Death to Microsoft

by C.K. Sample III Oct 20, 2004

Yes, new iBooks and a new single processor G5 have just been announced. I don’t care. I want to know one thing: Where’s the Apple-branded Office Suite that will once and for all free us from Microsoft?

The largest thorn in every Mac user’s side used to be the perceived lack of compatibility with all the documents and programs used in the Windows-dominated workplace.  Notice that word: perceived. Most documents were compatible and those that weren’t were easily handled by MacLinkPlus. As long as we remembered to use PC Formatted floppies in our Macs, we were good to go.

Now most of that misperception and the bits of reality behind it have shifted.  Mac is more compatible these days. More people see Mac as a viable platform because of the wild success of the iPod, because of OS X’s success as a stable modern OS based upon UNIX and BSD, and because of Microsoft’s failure to produce an OS that is secure against the various exploits, worms, and viruses that have cost businesses millions of dollars over the past several years.

We don’t need Microsoft any longer. They end-of-lifed Internet Explorer on the Mac and good riddance! Safari and Firefox are faster, better browsers with fewer security holes. With Keynote, Apple has a sleeker, sexier, and better presentation program than Powerpoint. Appleworks and TextEdit can both open, edit, and save Word files.  All these programs are cheaper than Microsoft Office in all its bloatware glory. Also, you may have noticed, that there is a freely available integrated office app out there that will run on nearly every platform including OS X: Open The regular version requires X11 to run, but there’s a rather nice Java port that runs nicely alongside all your normal OS X apps: NeoOffice/J.  What’s the best thing about this?  It’s free.

I’m not saying that Microsoft Office isn’t useful.  The Mac unit at Microsoft has done a much better job on our Office than on the PC Version.  Nevertheless, Office 2004 Professional Edition for Mac lists at $499.95 on the Apple Store right now.  That’s half the cost of a brand new iBook! With all the software made by Apple and offered for free by the open source community, there are plenty of workable Office alternatives out there. As the technology is in place, what is stopping Apple from coming out with a top level professional office suite? It wouldn’t be difficult to make it backwards compatible with M$ Office for the first several iterations, just to ease the migration. Doing so would make the security and stability of OS X more attractive to the business market, and pave the way for an easy cost effective migration to the Macintosh platform.

It’s a clear David and Goliath situation.  The bloated Microsoft giant is ready to topple. The iPod was the first stylish stone.  Apple needs to step up and finish the job with a professional Apple Office Suite. Death to Microsoft!


  • Please consider that Microsofts infusion of 150 Mio. USD in 1997 and its committment to continue to develop Microsoft Office for Mac was a major supporting factor in Apples fight to survive at that time. Part of Bill’s equation was obviously to keep a second plattform alive to counter claims, Microsoft was aiming for a monopoly.

    Things have changed since then (Big Success of Linux and OS X) but still the non-availability of MS Office for Mac would be a show-stopper for anybody considering buying a Mac for home, while working with a PC in the Office.

    I’m not a fan of Microsoft either, but I believe it would not be a smart move from Apple to piss Microsoft off with their own Version of Office.

    cubologic had this to say on Oct 20, 2004 Posts: 2
  • I’m not sure why Apple would spend the time and money to do that.

    If consumers perceive Office for Mac to be incompatible with Office for Windows (and many do) I can’t imagine that Apple would be successful in convincing consumers and businesses that an Apple Office-type suite would be compatible with Microsoft Office.

    Waste of time and money on Apple’s part to do such a thing.

    DF in Boston had this to say on Oct 20, 2004 Posts: 15
  • I [like to] believe that Microsoft’s Office dev team right now is able to operate totally out of the box from the people that work on IE and the core win32 operating systems. I’m no MS proponent, but Office 2003 for Windows is a MORE than solid application suite and is considerably more lightweight than any of its predecessors. Office v.X for Mac is wonderful as far as I can tell, and I imagine 2004 is only more streamlined and cleaner. This is one area that I do not mind Microsoft keeping a hold of.

    piecetogether had this to say on Oct 20, 2004 Posts: 13
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