. I just need it for typing documents. Also, is it possible to just get the word program. I don't need excel and powerpoint. As you can see i'm sort of new to mac's, would it be compatible with the Windows version. Lastly, I guess I would have to buy an external drive to save my documents with the A:/ drive.

    Can someone please answer my questions?

    Thank You!
  2. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    is there any reason why you have to be able to save in MS Word format (.doc)? if not you could just use text edit to type whatever you need, and save to .rtf format, which can be read by any word processor. Office is expensive because MS knows that its the standard and people will pay that much for it. there is a Student and Teacher version out there if you are eligible... and you could probably find the previous version Office X for cheap on ebay, or a used 2004 copy if thats what you need.
  3. macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    And there's always NeoOffice J. It's a free, open source, ...kind of ugly (haha) Office suite. You can save it in .doc format when's all said and done.

    And save to Drive A?
    Do you mean floppy disk?

    if it's possible for what you're doing, I'd just ditch the disk and get a thumb drive or burn it to a cd-rw... but eh. I'm lazy and don't like floppies, haha. :)
  4. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    katie, your 'tar is wacky and a little creepy.

    and i agree about a thumb drive, much much much easier than trying to deal with floppies unless they are 100% needed
  5. Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Yeah, I knda hate it, too.

    And yes, you can do everything you need to with text edit.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Sirus The Virus

    May 12, 2005
  7. macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Hah! Not likely...... Oh.... that iWork.... I thought you were making a comment. ;)
  8. macrumors 68020


    May 18, 2004
    yes, you can buy just the word program

    and compatiblity is generally pretty good with the windows version

    also, what kind of mac do you have? you might find that you already have Appleworks installed which would give you a word processing program (yeah, yeah, yeah....so some people here don't like it cuz it's old, it might work for you anyway)
  9. macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    You can buy just Word separately. The student and teacher version of Word is $89, I've seen it at CompUSA. The regular version of Word for Mac is $199, you can get it from Amazon.com. It's worth noting that Excel and PowerPoint are also available in standalone versions, but if you want more than one, it's a better deal to just buy Office. There are other word processing applications available, some free, some not. I personally don't like any of the free options, but you might. I've heard good things about Nisus and their product, Nisus Writer Express. They have a demo available, and the full version is $69, which is much cheaper than Word.

    Word and Excel and PowerPoint for the Mac are very compatible with the PC version. Very rarely you might have minor problems with formatting changes when transferring .doc files from Windows to Mac and vice versa, but the same thing happens when transferring between different versions of Office on the same platform.

    As for your question about an "A:\" drive, I assume you mean a floppy drive. You can buy an external USB floppy drive pretty cheaply, but to be honest, unless you need one to read or write floppies for someone else, I wouldn't bother. Floppies are pretty well dead (thank goodness). If you do need one, you should know that most (if not all) of them will work just fine with OS X, I've used a few before.
  10. macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2004
    Council Bluffs, IA
    Check out OpenOffice. It's another open source office suite that is very nice....and free.
  11. macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005

    Awww, no love for the wiggly Greenspan? :)

    I'll make a series of wiggly economists. I will cycle through them much like you and the Steves. :)
  12. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004

    oh no!! ;) just playing.

    On Topic:

    The only problem with Open Office is that you need to run it under X11 still :(
  13. macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I have Office 2004 on my machines - no issues ever (none with Office X - the last version either) when going between Office on XP to Mac - Icons just come up - both systems save as .doc files. The only difference between student teacher and regular is price and package as far as I've ever seen. For something you buy just once, it isn't priced that badly - of course you can divide the amount you use it into the price - at $199 for the regular version that someone noted the price of, that's less than a quarter a day if you use it for two years. :)
  14. macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2005
    I really tried to give NeoOffice/J a fair shot and write some documents using it for work, but was rather frustrated with many of the formatting things. Bullets are goofy and pasted screenshots didn't appear in Word on Windows for my coworkers. Lots of time lost because of this. So I now have the 2004 version of Word and problems solved. (Also, NeoOffice/J is too slow and takes too much time to load. Word pops up in less than 4 - 5 seconds...not to mention an initial 100mb memory usage by Neo.)

