Home > Apple > Microsoft Cuts Office Price on New Macs Microsoft Cuts Office Price on New Macs Eugenia Loli 2002-10-01 Apple 37 Comments Beginning Tuesday, buyers of new Macs can pick up the full version of Office v. X for $199, or about $200 less than the full purchase price. Read the story at C|Net News.com. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 37 Comments 2002-10-01 4:47 pm Hot tip for M$: If you did this for Windows versions, more poeple would buy it. There is no way on this green earth I will ever pay $400+ for that Office package. $200, maybe. $150, and I’d be all over it. 2002-10-01 5:03 pm …that I’ve read that story and maybe I’m just too sensitive but does C|Net ever say anthing nice about the Mac platform? Really, not flamebait. I feel that they cover the story because it is tech-related and are therefore obligated to but they always make certain that the reader knowns that the (Mac==Bad && Windows==Good). I’m not saying that what they are saying is not true (per se) because you CAN get Office cheaper with other PC purchases but do they need … to … harp … on … it … at … every … chance? Can’t they just report the news for what it is, good news that new purchasers (of a Mac system) can snag it for $199. That is 1/2 price! I dunno, I’d just like to see ONE good remarks from those folks, I’m not bitter, really, just dissappointed. This quote is absurd: “It’s generally the case that you pay a premium for everything in the Mac environment” I am a stickler for concise dialog and when you qualify a phrase and say that premium prices are paid for EVERYTHING in the Mac environment is simply untrue. While I don’t contest that the systems are more expensive, all other peripherals are the EXACT SAME as ANY other platform. I recently dropped a new 80GB drive in my mac, guess what? It was the same price as a non-Mac counterpart. Bought a new three button from Logitech, no premium payed here. New Samsung Laser printer from BestBuy, guess again, NOT a premium price at all! Except the hardward(the actual Mac proper), nothing else is more expensive. Just looked at amazon.com, again Photoshop7.0 is the Same price for Mac as it is for Windows. Okay I’ll stop my rant, maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the house today… 2002-10-01 5:07 pm M$ is mad at Apple. There won’t be Outlook for X. “Buy Entourage”. Enjoy the breadcrumbs. Start liking (Open|Star)Office. There won’t be Office nGO for Mac… M$ is canning their mac division and trying to get as much profit out of it as it can while it lasts… 2002-10-01 5:09 pm i don’t mean to be cynical but here it is. Can’t this be used against MAC? IT spending is lagging and the latest version of office adds little incentive to get people to upgrade. Sales are not likely to show much of an improvement. MS can then say..look we’ve reduced the price and nothings become of it. as a result we have decided to eliminiate the MAC office line. Again, i really doubt this will do much for sales and it gives MS a great way out. 2002-10-01 5:12 pm > the latest version of office adds little incentive to get people to upgrade Mac OSX native support, maybe? <grin/> 2002-10-01 5:13 pm Relying on your main competitor to stimulate your sales is a losing proposition. Where are the Corel and Lotus ports? 2002-10-01 5:32 pm Hurry, ryan and “a”, some good news is out there about the mac. It’s cheaper now to get office. Time to reflexively rush out the negative comments because you can’t stand any thing that is good for Apple. I think MS killing Office would be a bad decision because it could lead to unpredictable results. Apple would be forced to put effort into a new iOffice with some kind of XML-based open file format (Sun, an international standards organization and certain “unnamed” partners are creating such a format, I have heard). Knowing Apple, an iOffice would blow away MS Office in terms of ease of use (the biggest problem with MS Office, it sucks for ease of use). Apple might even make a Windows version (there is windows Appleworks). And how about this — give it away for free (including the windows version) like the other iApps. If MS were smart, they wouldn’t play with fire. I am sure Apple has somehow gotten the message to them that if they cut Office, there is NO limit to what they will do. 2002-10-01 5:39 pm Hands up if you bought Corel Office for Linux 2000? ..and I bet theres a lot more Linux desktops out there than OSX ones. If you saw your rival getting hammered in a particular market segment, theres very little reason to enter that segment and compete with them!!!!! 2002-10-01 5:45 pm There won’t be Outlook for X. And this is a bad thing? 2002-10-01 5:49 pm Please. MS doesn’t make Office for Linux in order to perpetuate the Windows monopoly. 