Microsoft tells some Mac Office users to pass on Apple’s macOS High Sierra

“Microsoft has warned users of Office for Mac 2011 not to upgrade to Apple’s macOS High Sierra when the new operating system launches next month,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “‘Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Lync have not been tested on macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and no formal support for this configuration will be provided,’ Microsoft wrote in a support document.”

“In the same document, Microsoft told those running the newer Office 2016 for Mac that they must update its applications to version 15.35 or later, if they intend to upgrade their Macs to High Sierra,” Keizer reports. “(Version 15.35 was released in June; since then, Microsoft has issued 15.36 in July and 15.37 in August.) ‘In some cases, you may not be able to launch the Office apps [of version 15.34 under High Sierra],’ Microsoft said.”

“Apple is expected to release High Sierra to customers in September,” Keizer reports. “The impending cutoff for Office for Mac 2011 is an issue only because Microsoft shortchanges Office for Mac users. Unlike the Windows version of Office, which receives 10 years of security support, those that run on macOS are allotted half that. Microsoft has repeatedly classified Office for Mac as a consumer product to justify the half-measure, even for the edition labeled ‘Home and Business.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re 100% Microsoft-free here and we’re 100% happy about that.

Many users think they need Office on their Macs. Most don’t. After being called vain, stupid, and wasteful by Microsoft, no one should.

We dumped Microsoft Office many years ago for Apple’s iWork which just keeps getting better and better for free and we couldn’t be happier. We advise MacDailyNews readers do the same.MacDailyNews, May 22, 2017

The best alternatives to Microsoft Office for Mac – May 22, 2017
Apple makes iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork apps for Mac and iOS devices free for all users – April 18, 2017


  1. I’ll say it before someone else does


    Its that anchor that won’t let go. Gotta have it, wish I didn’t.

    Minor shout out to Visio, I’ve learned to “make” Omnigraffle work but the import /export between the two just sucks but gotta have Excel.

    1. For the vast majority of people, any spreadsheet, including numbers will do just fine. For the really “advanced” things that people think they need Excel for, they should really be using a different tool. As a developer, I’ve seen so many people that are advanced users create unsupported monstrosities in Excel that really should have been a separate application.

          1. Oh, what else doesn’t belong in a spreadsheet, then? Colour and font options? Charts and graphs? Style and layout options? Pictures and photos?

            Why oh why did Apple think those slideshow and presentation features were necessary in a program called *Numbers*, but not pivot tables?

            1. Your comment is rather bizarre. Who said anything about color, fonts, and charts, etc? A spreadsheet is a basically simple tool. It’s a great way of applying calculations over a large amount of data. Taking that same data and displaying charts and graphs is a natural extension.
              However, once you have to start putting considerable logic into your spreadsheet, it should really be an application. The point of my original reply was that in most cases where people think the only viable solution is Excel because the spreadsheet is so complex, these solutions should be handled in another way. Another example are people that use a spreadsheet for what she be done with a database. It happens all the time. Incidentally, you actually can do pivot table functionality in Numbers, even though they don’t refer to it by that name.

            2. I don’t think Excel is the only viable solution, but my organization does. No way around the international monetary budget sheets they create for tracking company personal expenses as they cross every border and every monetary exchange on a daily basis.

      1. The most excruciating 5 hours I ever spent in a business office was watching someone create a small telecomm site detail using the excel cell border line drawing format tool.

        This site detail contained a pole, two “yard refrigerators”, and a small handhole. We had a cad system more powerful than Autocad called Microstation to really use when doing this. To do what he did in Microstation would have taken 15minutes or less.

        I was sent to that office to replace a retiring Engineer, he couldn’t wait to retire. He showed me the ropes and we got along well. It came time to draw the detail and he opened up excel, I originally thought he would draw the graphics in Microstation and import it into another required form in Excel. Nope, he meticulously drew the detail in excel. When it was apparent what he was doing, I offered to draw it in Microstation. He refused saying “they want it in the computer and it’s in the computer.” (Engineers of his day, saw computer drafting as a “clerk’s job”, not as a design tool. Typically, engineers would draw on paper, hand it to a CAD drafter and then redline the returned work. When computers were slow this was a reasonable workflow. I owe my telecomm career to quickly recognizing CAD as a powerful design tool – i.e. “what if”. )

        This episode was the worst use of computer technology I ever witnessed. (Except for your average power point presentation or website created with “Flash).

        He retired at the end of that week. The first thing I did Monday morning was draw that site detail in Microstation.

