Why does Microsoft port Office to Mac?

So I know Microsoft has recently been trying to counter-market Apple’s “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” campaign with the Mojave thing, the senseless Seinfeld-Gates commercials, and the “I’m a PC!” declarations. Wouldn’t a simple tactic be just to discontinue porting Microsoft Office to Mac?

After all, I know there are people who use Internet Explorer-only websites and so have not been able to switch from Windows to Mac (now that the latest version of Internet Explorer for Mac is 5). If Microsoft stopped porting Office to Mac, that’d hurt Apple even more, wouldn’t it?

Well, I suppose they know what they’re doing. Maybe they’re worried about antitrust lawsuits or something. I’m no Gates or Ballmer.


  1. Thing is, Office is a HUGE cash cow for Microsoft. Even Apple’s own iWork can’t compete with them. And right now, Office is (so I’ve heard) selling more than Windows. Everyone NEEDS to have Office.

  2. But Microsoft is big enough that they can strategize sacrificing short-term profits for long-term profits.

    If they sacrifice the relatively small profits from MS Office for Mac for the long-term profits of fewer people migrating to Mac from Windows, they’ll end up more profitable in the long run.

    They did something like this when they essentially turned a blind eye to piracy in China, knowing that they’d get people hooked on pirated Windows and find a way to eventually get them to pay (even if it took ten years).

  3. Perhaps an even better strategy would be to make a really slow, crash-prone version of Office for Mac. Then they’d simultaneously make people think Mac was a crappy platform (even though it’s obvious the problem was with the Office suite, you know people would make that inference) while continuing their sales in the short term.

    I think I should have gone into marketing…

  4. …or perhaps their strategy is to offer Office for Mac for many years and then suddenly discontinue it, forcing everyone to switch to Windows to keep up their Office addiction.

    Oh yeah, I guess everyone could use OpenOffice.org (or NeoOffice for Mac) for free instead, like us Linux users…

  5. That would be interesting, Dan. Actually, I’ve seen MS Office for Mac. It’s not crash-prone, but it is a bit slower to load up than Office for Windows.

    iTunes for Windows has always performed well for me, but I’ve heard other people have had bad experiences with it as compared to iTunes for Mac.

    Adam, I have to say I haven’t been that impressed with NeoOffice for Mac. It doesn’t seem as stable as OpenOffice is for Linux and Windows. I’m looking forward to seeing how it improves, though.

  6. Dan, Microsoft already make that and people still buy it!

    Truth be know Microsoft make a great deal of money selling Office for the Mac. At the end of the day they are a software, not a hardware company (leaving aside mice and keyboards).

    Microsoft’s forays into to hardware such as the XBox and Zune have cost them millions of dollars, whereas their core business of selling software generates the bulk of their revenue. If they stopped making Office for Mac they would be cutting off their nose to spite their face.

    Ultimately for Microsoft to bury the Mac they need to start innovating and stop making cynical attempts at forcing users to upgrade. Unfortunately if people continue to use XP they aren’t spending money on new software. Office is the other Microsoft product and the other way they get people hooked.

  7. Ultimately, if MS killed Apple, it would spell their doom.

    Even if the US has no teeth anymore, it would not be a pretty sight.

  8. I think those Ads and Mojave thingy are just for image makeover for Microsoft. I seriously doubt Apple is really threatening Microsoft outside of the US, and even in a very limited manner in the US.

  9. When MS released Windows 1.0 in 1985 Apple threatened to sue MS for patent infringement. MS in return threatened to stop making products for Mac. The dispute was settled in a meeting. Apple agreed to licence Macintosh’s “visual displays” to MS and in return they agreed to continue developing for Mac. Without waring in 1988 Apple filed a lawsuit against MS anyway. The lawsuit was decided in Microsoft’s favor in 1993. Four years later in 1997 when Apple was very weak and nearly perished MS decided to invest $150 Million in Apple and continue developing Office for Mac and agreed to collaborate on Java. MS never made really clear why they did this. ‘Observers’ say it may help Microsoft by keeping antitrust charges at bay.

  10. I kind of wish MS had not helped Apple back then. It would have rid world of one useless piece of Hardware dependent OS!!! Now you have people from Windows going to Mac rather then Linux!!!!

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