2002-10-01 6:29 pm http://www.compuplus.com/insidepage.php3?sid=578e1wtgshh5072&id=55 Office XP SmallBusiness OEM for $159. (Oh, and I’ve been very happy with the service at CompUPlus). JBQ 2002-10-01 6:58 pm “If MS were smart, they wouldn’t play with fire. I am sure Apple has somehow gotten the message to them that if they cut Office, there is NO limit to what they will do.” Apple’s share has been going down not up since the switch campaign, though this is probably due the recession and apple’s vulnerable high prices. Apple can’t do much to MS. Star office has not earned all that many converts and it is in a far better position than anything apple could offer. Moreover apple will always have to deal with the compatibility issue. MS can do whatever they want to apple and apple can’t do much in response. Here is why. Apple’s entire business model, and hence margins, is based on selling a combination of functionally-castrated jelly colored Imacs and overpriced desktops. APPLE WILL NOT GAIN MARKET SHARE NOR POSE ANY THREAT TO MS UNTIL PRICES ARE LOWERED!!! END OF STORY. Consumers and businesses are happy enough with their $800 dells, which offer greater expandability than those funky imacs, and that is the real problem. Most people, evident via market share stats, are not willing to pay more for the apple experience, as nice as it is. 2002-10-01 7:07 pm jelly colored Imacs ? Jelly colored? They are white. Open your eyes Ryan, they are WHITE! I’ve never seen nor eaten WHITE jelly before, oh wait, damn, Ryan, all that ‘White Jelly’ you have been eating isn’t Jelly after all! 2002-10-01 7:46 pm While I don’t contest that the systems are more expensive, all other peripherals are the EXACT SAME as ANY other platform Not to harp, but that’s only true when the peripherals can be used with either the PC or the Mac. Anything Mac-specific (such as add-in cards) tends to be far more expensive. For example, Macwarehouse has the 64-meg Radeon 8500 for Mac for $199, whereas NewEgg has the 128-meg version for the PC for $180 (NewEgg, ironically, sells the 64-meg Mac version for $237). It’s things like that. Apple was smart to largely embrace industry standards, so that most stuff isn’t Mac-specific. But when things are, expect to pay through the nose. 2002-10-01 7:49 pm Cool. But…w/ relation to the article, the ‘full’ version is what i really meant to say. 2002-10-01 7:54 pm Ryan, You are not even addressing the point of my post. My post was not about whether Apple will gain share, but whether Apple might release a free iOffice for mac and PC with an open, industry standard file format if MS cuts Office for the mac, and what impact that would have on MS. Address THAT issue if you would like, but your post is just a ramble that doesn’t address this. Anyways, Apple is not going for the mass market. They are going for the high end customer. People who think macs are better (whether they are or not) or don’t want what everyone else has. I think macs with OS X are FAR better than a Dull with Winblows, but we need not settle that debate here. The point is Apple is not going after Dell’s customer. Nor is it going after the corporate market (non-creative). In most retail markets, there’s luxury brands that have a very small share. BMW, Mercedes. That’s normal. The only thing that’s unique about the computer market that has made it somewhat harder for a niche upscale brand is the compatibility factor. That’s why the luxury car analogy for the mac is not perfect. But the truth is compatibility with macs isn’t so bad for most people — with the internet, email, chat, etc. Plus since mac users often are more upscale customers they can afford a PC too, and networking them with Jaguar is a cinch. So far it looks like Apple is doing fine in its niche. Will it survive for the long term? Who knows. PCs only last 3-5 years anyways so I can always buy a PC and run Linux primarily (never Winblows until MS rewrites it). 2002-10-01 8:03 pm Apple could even release iOffice for both Linux and Windows for free. Then it’s share doesn’t matter because the app runs on Windows and Linux. I think Apple has shown it can produce incredible apps. Final Cut Pro took a moribund thing — video editing on the PC — and moved it to new levels. iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD have gotten rave reviews. In fact, OS X has gotten rave reviews. Apple has a long history of making great software. And making things easy (iPod is a great example too). So Apple could do it. But I don’t think they will, because I think they would prefer just to have MS Office and not anger MS too much by offering a free and superior iOffice. I think Steve Jobs would love to do iOffice with the new XML file format standard Sun is working on with “unnamed partners”. But if I were Steve, I would let the Linux camp lead the charge here to dismantling the file-format enforced monopoly of MS Office. Apple has Office so why lead that charge? 2002-10-01 8:38 pm first thing, I like apple enough to own apple stock and consider purchasing more. Second, I want nothing more than for apple to flourish because i think the company is the only true innovator in teh PC space and i like what the company stands for. Third, i don’t think apple needs 50% share of the market but apple needs more than the 5% and falling. I also intend to make my next computer a mac. I also applaud Mr. Jobs’ attempts to offer other high margin products such as the xserve and the obvious attempts to move upstream to support the high-end creative audio/video types, one of which i am. I happen to think that apple’s leadership has done a miraculous job over the last four or five years. I also happen to think that MR Job’s assault on the mid to high-end creative (think SGI) market will result in additional margin segments that will facilitate lowering the cost of their computer and hence increasing market share. The digital hub strategy and focus on usability are also well placed and will likely faciliate the same end. Still, the fact is, apple is making money by offering over priced mini-towers and functionally castrated jelly colored iMACs and that won’t cut it forever. 