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skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
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Brazil
For the last 12 years, I have had both Windows PCs and Macs (simultaneously). The single thing that prevented me from definitively moving to a Mac is Microsoft Office. I can use Windows PCs exclusively, but I cannot afford to use Mac only because of Office. I depend on Microsoft Office for work and for academic purposes. As everybody uses Microsoft Office, I simply cannot use something else if I want to keep 100% compatibility. And the fact is that I like Microsoft Office as well, as it provides a package of full-featured polished software.

There is, of course, Microsoft Office for Mac. But the thing is, Microsoft Office for Mac does not come close to Microsoft Office for Windows in many respects. There is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the features are almost all there. But the Windows version is more polished and provides much better performance. Mac users complain about Microsoft Office because it is bloated and heavy, and that is indeed true, but for the Mac version. The Windows version is a fine piece of software that has no parallel.

I recently ran a test on memory usage with several documents, on different word processors, that showed me exactly that. The table below shows how much memory (in MB) each of the software used to open a Word file with the number of pages shown in the first column. The documents were very different, some had tables, others lots of fields and cross-references. I used the latest version of all the software below.

Pages in documentMicrosoft Word for WindowsMicrosoft Word for MacLibreOffice for WindowsLibreOffice for MacApple PagesNisus Writer ProMellel
2411552243153382041250199
8982292722711651110113
221132405483611931180126
171392713613201821190127
3161323164003771761120244
731302493323401781190141
241052323092951671170122
91022163102861451180115
3051422674804082181230217
All of the above3741022107915903826920772

The results show that Word for Windows is superior in memory usage to all other software. And it feels lightweight, despite having so many features. When working on a Mac environment, Pages is usually lighter than Microsoft Word and does a good job at converting documents, even though it lacks features. Microsoft Word feels slow and lacks the performance of its Windows counterpart. Mellel is full-featured and even lighter than Pages, which is impressive, but the implementation of the features is unique, so it is not ideal in terms of compatibility. Nisus Writer Pro is a real memory hog.

Although Pages and Mellel are fine, Microsoft Word for Windows is still the gold standard. It is a great word processor, as it has more features than any of the competitors and still manages to be the one which uses less memory. Nothing comes close to it.

I have seen comparisons of how Microsoft Office runs better on an M1 Mac than on an Intel Mac. I also saw several comparisons on how the M1 processor is superior to Intel. However, I have no interest in Photoshop or video editing. My real question is how Microsoft Office for Mac running on an M1 processor compares to Microsoft Office for Windows running on an Intel 11th gen processor. Does the superiority of the M1 processor compensate the inferiority of Microsoft Office for Mac? How are they side by side?
 

ItWasNotMe

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2012
439
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May only be a problem for a minority of people but in maintaining files on an encrypted disk; the M1 version has serious issues that were not present in the Intel version

  • Completely loses the file in some circumstances.
  • In others, on save without exit, it does the save and then renames the file to WRDnnn in a hidden folder where nnn is a number.
  • Try to exit without saving the file, it prompts you to save. Respond yes and it may save the changes then tell you the file can't be saved as its in use by someone else, would you like to save it as a different file.
 

iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,903
451
Toronto, Ontario
While the latest Office for Mac is easily the best version ever released for OS X/MacOS (it really isn't close...), the performance is still lacking vs. my work computer which isn't anything special with your average hardware. Word is fine but working with Excel on MacOS can be pretty frustrating sometimes so I'm interested to see how all of this works with the M1.

Other than the OS side of things, I just don't see how Office can't be optimized for the hardware which is more/less the same as everything else on the market. So I don't see how the M1 can fix this completely unless there's something I'm missing or don't understand about the hardware.
 
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skaertus

macrumors 601
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Feb 23, 2009
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Brazil
While the latest Office for Mac is easily the best version ever released for OS X/MacOS (it really isn't close...), the performance is still lacking vs. my work computer which isn't anything special with your average hardware. Word is fine but working with Excel on MacOS can be pretty frustrating sometimes so I'm interested to see how all of this works with the M1.

