As is traditional, Microsoft's latest version of its hugely successful Office productivity suite hit the Mac platform a year after it hit Microsoft's own Windows. But Mac users get a bonus Windows users don't: a huge price cut.
Not all the versions get chopped as drastically; the Home and Student edition only went from $150 to $120, a noticeable but not particularly notable cut. But the Office for Home and Business edition went from a whopping $400 for the last version, Office 2008, to half that, only $200, for this year's Office 2011.
PCWorld suggests the price drop is due to the "Google effect." After all, Google's suite of productivity software is gaining ground, and its professional Google Apps suite only costs $50 per user—much cheaper than even the reduced price of Office 2011. Microsoft's own Web apps haven't been quite as well received as Google's, and Google's reign is moving from smaller, tech-savvy businesses to major ones and even some governments.
It's not too much of a stretch to think that Microsoft can see Google's success and growing popularity and worry about its own position. Microsoft is still out in front by a huge margin, but Office, along with Windows, is Microsoft's bread and butter—the company can't afford one of its flagship products to lose ground. Either way, it's great news for Mac Office users.
[Image credit: PCMag]