2002-10-01 8:50 pm This is really a good thing, I think. Microsoft and Apple have fired a couple of shots across each other’s bows as their five year agreement expired, but it may not mean anything really. The Switch campaign seems to be aimed against Windows, but I think it’s more really a campaign to get people to buy iMacs, eMacs and iBooks. If Apple were to gain a percentage point of market share out of it, that’s great for Apple. I think as long as Microsoft makes money selling Mac software, they will continue. I have heard the rumors of the Mac Business Unit shutting down, but I don’t believe it. I think that was a shot across Apple’s bow. Microsoft has announed they are going to have MSN for the Mac – why would they shut things down if they’re going to do that? I’m mainly a Mac person, but I would like to see Apple and Microsoft enter into a new agreement. Apple would keep I.E. as its default browser, help promote MSN and perhaps Microsoft could write more Mac software. If Microsoft can make money doing this, why not? 2002-10-01 8:57 pm Macs = Mercedes, Windows = Chevys You will find very few Chevy owners that will say that buying a Mercedes is worth the price. Sound familiar? Windows PC owners don’t think that Macs are worth the price. For those of us that have owned lots of PCs and Macs it is very obvious that one company (Apple) has a lot of control over the fit and function of their computer from hardware to OS while the Windows side is more of a kit car build project even if you get the thing “already assembled.” Oh, and some news to some people. Mac OS X _IS_ BSD UNIX with a far better GUI than Linux. Personally I hope that Apple revamps or replaces AppleWorks with a more full featured office suite. I used to hope that WordPerfect would come back to the Mac. Oh well. As far as MS though, I don’t use any of their products on my Mac and don’t use anything but Windows ’98 on my PC (for the small amount of time it isn’t running some other OS). So MS leaving the Mac would be of absolutely no loss to me. 2002-10-01 8:58 pm //The point is Apple is not going after Dell’s customer.// If not, then why the “switch” ads? What are the folks using now, if not DELLs — or something close to it? Play that on your piccolo-pod. 2002-10-01 9:22 pm While the Switch ads aren’t directed at UNIX people. Apparently Apple has gotten the attention of a lot of them and some are checking out Mac OS X and are finding they can do everything they could do before (on desktop versions of UNIX) plus having the added benefit of Mac programs too. The Switch ads are aimed at any user currently using Windows. From Dell, Gateway, etc. users to “White Box” users. Apple doesn’t care what type of Windows box they switch from as long as they switch. 2002-10-01 9:40 pm I was not being precise enough. I don’t think Apple can offer a low-priced desktop PC to capture the low-end market. If if did, lots of people who WILL pay Apple’s higher prices (for powermacs) like me, would then just buy the cheaper stuff. So apple would lose $$ overall. A $500 dell does not come with the iApps. These cost money to develop and improve. All macs come with the iApps and they are freely downloadable. So apple just has to charge more. 2002-10-01 9:47 pm US$ 200 for a single Office ??!! I think that any price above US$ 40 is very expensive for a large scale software like Office. I prefer the freedom of use my Linux with cheaper PC (powered by a cheap AMD Athlon) and runs OpenOffice. Even if you have a Mac with OS X you can run OpenOffice for nothing (see http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/index.html) 2002-10-02 2:16 am “I think MS killing Office would be a bad decision because it could lead to unpredictable results.” I don’t think that MS will kill Office for Mac, and there is no sign for it. The only reason would be Apple is going out of business, or Office doesn’t sell any more in Macs. That’s a very legitimate reason, and if that’s the reason, nothing will save Apple probably, because if MS makes a decision it is a business decision. “If MS were smart, they wouldn’t play with fire. I am sure Apple has somehow gotten the message to them that if they cut Office, there is NO limit to what they will do.” :))) I am sure MS is so scared so scared that they will support Office even they make loss, and Apple is a fearless hero who is fighting with this evil giant Microsoft. “Please. MS doesn’t make Office for Linux in order to perpetuate the Windows monopoly” MS probably doesn’t make an Office for Linux, because it is not profitable to support that platform. How many number of desktop people will buy Office for Linux. I can understand poor reasoning, but I think this is too much, because it is very obvious to me that Linux is not good for any sort of desktop application like Office. What happened to Corel on Linux thing? Why not Apple write its AppleWorks for Linux? Why don’t you write something which makes some sense? Almost anything you write has no meaning, totally pointless. 2002-10-02 6:01 am Microsoft has an unusual Oktoberfest for Mac users: a big discount on Office when purchased with a new computer. Why? Mac users would now drink gallons and gallons of beer to end their liver’s life more faster? 