Other than the OS side of things, I just don't see how Office can't be optimized for the hardware which is more/less the same as everything else on the market. So I don't see how the M1 can fix this completely unless there's something I'm missing or don't understand about the hardware.
Well, I was hoping that the M1, allegedly being so much faster than Intel, could compensate for the poor performance of Microsoft Office on the Mac.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
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I don't know where RAM usage has a lot to do with performance - execution of code and RAM usage are not necessarily related. It's like assuming a direct relationship between RPM and MPG.

So while the chart is interesting, it probably doesn't explain your subjective experience using the various apps.

My basic takeaway is that it's not surprising that one of the world's dominant apps performs better on the world's dominant desktop computing platform. 90%+ of the sales volume/user base is going to get a higher percentage of the love (code optimization).

For now, it's purely going to be a matter that the raw performance advantage of the M1 can be expected to improve the experience of using Word for Mac (when compiled for the M1). As far as whether Microsoft assigns additional resources to improving the performance of WfM (not just recompiling it for Apple Silicon)... that may take years.

Part of Apple's objective running Apple Silicon on all platforms is to grow its position with developers - one code base for both iOS And Mac. That means efforts made to improve Word for Mac affect Word for iPadOS/iOS, and vice versa.

I also expect that this cross-platform compatibility will lead more businesses to adopt Mac - all the corporate apps they've developed for iOS/iPadOS running on corporate desktops as well (no need to produce a Windows or browser-based version).

Between that and more consumer iOS users moving to Mac ("All your favorite iOS apps on your desktop, too!")... I can see Apple's share of desktop sales moving to 15%, 20%, or more over the next 5-10 years. That, gives Windows developers a greater incentive to polish their Apples.
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
4,232
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Brazil
I don't know where RAM usage has a lot to do with performance - execution of code and RAM usage are not necessarily related. It's like assuming a direct relationship between RPM and MPG.

So while the chart is interesting, it probably doesn't explain your subjective experience using the various apps.

My basic takeaway is that it's not surprising that one of the world's dominant apps performs better on the world's dominant desktop computing platform. 90%+ of the sales volume/user base is going to get a higher percentage of the love (code optimization).

For now, it's purely going to be a matter that the raw performance advantage of the M1 can be expected to improve the experience of using Word for Mac (when compiled for the M1). As far as whether Microsoft assigns additional resources to improving the performance of WfM (not just recompiling it for Apple Silicon)... that may take years.

Part of Apple's objective running Apple Silicon on all platforms is to grow its position with developers - one code base for both iOS And Mac. That means efforts made to improve Word for Mac affect Word for iPadOS/iOS, and vice versa.

I also expect that this cross-platform compatibility will lead more businesses to adopt Mac - all the corporate apps they've developed for iOS/iPadOS running on corporate desktops as well (no need to produce a Windows or browser-based version).

Between that and more consumer iOS users moving to Mac ("All your favorite iOS apps on your desktop, too!")... I can see Apple's share of desktop sales moving to 15%, 20%, or more over the next 5-10 years. That, gives Windows developers a greater incentive to polish their Apples.
The way I see it, RAM usage seems to have some relationship with performance, at least indirectly. Software using less RAM seemed to perform better in all cases.

And, of course, you are right, there should be a lot of code optimization in Microsoft Office for Windows, as it is probably the most used software in the world.

As for your claims that Macs are going to much benefit from the fact that they will run iOS apps, that is yet to be seen. I think there will be some benefit, of course. However, I do not think that Apple will get a 15-20% market share of desktop sales.

The single reason why Apple is stuck at this market share is price. If Apple keeps the price of the Mac at the current levels, there is absolutely nothing in the world it can do to significantly increase the market share. Perhaps it can get a higher market share in the U.S. But most computer sales come from other countries, which are much more price-sensitive and do not even consider a Mac as an alternative.

