Why so little office software for the Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by snicker71, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. snicker71 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2006
    Been looking at the iMac Intel Core Duo as a potential switch machine, and noticed that apart from the MS Office/iWork trials, there is no office software bundled with these machines. You get Omnioutliner but no Appleworks as on the PPC models. Apart from Firefox, MS Word is the app I use most on my PC, and to think that if I buy a Mac (and it would have to be an Intel) I'd have to shell-out atleast £55 for iWork to do word-processing, and if I want a spreadsheet (which I do) £349 for MS Office, or use the freebies.
    So my question is, other than the two app above and OO and Neo O. Why are there so few office apps for the Mac? The only other one I could find was 'Think Free Office', is that any good, will it open/save MS Office docs? This seems strange to me as Windows market eventhough dominated by MS Office still has loads of alternatives, cheap and expensive, so how come?
    Also side point; is there an affordable alternative to iPhoto? Something that does both organising and editing in the one app? Again does'nt seem to be too many alternatives for the Mac.
  2. mdavey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    £55 for Pages and Keynote is an absolute bargain in my book, but I understand that it doesn't help much if you also need a spreadsheet application.

    As you point out, there is also NeoOffice and OpenOffice, both of which are free. With some effort (it isn't trivial), you could get KOffice from the KDE project or Gnome-office from the Gnome project - both of these are free, too.

    Another option might be to use a standalone spreadsheet application, such as Marina Calc

    The Mac arguably has more office applications available for it than any other platform with the exception of Windows. It is a pity, however, that Apple hasn't taken the spreadsheet component of NeoOffice and added a typical Apple touch to turn it into an iWork component, though (the vector drawing component from NeoOffice would be nice, too).
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    For the same reason there's so little office software for Windows.
  4. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Use Google.

    There are links to a number of other word processors (in addition to MS Word and OpenOffice/NeoOffice) just on the first page of results. This page sums up several word processors and related apps (such as text editors):

  5. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    VersionTracker is also a very useful site:

  6. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops

    are there really any alternatives to m$ office (on the pc side of the world), out of curiosity?
  7. snicker71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2006
    Thanks for the link. I obviously have'nt done my homework properly, still great to see so many office apps for the Mac:)
  8. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2005
    Why do you need to find an alternative to iPhoto?
    iLife '06 is bundled free with every new Mac.
    Even if you didn't have it, $80 US would be a huge bargain for even one of the iLife apps, let alone all five.
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    There is the Corel WordPerfect suite. I believe that IBM still produces Lotus SmartSuite. However, last week's boomlet that the Mac-only iWork is now the No. 2 productivity suite--even if not true--shows just how meager the options on Windows are.
  10. jholzner macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2002
    Champaign, IL
    You could also purchase the Student/Teacher editoin of office for $150. Not sure the pricing in the UK but it is much cheaper and is the same software.
  11. ingenious macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2004
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    A lot of PCs don't come with MS Office anymore, usually its like Corel Wordperfect or something, isn't it? Also, the entire iLife suite is free with every new Mac (including iPhoto).
  12. dolphin842 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2004
    I've tried NeoOffice but sadly it's still too slow/rough around the edges.

    Actually, now that I think of it, they released a new version (or at least an alpha of one) since I last tried them... so the above statement may or may not be as true anymore.
  13. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    iWork should come standard in ALL new Intel Macs, now that Appleworks is dropped from them
  14. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR

    iPhoto does quite a few basic editing tasks...if you need more, grab photoshop elements.
  15. mdavey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    Yea, especially as it is updated every year so many will buy the new version within 12-24 months anyway. Especially if Apple took the opportunity to replace individual iLife and iWork products with a single iLife+iWork product.
  16. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005

    £99.99 from Apple.com/uk/thestore
    £102.00 from John Lewis
    £119.00 from PC World

    Student/Teacher edition is good value as you get three licences, and get Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Entourage.

    You only have to be a parent with a child in full time education, or work in education yourself to qualify - so that takes care of a sizable chunk of the population. :)
  17. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    For a word processor, Nissus Express is very good. Its alot nicer to use then Word I find and alot cheaper. It doesnt handle images within documents that well though- I couldn't get text to wrap around images for instance (although that could be my fault).

    Its sad that Appleworks is pretty much dead; twas a decent suite that got me through a Politics BA at University.
  18. Play Ultimate macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    You're Right

    AppleWorks is great. I find that it can do most of what is just coming online in Pages. Granted Keynote is better than the Presentation option in AppleWorks. Otherwise, it still is quite solid; if a little old.
  19. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    Student Edition of Office is about £80

    A cheap alternative to iPhoto???? At £50 for 5 app's in the iLife 06 bundle represents great value and you wont find better for that price.........

    I try and buy all my apps with student discount, it's the only way I can afford them 'though legitamitly my course ended a few years ago ;) '.

    But at least this way I can buy the applications I use rather than a lot of people who get 'steal/leech' them from filesharing programs....
  20. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
  21. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK

    But the real diamond within Appleworks was the 'drawing' section. you could create and arrange text, graphic and vector graphics really quickly and easily. It worked as a basic DTP program even. I use it to create prototypes for websites and flash stuff.

    Is there a specific app like that out there? I'm not sure what I'd do without the drawing app when I get a Macintelosh.
  22. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    Sounds like Powerpoint (more so than Keynote).
  23. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I used AppleWorks to do a daily newspaper for a kids' summer camp for many years. Tried MS Visio and MS Publisher (on PC's) for a few years, but even today nothing beats the simplicity of AppleWorks.

    My Powerbook came with OmniGraffle which is a very capable little drawing program.
  24. Melkor macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2005
    Yeah, I feel your pain. It does suck that MS office is so expensive, but I guess it's worth the money.

    I got lucky and only had to pay €100 for MS office + VPC 'cause I'm a student.

    It just has to be done though.

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