2002-10-02 6:41 am stahbird: where are Corel and IBM? Relying on your main competitor to stimulate your sales is a losing proposition. Where are the Corel and Lotus ports? Corel once made a lot of lost in its version for Mac OS, and they never entered the market ever since. SmartSuite on the other hand had been used for a long time to sell IBM machines. Plus, they aren’t developed as much as it used to be last time. appleforever: Knowing Apple, an iOffice would blow away MS Office in terms of ease of use (the biggest problem with MS Office, it sucks for ease of use). Can you tell me in DETAIL why MS Office’s UI is bad? The only office suite that has a better more logical UI is WordPerfect – only because it names menu options logically. Apple is great in the ease of use department – but only with consumer apps. With professional apps, like FCP, things are VERY different. Besides, people buying Office or its competitors AREN’T finding for something that is easy to learn. But rather something that in the long term makes them PRODUCTIVE. Besides, following your logic, you are implying that Microsoft is going “Oh no…. oh no….. a company with only 4 billion bucks, a market share growing smaller each year, and a market share close to 3%, and ABSOLUTELY no knowlegde in the corporate envrioment is challeging us! What shall we do?”. Besides, even if Apple does what you said, it would be unlikely they would call it iOffice. “i” is normally used in front of digital hub apps (consumer apps, in other words). Besides, on standards, never agreed in it. Because then each competitor who supports the standards cannot add formating features without risking going against the standard’s purpose. Besides, I wonder who is that internation standards commitee is? ISO? ~Seedy~: ..and I bet theres a lot more Linux desktops out there than OSX ones. Most Linux users (I said *MOST*) don’t pay for software in the first place. appleforever: Please. MS doesn’t make Office for Linux in order to perpetuate the Windows monopoly. How about there isn’t any reason to support Linux? Linux is not a profitable desktop market for third parties. Name at least 10 *desktop* apps for Linux that had financial success. jellyKing: I’ve never seen nor eaten WHITE jelly before, oh wait, damn, Ryan Come over to Asia, there is a soy-bean based jelly (it is WHITE). Call Tau-Fo-Far. appleforever: My post was not about whether Apple will gain share, but whether Apple might release a free iOffice for mac and PC with an open, industry standard file format if MS cuts Office for the mac, and what impact that would have on MS. Sun once release StarOffice for free for Windows users. Let me let you on a secret: StarOffice 6.0 was at least a thousand times more successful than 5.2. Why? Perhaps because it came with a $75 price tag. Corporate users tend NOT to use free software. Notice the adoption of Linux in the servers, companies bought Linux from distribution (hence, the number being able to be counted). appleforever: I think macs with OS X are FAR better than a Dull with Winblows I think you are taking personal preferences for Mac OS X, and making it look like a fact. Dell and Windows has a thousand times more better support than Apple ever had, especially in Asia. For a considerable lot of PC customers, this matters. It matters even more for the corporate market. appleforever: So far it looks like Apple is doing fine in its niche. Will it survive for the long term? Who knows. PCs only last 3-5 years anyways so I can always buy a PC and run Linux primarily (never Winblows until MS rewrites it). There, I have just proven that you just have something against Microsoft in general. MS Windows XP, for your information, is faster than Mac OS X, takes less memory than Mac OS X, and uses less CPU power than Mac OS X. As for how long a PC last depends on how many new software you wanna run. I have a 8 year old PC which I still use. There isn’t an expiry date on PCs, you know. An 8 year old PC works as great as a 8 year old Mac, for your information. appleforever: iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD have gotten rave reviews. In fact, OS X has gotten rave reviews. All, I repeat, ALL reviews I have read about those iApps is just relisting features in an artcle. *Most* reviews of OS X, except for one of two here and there like Ars Technica’s review, is similar to that of iApps. Plus, MOST iApps reviews compare stuff integrated in Windows and stuff bundled with Macs, even if the integrated stuff wasn’t made for the same thing. Little articles ever compared with third party apps for PCs, like MyDVD (bundled with most DVD burners, BTW). Marcelo: US$ 200 for a single Office ??!! I think that any price above US$ 40 is very expensive for a large scale software like Office. Hello? the people who support OpenOffice.org sells their products for $75. No other major players in the office market charges LESS THAN THAT. ThinkFree charges around that price, but with a feature set of MS Works, I wonder who is buying it. Marcelo: Even if you have a Mac with OS X you can run OpenOffice for nothing (see http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/index.html) I think I would rather pay for Office than to use something that requires XDarwin, that is slower than Office by a considerable amount too. 2002-10-02 8:11 am Marcelo says “US$ 200 for a single Office ??!! I think that any price above US$ 40 is very expensive for a large scale software like Office.” I think among the Microsoft bashing this is one of the most stupid comments I have ever heard. Did you ever check out prices for shareware programs. Even BBEdit, a text editor for MacOSX, is 119 dollars. You want Microsoft to charge 40$ for Office. Either you are kidding, or your level of understanding the outside world is really limited. 