I think most people, especially in those countries, will simply not care if a Mac costing over $2,000 will run iOS apps which also have an Android version that can run on a $200 smartphone. And, indeed, many customers, even in the U.S., will think that there is no reason to buy an additional, more expensive device, just to run the very same app that they can run on a device they already have. I mean, a Mac is supposed to perform tasks a smarphone cannot, otherwise what would be the point?
 
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mj_

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May 18, 2017
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The way I see it, RAM usage seems to have some relationship with performance, at least indirectly. Software using less RAM seemed to perform better in all cases.
Nope, there isn't any correlation between the amount of memory used and the time a computation takes to finish. None whatsoever. For example, one of the reasons why Word for Mac uses much more RAM than Word for Windows to open the exact same document is that the entire user interface is already resident in RAM in Windows because Microsoft simply reuses its own default UI UWP toolkit whereas the entire user interface has to be loaded into memory first in macOS because Microsoft is trying to mimic the Windows UI on macOS as closely as possible instead of using Apple's native desktop UI toolkit.

As for your other question: Microsoft Office for Mac on Apple's M1 is faster than Microsoft Office for Mac on Intel, noticeably so. However, it is still nowhere near its native Windows performance.
 

swandy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2012
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Just found this thread and have a question. I am running Office for Mac on a M11 iMac with 8GB of RAM. I just installed Parallels 17 and finally got Windows 11 running thanks to thread on the Parallels site to get the upgrade to work. I can also install Office on the Windows 11 side, but wondering if the “improvements” mentioned here for the Windows version would be offset because I am running it under Parallels.
 
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Aggedor

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Dec 10, 2020
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Just found this thread and have a question. I am running Office for Mac on a M11 iMac with 8GB of RAM. I just installed Parallels 17 and finally got Windows 11 running thanks to thread on the Parallels site to get the upgrade to work. I can also install Office on the Windows 11 side, but wondering if the “improvements” mentioned here for the Windows version would be offset because I am running it under Parallels.
That's a good question, and I'd be interested in hearing the answer.

I recently switched from a Windows 10 machine to my M1 MBA for day-to-day work, thinking that Mac Office (via a 365 sub) had finally caught up with Windows. But just yesterday, I was trying to work on a 400-slide PowerPoint file with comments, and PowerPoint beachballed every time I tried to move to the next comment. In the end, I had to open the file in Keynote - which has a horrible commenting system - and find the comments in that, and go directly to the slides in PowerPoint.

So even if Windows Office under Parallels is slower, it will at least avoid things like that.
 

swandy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2012
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I only use Word and Excel and from the little bit of research I have done the Windows version is “better” but mainly in things power users would notice/miss. I have been using MS365 on the Windows install but it is the web version. Which unfortunately wants all your files and saved changes to be done through MS Onedrive. I prefer iCloud because I can access everything on my iPhone and iPad easier. Apparently only the installed version of Office easily sees and uses files on your hard drive.
 

Thunderbird

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2005
951
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I still remember WordPerfect and its battle with MS Word for word processing supremacy. During the 1980s and early 1990s, WordPerfect actually had a larger user base than Word (called WordStar back then) I remember that law firms, for instance, really liked WordPerfect. And it had a Mac version which was popular. I used WordPerfect on my laptop PC up until about 1997 when Word started to become absolutely dominant everywhere. Microsoft used its enormous leverage to put Word on every PC it could. WordPerfect couldn't compete.

It seems Apple isn't particularly interested in software market share. Maybe they figure they've lost the office program turf war to Microsoft. They seem content to focus on repeat customers who buy new machines every few years along with newer versions of the same old software.

I don't see why Mac for Office couldn't simply be a bit perfect replica of MS Office for Windows. There is no reason to shoe horn MS Office to fit the Mac OS GUI and make it 'compatible' in a hybrid way. Just give people the real OEM thing, an exact functional copy. Or..build an exact replica of MS Office from the ground up on, and optimized for, Apple Silicone, and pay Microsoft a licensing fee (to avoid trademark infringement).

