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Microsoft: You want Office for Mac, fanboi? You'll pay Windows prices

Hikes up prices by 17% to push users towards Office 365

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Microsoft has increased the price of Office for Mac by up to 17 per cent, another move in the software giant's territory battle with Apple in the personal computing market.

The new pricing structure, which was not officially announced by Redmond, asks Mac users to hand over around the same amount as users of Office 2013 for Windows. The price hike comes several months after Microsoft announced that it had no plans to release Office 2013 for Apple computers.

Redmond has quietly sneaked out the price hike, which brings the price of Office 2011 Home and Student up to $140 from $120. Copies of the software are still available at the old price on Amazon. Home and Business Office 2011 for Mac has increased in price by $20 - going from $200 to $220.

The shift quietly increases price pressure on Mac users as Microsoft begins to compete with Apple in the hardware market. Microsoft's new Surface tablet is a direct competitor to the iPad. And Microsoft is feeling the hit from Macs in the PC market more than it ever has, with sales and margins down across the sector.

It's the same story in the UK: the Home and Student Office for Mac 2011 download previously had a price tag of £96 (some stock is still available at that price on Amazon), but goes up to £109.99 on the new pricing. The Business version has gone up from £199.99 to £219.99.

Microsoft isn't planning to bring Office 2013 to Mac, but has updated the the 2011 offering slightly, adding the cloud service SkyDrive. It hasn't ruled out the upgrade either.

The price rise on the simple download product is also part of the push to get customers subscribing to the pay-as-you-go Office 365 Home Premium, retailing for $100 a year (£79.99 in the UK).

We've asked Microsoft for an explanation of the price rise and will update if we hear back. ®

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