2002-10-02 2:14 pm Maybe when comparing a $200 WalMart PC and a $1100 eMac, the eMac does indeed look like the Merc, while the Chevy does look like an Chevy. You will find very few Chevy owners that will say that buying a Mercedes is worth the price. Given the money, they would pick the Merc. But this isn’t the case for PC vs. Macs. All car owners I know tell that Mercedes is worth the price, only they can’t afford it. But most PC owners see Macs as an overpriced underpowered thingy. For example, gamers, which spend a LOT of money on hardware, don’t see Macs as Mercs, but rather see PCs as Ferraris, while Macs as children’s tricycles. Oh, and some news to some people. Mac OS X _IS_ BSD UNIX with a far better GUI than Linux. I’m well darn used to Linux. And I would never switch to Mac OS, unless it gets more speed. Ever compared the speed of Linux and Mac OS X? Stuff like compiling flies of Linux on PC in comparison with Mac OS X, even though they both use about the same compiler. Viewing directories with more than 100 files via Terminal.app is so much more slower than on Linux on my PC. People who are using Linux not for the sake of running away from Microsoft wouldn’t be that interested in Mac OS X. Besides, it is easier for Linux to get easy to use than Mac OS X to get fast. Besides, Mac OS X’s Darwin is based on BSD’s tools (just like Red Hat is based on GNU tools). It IIRC uses a XNU microkernel. Darwin as it is now looks cheap in comparison to the likes of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD IMHO, although Darwin is improving fast. Personally I hope that Apple revamps or replaces AppleWorks with a more full featured office suite. AppleWorks is extremely fine for what it is doing now. It is an consumer app. It was NOT meant to be a full featured office suite, nor would it ever be. This request makes as much sense as to asking Apple to revamp iMovie to be as good as FCP. So MS leaving the Mac would be of absolutely no loss to me. Being of no lost to you doesn’t mean it would be of no lost to others. A lot of people would be affected if Microsoft pulls support for the Mac. 2002-10-02 2:22 pm I am going to stick to the office suite related issues here. No office suite other than MS Office, whether on windows or Linux, has been able to sell really well because the whole world is using MS Office and if you want to exchange files without conversion glitches, you have to buy Office. Any company thinking about investing, marketing, improving, supporting an alternative office suite faces that VERY big problem. It is no wonder the “competition” has failed to a large degree. Lots of governments (esp. foreign) are beginning to evaluate Linux on the desktop. Governments don’t care so much whether they are producing “compatible” documents — they don’t have customers. For example, the U.S. Commerce Dept. (which I work with) still uses Wordperfect. They never made the mass migration to Word. So governments and government agencies are a natural to switch to Staroffice or openoffice. When I hear about companies thinking about Linux desktops, I always seem to hear that it (right now) may “make sense for users not using Office.” In other words, if a user needs Office (like a lawyer in our firm that has clients all of whom are using Word), they can’t really think about switching to a Linux desktop. Look, I can’t read Steve Ballmer’s mind, but if I were him I would never release Office for Linux because it would just make it easier for more corporations to switch to Linux desktops. This seems very simple. But rajan and sergio say it’s not the case. According to them Ballmer would just LOVE to make Office for Linux and the only reason he doesn’t do it is that it would not make money. Please. 2002-10-02 2:33 pm Rajan, you make a valid point about the downside of an open document format (developers can’t independently add “features” that require something in the file format.) However,I think the feature sets of word processors and spreadsheets at a minimum are sufficiently well developed at this stage that an open document format makes sense. There’s really only so many ways you can display words on a page at this point. Also, new things can be added to the standard. There are precedents for this kind of thing (evolving HTML standards etc.). No this is not a perfect process, but it does allow incremental improvement and that’s all we need at this stage for a word processor or spreadsheet program. 2002-10-02 9:11 pm Whether Ballmer doesn’t want to produce Office for Linux or not, we don’t know that. It is very hard to conclude about anything here. I am not saying that Microsoft doesn’t produce Office for Linux because they can’t make money. What you say maybe the reason very well, but we just don’t know that and unless I hate Microsoft and I think Microsoft is a real evil I would think that the former reason is a stronger possibility. Afterall, really how many companies do you know which makes programs like Office for Linux and make lots of money. There is no such company, because Linux is not a desktop OS yet and anybody who uses Linux for desktop purposes probably will not buy Office. So from here unless you really think Microsoft is evil, you have to conclude that profitability is the real issue here. If Microsoft produced Office for Linux for a loss, that would be a really bad business decision because of the loss. Also probably they would charge really high initially which will make Office more unreachable. Also there is really no guarantee that Linux will ever be used by people who are more likely to use Office. I mean right now geeks are the main users of Linux as desktop. What happens if Linux become a successful desktop OS? In that case what will Microsoft do? I don’t know that but I still think that they have the right not to produce it. Assume that Apple and Microsoft share the desktop market 50-50. In that case do you