Or....build something close to MS Office, but much better, and much better than Pages, KeyNote, Numbers, etc. Make it compatible with MS documents (like LibreOffice is) and so good that it becomes irresistible.

It's not like Apple doesn't have the resources to throw at this.
 
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harriska2

macrumors 68000
Mar 16, 2011
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I love Pages and Numbers. It took a bit for me to switch but it works really well. If I send out a non collaborative file, I simply save to PDF. If I collaborate, I use Google web apps. If I need a super complex spreadsheet, I use excel but it is becoming more and more rare as I am able to get most of my spreadsheets done on numbers and sheets.
 

StoneJack

macrumors 68020
Dec 19, 2009
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I still remember WordPerfect and its battle with MS Word for word processing supremacy. During the 1980s and early 1990s, WordPerfect actually had a larger user base than Word (called WordStar back then) I remember that law firms, for instance, really liked WordPerfect. And it had a Mac version which was popular. I used WordPerfect on my laptop PC up until about 1997 when Word started to become absolutely dominant everywhere. Microsoft used its enormous leverage to put Word on every PC it could. WordPerfect couldn't compete.

It seems Apple isn't particularly interested in software market share. Maybe they figure they've lost the office program turf war to Microsoft. They seem content to focus on repeat customers who buy new machines every few years along with newer versions of the same old software.

I don't see why Mac for Office couldn't simply be a bit perfect replica of MS Office for Windows. There is no reason to shoe horn MS Office to fit the Mac OS GUI and make it 'compatible' in a hybrid way. Just give people the real OEM thing, an exact functional copy. Or..build an exact replica of MS Office from the ground up on, and optimized for, Apple Silicone, and pay Microsoft a licensing fee (to avoid trademark infringement).

Or....build something close to MS Office, but much better, and much better than Pages, KeyNote, Numbers, etc. Make it compatible with MS documents (like LibreOffice is) and so good that it becomes irresistible.

It's not like Apple doesn't have the resources to throw at this.
pages and keynote are already miles better
 
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mj_

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May 18, 2017
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During the 1980s and early 1990s, WordPerfect actually had a larger user base than Word (called WordStar back then)
That is not entirely correct. WordStar and Word are two completely different applications developed by two different companies. WordStar was a word processor application developed for Z80-based computers running CP/M-80 in the late 70s and early 80s that competed against WordPerfect. It was later also ported to DOS and Windows but ultimately lost the battle and faded into obscurity at some point in the mid to late 80s I believe.
 

skaertus

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Feb 23, 2009
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I love Pages and Numbers. It took a bit for me to switch but it works really well. If I send out a non collaborative file, I simply save to PDF. If I collaborate, I use Google web apps. If I need a super complex spreadsheet, I use excel but it is becoming more and more rare as I am able to get most of my spreadsheets done on numbers and sheets.
These two apps look good, but they are too simple for me. The last time I checked, Pages still did not have cross-references, which is absolutely necessary for me and saves me a lot of time and effort.
 
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Thunderbird

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Dec 25, 2005
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That is not entirely correct. WordStar and Word are two completely different applications developed by two different companies. WordStar was a word processor application developed for Z80-based computers running CP/M-80 in the late 70s and early 80s that competed against WordPerfect. It was later also ported to DOS and Windows but ultimately lost the battle and faded into obscurity at some point in the mid to late 80s I believe.

You're right. I was misremembering what my roommate had on his computer. He had WordStar for Windows 3.0 (I used to borrow his PC to write up essays back in the early 1990s), so I assumed all these years it was a Microsoft Windows program that later became Word.

Thanks for the correction.
 
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MikeDr206

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Oct 9, 2021
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Ok, I LOVED WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS back in the day. I had all the function key commands down cold. Secretaries at the law firm where I worked at the time did as well. We were using the DOS version well into the era when non-law workplaces had already transitioned to GUI environments.
 

jlc1978

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Aug 14, 2009
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There were some useful features in those early we that seem to have disappeared; for example I used one that let you delete text in columns, so if you wanted to delete the first 2 characters, such as a numbered list, you selected it and it removed the text. I even used AppleWorks on a ][+ to write eval’s and reports. Beat a typewriter.