    I've also tried OpenOffice on Linux....same thing. It's great these programs are available and I will support them and try them seriously every 6 months or so to see what's improved, but right now, I just stick with Word since it's so nice on the Mac and gets along with the Windows versions.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2004
    Some free/cheaper alternatives

    First off welcome to the world of Macs. As for word processors, you actually have quite a few choices. First off, TextEdit (already installed in your 'Applications' folder) writes and reads Word .doc files out of the box. I have had some problems with elements such as tables or images, but for the basic paper there are no problems reading or saving. The bad thing about TextEdit is that it is REALLY simple and not all that elegant for doing what you want. Your next option has already been given to you, and that is NeoOffice or OpenOffice. They are pretty much the same thing except that you need to run a program called X11 to run OpenOffice, and for NeoOffice you don't. They both are free, and overall pretty darn good, but they are both ugly and don't fit will into the whole mac atmosphere. Also you would installing all the elements of the program, not just the word processor, so you actually get more than what you need. You can find NeoOffice at http://www.neooffice.org and OpenOffice at http://www.openoffice.org If you go with this alternative, go with Neo, it is a bit easier to install and has a pretty good community that can help you if you have troubles. Finally there is one other free choice, and it is a program called AbiWord. I personally use this and it works great for what I need. Every once and a while I will have a trouble with a .doc file with a table or picture, but for the most part it has been great, and it is getting better each release. It is only a word processor, so you won't waste space on your hard drive with things you don't need. You can find AbiWord at http://www.abisource.com/~fjf/

    I don't have much experience with the shareware/commercial products but if you want to do a google search for mac word processors try out Nissus Writer and Mellel. I have demoed Mellel a couple times and it seemed really nice, but since AbiWord works well enough for me I never bought it. Both are under $100 and I believe Mellel is under $50.

    Hope this helps a bit. Just a side note, if you are absolutely needing some special feature of Word, than by all means just get it, but if all you need is a decent word processor that writes/reads .doc files try these out first. Also one other note, if you are creating documents that you need to be certain of their format, such as a resume, save the final version as a PDF. (you can select this when you try to print) This way you will be sure who ever you give it to will see it the way you want them to.

    Finally I would assume when you talk about an external HD, you want a way to transfer files from one computer to another. A thumb drive can be very helpful, but if all you doing is moving a Word .doc file from one computer to another, try just emailing it to yourself. If you have a hotmail/yahoo/gmail account (or any other email account that lets you read email from a web browser) just attach the file(s) you want to move and mail it to yourself. Then on the other computer you can just read your email and pick up the attached files. No need to spend a bunch of money on a thumb drive to move a few small files back and forth. Once again I hope this helps, and if you have any questions feel free to ask some more!

  16. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Another vote for Pages as an inexpensive, effective and easy to use alternative to Word.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    All u need is to buy office once. For my pc days, I still use office 97...there's really no big difference betwwen 97 and xp.
  18. macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    No one has answered the main question: Why is it so expensive?

    The answer.

    Office is the cash cow for Microsoft. Since Microsoft is selling $50 copies of Windows OEM it has to look for other income sources. Office accounts for $11bn in sales for Microsoft out of a gross of $40bn.

    So Office is a very important part of M$ and that's why they're defending it with knives and swords against the hordes of Open Source software like Open Office.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    Don't forget with office you get wonderful assistants popping up to 'help' you and state the obvious to you

    Clippy: It looks like your typing a letter
    You: no $h%T sherlock go away.... :mad: <click on clippy and check 'hide assistant>

    but yeah it IS the standard and does actually work on a mac.
    I too second getting a usb drive (or using the email trick, I do it all the time) instead of floppies
  20. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    You realise you can turn Clippy off, right? Agreed, he's horrible though.

    Oh, and am I the only one who loves katie ta achoo's 'tar? :p
  21. macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Why would anybody want to do that? :eek:
    I think it's creepy and weird (that's a good thing).
  22. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2005
    Near the Singularity
  24. macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Text Edit and Appleworks are both included with OS X

    For simple document work, both are fine.

    My kids use mostly AppleWorks for anything they print for homework etc.

    If they don't need to print, they simply copy/paste and e-mail
    whatever they are working on.
  25. macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2005
    I will purchase Office for Mac when I eventually switch

    Why? Well I use Windows at work and office there and I essentially want to know that there will be no compatability issues. While others will do the job I am happy to go for the easiest solution.

    I also like Word. and Excel. I think they are well thought out and developed bits of software.

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