believe that Apple will produce its best programs for Microsoft helping it to be more competitive. Now it seems totally different, but it is the same question. Why should Microsoft ever help its rival OS to gain market share? Microsoft did that by producing Office for Mac. They may produce Office though, if it is really profitable. Regarding the opennes of Office files, I couldn’t understand why rival Office programs still struggle to open Office documents. I think that it shouldn’t be a big deal to reverse engineer that format, but apparently I am wrong. Either it is so complex that they couldn’t do it yet, or something else. Should Microsoft open those formats? Maybe, but in that case I wish many more companies do the same thing. The problem will be, if you just require Microsoft to comply with this, you will end up with an effort nothing but to destroy Microsoft. That will help rivals only which may charge more provided that Microsoft goes bankrupt. 2002-10-02 10:44 pm I think Ballmer said the other day at some speech to Microsoft MVPs that it would not make software for Linux. I think an article about that speech was on this site. I believe he said something like you “can’t make money on an open source platform because nobody pays for software.” Of course, Sun does charge for Staroffice. And people do pay for codeweavers or VMware. Lindows is selling Click and Run for $99 a year. So people will pay, maybe not as much as Office costs though. Also, if you’re ditching windows to save $, why would you then not also want to go the final mile and ditch Office as well and save more $. So perhaps you are right that MS would not make many sales of Office on Linux. They would make some though, while at the same time helping to facilitate more people converting from Windows to Linux. So it’s probably more like a mixture of reasons MS doesn’t sell Office for Linux. But do you think that if it were profitable, MS would do it? I don’t think so, but it is speculation. I don’t “hate” MS. I think monopolies do what they do. They have to do what’s in their interest, if they are doing right by their shareholders. Usually it’s not good for consumers though. And price is not so much the problem. I mean, so maybe MS skims off a few billion more from the economy than they would if Linux and open format office suites were viable alternatives now. That’s not much money in our world economy. The main downside is monopoly usually means lack of innovation. Competition is the mother of innovation. Innovation takes effort and $. If your sales will stay high and you will be hugely profitable whether you innovate or not (MS the monopoly), then you will have little incentive to innovate. 2002-10-02 11:21 pm Appleforever, first of all if linux becomes a major desktop os it won’t be because people want to ditch Microsoft. Just because you hate Microsoft doesn’t mean that everybody is going to spend thousands of dollars to another company like apple, or loose thousands of hours of productivity just to make Microsoft bankrupt or non-monopoly. What you need to understand is people make clever decisions. If people see value in Linux, they will use it because of that. Office and Windows are separate things. I may use Linux, but I may still buy Office because I may think that it is the best product for that purpose. You are totally off-topic on that one again. It is quite hard to claim that because Microsoft is a monopoly there is no innovation. That’s a very weak argument which you couldn’t support. Based on history so far, what I have seen is that Microsoft is the best on software. They are the number one, noone can beat them. They hire the best people and most of the time they are doing the best product. Apple was in the best position to compete with Microsoft and they screwed up. They control everything, including the hardware and still they had one of the most crappy oses so far. Mac Os 7,8,9. You need to explain how come Microsoft monopoly prevented Apple from doing any innovation. It is the Apple which screwed up and made the Microsoft a monopoly in addition to many other companies. How come Mac OS X is so slow. Is it because of Microsoft? Does Microsoft made Apple do Mac OS X slow? Apple guys make business decisions, and they did it wrong. How come even Microsoft is a monopoly, Linux guys make Linux better and better. Why not Microsoft couldn’t prevent it? If Microsoft doesn’t make any innovation it will quickly go bankrupt, plain and simple. This is software industry. If you don’t innovate, people will easily come and catch you. 2002-10-03 12:44 pm The reasons for the “slowness” of OS X are obvious, but you don’t want to acknowledge them because they don’t help you bash Apple. Those reasons are (1) it’s an advanced OS that’s doing a lot — kernels are good but add layers of code, the new Quartz display system is cool, but again adds overhead. Sometimes there is transition pain with OS advances. So what? I’d rather have that, then a boring OS that stuck to legacy tech. #2 reason for the slowness is the way Motorola has been screwing apple. This is temporary. Apple is going to get either faster Moto stuff soon, the new IBM 64-bit power4 based cpu or even switch to intel (heard of Marklar?, Apple’s got an x86 port in the lab now). You say: “first of all if linux becomes a major desktop os it won’t be because people want to ditch Microsoft.” You have to see that this kind of discussion (by me or you) is speculation, not capable of proof one way or the other. The way I see it, governments, corporations will first replace windows and