Granted, the latest office suites have far more functionality but the complexity often is at teh expense of usability.

As for speed, I am developing a pretty complex visual dashboard in Excel on an M1MBP and have not run into any issues with speed. I test it in Parallels and have not seen any difference in performance; although final testing will be done on a dedicated Windows machine.

I don't see why Mac for Office couldn't simply be a bit perfect replica of MS Office for Windows. There is no reason to shoe horn MS Office to fit the Mac OS GUI and make it 'compatible' in a hybrid way. Just give people the real OEM thing, an exact functional copy. Or..build an exact replica of MS Office from the ground up on, and optimized for, Apple Silicone, and pay Microsoft a licensing fee (to avoid trademark infringement).

The problem the is people would need to learn a new interface that doesn’t behave like the rest of the OS, causing confusion and dissatisfaction. I remember when publishers would simply port, complete with UI, their Windows program and they were a pain to use.

What would be nice is if they were 100% functionally equivalent.

Or....build something close to MS Office, but much better, and much better than Pages, KeyNote, Numbers, etc. Make it compatible with MS documents (like LibreOffice is) and so good that it becomes irresistible.

The challenge is Office has such an installed base, and meets most users needs just fine, so overcoming that is very hard. A complete rethink of what is a document so presentation/ document writing ‘ calculations were all integrated in one document that is easily formatted for the desired use would be nice but probably not unseat Office.

It's not like Apple doesn't have the resources to throw at this.

True, but it would be a waste resources better suited to more profitable options; especially since they’d need to develop Windows and OS X versions.

pages and keynote are already miles better

Define better. Pages is nice for a lot of work, especially if you do not need to collaborate, but office has a lot more features that can make life easy, such as creating forms that fill out based on information entered in spreadsheet so you can easily duplicate text were needed, hit a button and get customized documents as teh result. Or automatically loading graphs in a document based on data in Excel, so one master document can be used to quickly create numerous individual reports.
 
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StoneJack

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Define better. Pages is nice for a lot of work, especially if you do not need to collaborate, but office has a lot more features that can make life easy, such as creating forms that fill out based on information entered in spreadsheet so you can easily duplicate text were needed, hit a button and get customized documents as teh result. Or automatically loading graphs in a document based on data in Excel, so one master document can be used to quickly create numerous individual reports.
I use Pages and Keynote for individual work and do not create forms based on Excel. Speed, graphics and reliablility of those apps greatly exceeds those of Office apps. I still keep Office apps (have a family license for 365), but for work I use Apple apps and store files in iCloud. Your mileage may vary but for me iWork suite is best
 

jlc1978

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Aug 14, 2009
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I use Pages and Keynote for individual work and do not create forms based on Excel.

Glad they work for you. They are a nice package and can’t beat the price. Having been an old AppleWriter / AppleWorks user I’m glad Apple has kept them alive. I have tried them but just cannot make them work for my needs.

Speed, graphics and reliablility of those apps greatly exceeds those of Office apps.

I’m not sure of this based on my experience. I have had no issues with Office even for complex tasks, nor find it slower than iWorks.

I still keep Office apps (have a family license for 365), but for work I use Apple apps and store files in iCloud. Your mileage may vary but for me iWork suite is best

That’s the key - if it works for you then it is the best package. iWorks is a nice package and can meet many users’ needs. For friends with college bound children with Macs I recommend using it (and LibreOffice for PCs); although many schools now offer Office365 licenses to students as part of their tuition so they wind up with Office.

Much of my work is collaborative so I need something that works as seamlessly as possible. I like Keynote but using it means I can’t share presentations unless I go through them and make sure teh conversion hasn’t messed anything up, the same with Pages. I don’t use the cloud except for encrypted backups so as to not risk compromising client data; plus I don’t always have reliable or fast internet connections.

