Free office 365 on MacBook

I will receive very soon a new MacBook Air M1, to use in my office and at home, as my Dell XPS is dying ( 16 years old).
I for now use a Windows pc at my office. I prefer generally the Apple word so I plan to use both computers, depending on the tasks I will do.
When going back home I will carry my Mackbook air.
I wonder if it’s better and easier to use Word, Excel on a pc vs a Mac?
Or is there no differences?

Is there a way to have Office 365 for free? If not I will keep both the PC and the Mac at my office.

Last time I checked, it was possible to buy Office for Mac quite cheaply for a one-off payment instead of going for the dreaded monthly subscription (Office 365) that they now want you to sign up for. This cheaper option has worked perfectly well for me since I put it on my MacBook quite a few years ago.


I’ve used it all my career on a Windows device, and also last 14 years on Macs - works brilliantly, but as Chris says, try not to get the 365 subscription version. If not, there are some free Office like versions available, but never tried them


Unless you are a “power” user, then LibreOffice is great - and free. I have used it exclusively for many years. But as others have said, a standalone Office for Mac is not huge bucks.

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At work, I use a Windows machine with the full Office suite. At home I use a Mac and used to use Office for Mac. Now, I use Libre Office. I have also used Open Office. Unless you need to use any of the Office suite professionally, I wouldn’t bother paying for the Microsoft version.

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I use Office 365 on my M1 Air and works very well. It is £80 a year but 5 other users can use it so all my family have it for the one subscription fee. Not as bad as some are making out


A legal license can be found for about 25 euros.

Just google ‘digital license Microsoft office’ and pick the version you like.

Make sure it’s compatible with a m1 Mac.

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Slightly off topic but what made you go Mac? I had a 2013 MacBook Air which I sold a couple of years back as gained a Windows work laptop. That’s now so heavily screwed down for security I’m in the market again. Can’t make my mind up between Windows or Mac, the gap has closed massively in the last decade

Of course that is also its strength, resulting IMO in better reliability and better safety. I brought one for my Mum 10 years ago as she is 240 miles away - never had any trouble I couldn’t easily fix via a phone call - Knowing windows my whole career (Level 3 technical support), I cant say the same if it were a windows device

Saying that, Win 10/11 is a lot more stable, and they are closer, as you say

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I have a MacBook Air M1 and my wife has a windows machine. We purchased Office 365 that covers 5 devices. There are differences between office on the two machines, but, and I’m no techno kid here, I generally find my way round it when my partner has an issue.

Personally I prefer the Mac version, but then I prefer the MAc anyway.

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What I see is only office 365 on applestore. Around 40 euros per year, but to be paid each year.

Is libre office enough good, near Word 10 ?

So you advise me libre office? It’s free ?

I use ipads since the beginning. I like the ecosystem.

I would recommend trying it before spending your hard earned. It’s completely free so nothing to lose. I have used it for years. It’s not identical to Microsoft but it’s close enough for me.


Thanks, I will try. If not I will use both computers, PC for World/ Excel and Mac for other tasks.

You can buy it from Miscosoft, or cheaper from other online retailers.

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I did the goggle search and found it for the prices you suggested (around 15 GBP for Office 2021). But the MS website sells it for over 400 GBP.

Bit of a difference. Are these internet sites really legal?

I think @cayorob meant the work Windows PC was heavily locked down (?) while I think you’re referring to the Mac? I used to have a work Windows PC similarly locked down - many of the normal functions of Windows that I would use daily on my own computer were removed or locked, and could only be used by someone in the IT department. It was frustrating an many ways, but it did mean the device was pretty secure. Macs are somewhat different, and, IIUC, more secure by design.


I use the Business 365 subscription @ NZ$18.90 a month (though only really use Excel and Word, never bother with Outlook). I’ve had that a few years now. I think when the newer Word iMac apps came out, you could only get them through a subscription. My earlier versions where ones you bought on a CD and installed, but they are outdated now if you what the best iMac versions.