office with LInux and staroffice (or some other open suite) first, because it’s cheaper and arguably more stable and secure (less virus, more open so you can fix things). This is beginning to happen already, overseas. Yesterday there was news that Ballmer himself was heading to Australia to try to stop a big Telecom company there from ditching windows. There was news the other day that Sun had made a Linux on the desktop deal with a big UK govt agency. I don’t say MS never innovates, or that no innovation has occured in the PC industry since MS got its windows and office monopolies. Apple does innovate, greatly. But that innovation isn’t enjoyed by the 97 percent of people that use windows (until the apple stuff gets copied as normally happens eventually). What I am saying is just common sense, when there are a lot of competitors, you get them each trying to leap frog each other with better products. Intel versus AMD is a classic example. Cable TV in the U.S got a lot better once DirectTV came along (it really sucked before). Sometimes even 3 or 4 competitors aren’t enough. US cars really sucked until the Japanese into the market and reinvigorated it with better products. We don’t know how much innovation is stifled by the MS monopolies, or how much would be in the future if those monopolies continue. Maybe not a lot. Maybe a ton. I am just saying competition is really good for consumers. Right now Consumers more or less have NO COMPETITION when it comes to PC OS’s that run on open hardware, and for office suites that use the standard Word, etc file formats everyone is using. Sure MS has innovated. They have to do a little something so there is some basis for charging for upgrades. I’m saying there would be a lot more innovation if somebody could actually offer a competing OS or Office suite people didn’t feel they “had to buy” in order to be compatible with the rest of the world. I don’t think you are giving proper consideration to the very real effect of this compatibility factor on people’s ability to switch to another OS. Switch to what OS? Linux? Corporations can do this perhaps because they use a limited set of apps typically. But for home users, it’s hard to switch entirely to linux, if not impossible at this point. Apple is not an option for 90 percent of the people – it’s too expensive and people already have a lot of money invested in intel hardware. If there is not threat of switching for 90 percent of the people, MS essentially has no competition for that 90 percent. They get those sales whether they innovate or not, and they certainly do not go bankrupt in that scenario, innovation or not. By the way, I really think we should not be rude to each other. If you disagree with me fine. Tell me why, maybe I will change my mind. 2002-10-04 4:48 am Sorry if I was rude. It is just part of the discussion, but nothing serious. First of all I don’t want to bash Apple. Not everything is being disclosed and that makes me mad. In that case I tell the other points, not that it is all of my thoughts about the subject, it is just to make sure that every aspect is told on the subject. I know why Mac OS X is slow, but that’s a very big mistake I believe. I mean it is really slow for me, and that matters to an average user. That’s extremely important. Looking from the perspective of a computer scientist I think making a slow GUI is the dumbest thing, because you have to be interactive there. People hate to wait. If it is not responsive it sucks. The ideas about Mac OS X was nice. Photographic icons were good. The aqua interface wasn’t very good, but the new Jaguar was a little bit better. I think everything there was really nice. But I mean, if you do all of these things and your old applications run slower, or it is a pain to execute old applications, and your new GUI is a little bit slow, these are really bad. I mean I am hearing all sorts of bashing Microsoft, but if I have to bash bad decisions, bad engineering I would bash Apple first. It is a good thing that Apple tried to be really ambitious, but it turned out that machines are not ready yet. Now whether they will switch processors or not is another story, but changing CPUs is not like changing cars. What will happen to all those code written for Motorola CPU. How will you do the transition. You are talking like it is a very easy task, but it is not. I don’t care whether MS made an innovation or not. I am not a big fan of them. Every company made innovations. In GUI Apple was the best, but Microsoft made a better OS at the end when you take the internals of the OS into account. When I compare it with Mac OS 9. Mac OS X is still not there. I have read virtual memory managements of both Windows XP and Mac OS X and it seems to me that Mac OS X is far more simple in that part. The documentation was not very good, but that’s another story. I am hearing that certain things in the kernel mode is still not supported in Mac OS X. You don’t care about this, and I think neither Apple, but when you add all things up I conclude that Apple is mostly about marketing, making candy products and getting attraction. When I also read stories of Apple developers which find Microsoft better at helping to developers, it is a no brainer to conclude Microsoft will win any war with Apple. I mean if you look at the history Apple had the chance to win this OS war. I don’t know why they chosen the way they have followed, but they could have done much better. Anyway overall when I try to make the point that Microsoft also innovated isn’t because I care about them much, it is only a reaction to all those bullshit I am hearing against this company. I think it hurts any competition against Microsoft, because people exaggarate all the competition and then when people find out that there are serious problems, it will be harder for them to leave Microsoft. Personally I was hating Microsoft a lot, and then I have read all this bullshit against Microsoft which contradicted with itself all the time and then I wanted to inform people that there is more into the story. That’s it. I dont’ care about Microsoft, I don’t care much about Apple. As a matter of fact the cult of Apple is attractive, it makes you want to join this club. But at the end facts are facts. 