For personal work I find other tools, such as Scrivner, better suited to what I need to do than iWorks. As you say, YMMV.
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
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Feb 23, 2009
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I use Pages and Keynote for individual work and do not create forms based on Excel. Speed, graphics and reliablility of those apps greatly exceeds those of Office apps. I still keep Office apps (have a family license for 365), but for work I use Apple apps and store files in iCloud. Your mileage may vary but for me iWork suite is best
Pages and Keynote are definitely faster and more reliable than Word and PowerPoint for Mac. I must stress the "for Mac" part. Word and PowerPoint for Windows are completely different pieces of software.

If you look at the table I prepared in my first post, I found that, for similar tasks, Word for Windows is the word processor that uses less memory among all that I tested. If performed better than Pages when dealing with all documents. And Word has far more features than Pages. I would have to say that Word for Windows is clearly the superior software here, as it is the most fully featured of the pack and still the lightest one to use.

Word for Mac is a different story. It is also packed with features, although it falls short of the Windows version. However, it uses far more memory and I can understand why someone would prefer Pages instead, even though it has fewer features.

I think Pages is a very weak word processor. Sure, it can produce beautiful pages easily, and perhaps this is why some people like it. Still, it falls short of desktop publishing applications. And it does not even have cross-references, which is a very useful feature and common in so many word processors.
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
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I still remember WordPerfect and its battle with MS Word for word processing supremacy. During the 1980s and early 1990s, WordPerfect actually had a larger user base than Word (called WordStar back then) I remember that law firms, for instance, really liked WordPerfect. And it had a Mac version which was popular. I used WordPerfect on my laptop PC up until about 1997 when Word started to become absolutely dominant everywhere. Microsoft used its enormous leverage to put Word on every PC it could. WordPerfect couldn't compete.

It seems Apple isn't particularly interested in software market share. Maybe they figure they've lost the office program turf war to Microsoft. They seem content to focus on repeat customers who buy new machines every few years along with newer versions of the same old software.

I don't see why Mac for Office couldn't simply be a bit perfect replica of MS Office for Windows. There is no reason to shoe horn MS Office to fit the Mac OS GUI and make it 'compatible' in a hybrid way. Just give people the real OEM thing, an exact functional copy. Or..build an exact replica of MS Office from the ground up on, and optimized for, Apple Silicone, and pay Microsoft a licensing fee (to avoid trademark infringement).

Or....build something close to MS Office, but much better, and much better than Pages, KeyNote, Numbers, etc. Make it compatible with MS documents (like LibreOffice is) and so good that it becomes irresistible.

It's not like Apple doesn't have the resources to throw at this.
Yes, Apple is not interested in making office applications. Perhaps Apple has found out it simply cannot compete with Microsoft in this field.

According to Microsoft, Office is used by over one billion people worldwide. That far exceeds the number of Macs in operation. It may even exceed the number of Macs ever sold. So, Apple cannot even have the scale necessary to compete with Microsoft in the office applications market.

Apple is a $2 trillion company and certainly has the resources to make a compelling office suite. However, Microsoft is also a $2 trillion company and Office is part of its core business. Apple cannot beat Microsoft in this field and it will not even try. Look at how miserably Microsoft failed when it tried to compete in Apple's businesses: it wrote off over $7 billion when it acknowledged that the acquisition of Nokia did not bring the desired results. Apple is not going this route.

Not even Microsoft can justify spending the same amount of money on Mac applications as it does on its Windows counterparts. Microsoft can throw a ton of money in developing and improving Office for Windows, as millions of users will either buy the next version or keep its subscription. The amount of Mac Office users is much lower, so resources are probably more limited as well.

Apple is focusing on other things. Just look at Apple's website. In each webpage dedicated to different Mac models (Mac mini, iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro), Apple shows images of applications running. In the pictures, Macs are usually running applications dedicated to photo, video, or music playing or editing, or videoconferencing, or browsing the web. I could find one picture of an iMac running Pages and another one of a Mac mini running Keynote. And both Pages and Keynote were running alongside other applications, focusing on the versatility of the Macs instead of its prowess with office software.

