Microsoft raises Mac Office prices, ends multi-license packs

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Purchasing a copy of Mac Office 2011 Home & Student (single license) will now set you back about $140, or about $20 more than last year's retail prices. It's well-known that some wines improve with age. Unlike a finely crafted varietal though, software titles don't typically adhere to the same principles of aging, making Microsoft's 10-17 percent price hike for its range of Mac-friendly office suites a curious decision. 

Additionally, it appears Microsoft has also stopped shipping multi-license packs of Mac Office, allowing those once-reasonable deals to disappear altogether from retail shelves.

What exactly prompted this unexpected price bump? It seems ComputerWorld was the first to report on this observation yesterday, but Office 2011 prices jumped prior to February 2 -- an almost sure sign that Microsoft's 17 percent price increase accompanied the launch of Office 2013.

That "17 percent" figure is also a very familiar number -- that's exactly how much more "Home" versions of Office 2013 (PC) cost in comparison to its Office 2010 (also PC) counterpart. Meanwhile, the cost for Mac Office Home & Business was also stretched out by $20 for a roughly 10 percent increase.

Rumors from last year indicated that Microsoft would not be introducing Office 2013 to Macs, which thus far appears to be the case. It's been a month since Office 2013's launch and the rumor mill regarding a Mac-compatible version has been deathly silent. If history serves as an accurate predictor of the future though, a Mac-only "Office 2014" is likely on the way, in hopes to appease Apple enthusiasts. In the meantime, Mac owners may want to look at Microsoft 365, older versions of Mac Office and possibly alternatives like Open Office and iWork.

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