2002-10-04 1:57 pm No office suite other than MS Office, whether on windows or Linux, has been able to sell really well because the whole world is using MS Office Hancom for a very long time was very profitable, and had the Korean office suite market. It is possible to get the market: you just gotta know what your target market wants. Just say Germans like something lite, make something lite. Just say Africans wants something fast, make something fast. For example, the U.S. Commerce Dept. (which I work with) still uses Wordperfect. They never made the mass migration to Word. You could very well attribute this with the fact most law firms uses WordPerfect in the first place, and there isn’t a logical reason to switch to Word for it doesn’t have any compeling features. Heck, from what I hear from a lawyer uncle, they can’t use Word because of a few features missing/not as good. So governments and government agencies are a natural to switch to Staroffice or openoffice. It is quite funny to see more corporations moving than governments…… (It began after StarOffice 6.0 came out, the first real contender of Office in the corporate market). Besides, like I said again and again, Microsoft competitors can do much more do make better filters for Office formats. For example, StarOffice hires only *two* people for it. Reverse engineering is a task that can be easily done with a lot of people dividing the job. Then the fact that Microsoft competitors, like IBM, Corel, Sun, Gobe, etc. don’t make a consortium reverse engineering Office formats is stupid. Plus, except for WordPerfect, Office users can’t export in whatsoever format’s the competitors used, even if it is technically possible (Office allows plugins for filters). According to them Ballmer would just LOVE to make Office for Linux and the only reason he doesn’t do it is that it would not make money. Maybe Sergio said this, but I never said this. All I said is that Microsoft knows Linux isn’t a profitable entity. Besides, corporations thinking about moving to Linux would have already make plans to do so. I doubt much corporations would move to Linux just because Office is available to the platform. Unless you haven’t noticed, people are moving to Linux for *cost* purposes. Office BTW is a much bigger cost than Windows. Rajan, you make a valid point about the downside of an open document format (developers can’t independently add “features” that require something in the file format.) Why thank you! I support companies volutarily publishing specs for their formats, but absolutely DON’T agree with a standard format. If it becomes standardized, the evolution of the spec would become slow. Plus new features you could previously enjoy for yourself would have to be implemented by competiting products. In other words: competition in the office fray would be much more worse. Of course, Sun does charge for Staroffice. How much money Sun makes from Linux? Think about that. And people do pay for codeweavers or VMware. Notice VMware is not Linux only. IIRC, the same box runs on Linux and Windows. Who knows? Probably VMware customers all use Windows, maybe vice versa. But remember GNUstep once ask for VMware donations to ease implementing OpenStep Cocoa? Then later said they wouldn’t accept donations because it isn’t Free Software? Besides, is CodeWeavers even profitable? Lindows is selling Click and Run for $99 a year. Two points to make: 1) Lindows isn’t targeting the Linux crowd, but rather the WIndows one. 2) Lindows.com isn’t profitable yet. But do you think that if it were profitable, MS would do it? I don’t think so, but it is speculation. Well, they continue to support the Mac even though the deal is off (yeah, I know they threaten to withdraw support, only because of Apple’s fault). Microsoft is business-orientated. If they notice people are moving to Linux in the masses with or without Office (something that is almost happening), it would make business sense to port. The main downside is monopoly usually means lack of innovation. Did Office monopoly brought innovation? Bounties of it. heck, right now for writing long documents (more than 100 pages) I refuse to use anything buy Office XP. Not even 2000. Those reasons are (1) it’s an advanced OS that’s doing a lot — kernels are good but add layers of code, the new Quartz display system is cool, but again adds overhead. Let me give you the right reason why it is slow. Not because of Quartz. Not because of Darwin. But because of Aqua. If Aqua was made on, say, X Window System, it would be a thousand times slower. Without Quartz, Mac OS X would be dog slow. Besides, people don’t care about how great it is underneath, they care how productive it is. Look at me. I used Linux for so long. Now I’m using Windows for longer periods of time (not for long, BTW). I can move to Linux anyday. Most people could if it had the feature that makes their day.