The overblown fact of having to buy Microsoft Office on a Mac

Many people, at least in India, seem to think that buying a Mac means they’ll have to pay for software they didn’t otherwise when using Windows. A friend recently expressed concern about having to pay for Microsoft Office on a Mac. Here’s why it isn’t as big a deal as it sounds.

  1. On a Mac, you’d need to buy Microsoft Office, yes.
  2. But on Windows, depending on which laptop you purchase, you either buy it as part of the laptop price or you get a 1-year free license and then have to pay to continue using it after that period. Either way, you do technically pay for Microsoft Office on Windows too.
  3. A Mac comes with Apple's own suite of Office-compatible iWork software at no extra charge. But opinions on it are polarized so you’ll likely either find it to be a useful replacement of Office or you’ll hate it.
  4. Either way, if your work doesn't involve heavy and advanced usage of Microsoft Office specifically, then you can use many simpler but fairly functional and free alternatives, which work with Office files, such as Google Docs, Microsoft's own Office Online or apps like ONLYOFFICE Desktop.

Personally I use Google Docs and ONLYOFFICE, and so I don't need to pay for Microsoft Office or use Apple's Office apps.