Now, just do the math. There are over 1.5 billion Windows users and over 1 billion Microsoft Office users. That means that about 2/3 of Windows users should probably be using Microsoft Office as well. This is not the kind of use that Apple shows on its website. Apple shows Macs as providing a graphical and colorful experience, editing photos and videos and music, and not running office applications. The message seems clear to me.
 

StoneJack

macrumors 68020
Dec 19, 2009
2,414
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Pages and Keynote are definitely faster and more reliable than Word and PowerPoint for Mac. I must stress the "for Mac" part. Word and PowerPoint for Windows are completely different pieces of software.

If you look at the table I prepared in my first post, I found that, for similar tasks, Word for Windows is the word processor that uses less memory among all that I tested. If performed better than Pages when dealing with all documents. And Word has far more features than Pages. I would have to say that Word for Windows is clearly the superior software here, as it is the most fully featured of the pack and still the lightest one to use.

Word for Mac is a different story. It is also packed with features, although it falls short of the Windows version. However, it uses far more memory and I can understand why someone would prefer Pages instead, even though it has fewer features.

I think Pages is a very weak word processor. Sure, it can produce beautiful pages easily, and perhaps this is why some people like it. Still, it falls short of desktop publishing applications. And it does not even have cross-references, which is a very useful feature and common in so many word processors.
I wrote and published a book in Pages, a print book actually, and I didn't find Pages weak at all, on the contrary, with large file over 200 pages, it was consistently performing excellent and its styles are very good, TOC, endnotes and footnotes are great.
 

skaertus

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
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Brazil
I wrote and published a book in Pages, a print book actually, and I didn't find Pages weak at all, on the contrary, with large file over 200 pages, it was consistently performing excellent and its styles are very good, TOC, endnotes and footnotes are great.
Did you self-published the book you wrote? Did you use Pages for the page layout as well?

Apple Pages is a solid piece of software, do not get me wrong. In my testing, it performed better than all word processors for Mac, except for Mellel, which was the only serious contender. However, Word for Windows was still better.

My impression is that Pages is very much focused on page layout and lacks some word processing features that have been present in other software for years or even decades. It particularly frustrates me that Pages lacks cross-references, which is a feature that saves a lot of time and effort. And other features, such as indexing, are not there either.

I use Microsoft Word for Windows to create and edit some large documents. At this very moment, I am writing an article that is already 22,000 words long. Just before Christmas, I finished an 8,000-word long memorandum. And I have written at least three documents that are over 100,000 words long. All of them are packed with footnotes and cross-references. Word for Windows handles all of them with ease as if it were a walk in the park. Word for Mac can handle these documents as well, but it sometimes struggles in doing so. As for Pages, I am pretty sure it would be able to handle the documents well, but it would require me lots of extra effort as it lacks some features that are useful for me.

Sometimes I feel that addressing word processing and other office applications in a Mac environment is like bringing the elephant to the room. Many Mac users are picky about their hardware and software and are only happy with the very best they can find. I have seen some comparisons on how Adobe Photoshop performs on PCs and Macs. However, I have not found the same level of comparisons between Word and other Microsoft Office applications running on PCs and Macs. I think this is rather strange, because, as popular as Adobe Photoshop is, Microsoft Office is still the most widely used suite of applications in the whole world. Some Mac users just trash Microsoft Office for Mac, calling it "bloated", while praising the swiftness of Apple iWork applications. The elephant in the room is that Microsoft Office for Windows is fully-featured, fast, light, and stable, like nothing else available in the Mac environment. It is even more fully-featured than Microsoft Office for Mac, while also being faster and lighter than Apple iWork. And the fact is that not even the shiny new MacBook Pros, in all their glory and power, cannot run this software and have to deal with lesser alternatives, which is a blow to anyone wanting or needing to use office applications in a professional environment.
 
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