        This was pretty late to the transition from paper to CAD- 1998. I’d been turning in ALL my work electronically for over 6 years at that point. Pentiums were available at that time so CAD screen refreshes were very fast unlike the previous 486 computers. By that time everyone had a computer on their desk and there were very few “clerk-drafters” and no administrative assistants.

        So, using Excel as a Database isn’t so bad by comparison….. 🙂

    2. So use the Numbers app on iOS. It will read, manipulate, and save Excel files back into Excel format. No problems.
      And use Pages for any Word files. Same thing.
      And use Keynote for Power Points. Same thing.

      They are all free. Tell Microsoft to take a hike. iOS is a free upgrade instead of paying for Windows upgrades too. And Parallels is getting better with every release if you HAVE to have a PC emulator.

  2. I think it’s unfair that Windows users get a longer life than Mac users, but at the same time 5 years is still quite a long time in technological terms. Hardly a major revelation that if you want to continue using an old suite of apps you might not be able to run it on a far newer system.

    1. My guess for the shorter life is due to Apple not having as long a backwards compatibility tail for macOS compared to Windows resulting in many things breaking on the Mac version.

  3. Will have to look at getting Office 2016 for Mac, not interested in a subscription. I wish they’d come up with a way to scan your system to see which apps will be compatible or not, I think there will be a lot of unwelcome surprises for many people after the upgrade to discover apps that no longer work.

    1. There is a way. Bring up About this Mac from the Apple menu, select System Report. Then select Applications under Software. That will bring up a list that identifies the 64-bit Intel apps that will work under High Sierra; the others won’t.

  4. Free of the tyranny of Office and 100% happy about it. I transitioned at the end of 2016 to a Mac and did away with ALL MS products and my life has been all the better for it. Have not looked back for one second. MS is a distant bad memory. I am amazed that users put up with their problems.

        1. Not in my case. Try writing 500 page multi-section tech manuals, complete with foldouts in Pages and let me know how that goes.

          Don’t forget all the auto references, auto indexing, auto table of contents. Some sections must be 11×17 landscape, others not. Auto number the page while you’re at it.

      1. Things are definitely changing, at least among the clients I deal with, more and more of them are switching to the Google suite of apps, to the point where I cancelled my Office 365 account and just use Google Drive/Docs/etc now. I’m sure for certain tasks Excel is necessary but that will change too.

  5. I bought my first Apple computer in 1988, and kept faith even when Apple was on the brink of closing down in 1995-1997 just before Steve Jobs came back. I only owned Mac computers since then, although had to use other computers and softwares since then. I even own a “few shares” of Apple stocks, apart from being the major percentage of my mutual funds investments.

    I have used both Microsoft Office, its Mac version, as well as Apple’s Pages, Numbers. There are many things I like about Pages and Numbers, especially what I could do with it with graphical presentations. Sometimes, even the experts at main Boston Apple store were amazed what I was able to do to extend the capabilities of “Numbers”, in spite of many dumbed down features during the past decade.

    Quite frankly though for ADVANCED technical applications — business, engineering, scientific and research purposes, and more importantly complex and massive data manipulations (using Excel) needed in business, economics, engineering, mathematics, scientific and research, and publication purposes — Pages and Numbers just do not make the grade.

    It frustrates me how MacDailyNews and many Mac loyalists just simply parrot the mantra — “It works for my purpose, so it must be good enough.”

    But, I am more disgusted with Apple, a company that claims to want to make serious inroads into business, government and enterprise, and yet not address what are needed by these institutions, and the people involved in them to be able to do their work (see above, if you still didn’t grasp what they are).

    It boggles the mind how Apple would not devote a few billions of dollar and the technical personnel needed to address the grave shortcomings of Pages and Numbers to become a viable alternative to Microsoft Office for advanced technical applications, as outlined above. And yet, Apple was willing to invest tens of billions of dollars in projects that it abandoned just after a few years.

    It is true that for the “majority of the population”, Pages and Numbers are good enough. But is that all Apple has become — just to be good enough to the common user? Where’s the “Think Different” ethic to strive for the best that Apple can be?

    There are many things that Apple has done and do well. But, we should not be too blind to realize and understand where it is dropping the ball or has been neglectful to the needs of very diverse Apple users.

    1. “It is true that for the “majority of the population”, Pages and Numbers are good enough. But is that all Apple has become — just to be good enough to the common user? Where’s the “Think Different” ethic to strive for the best that Apple can be?”

      What’s extremely frustrating is that the *Mac* versions of several Apple apps are dumbed down in order to favour the *iOS* versions and the limitations that iOS and touchscreens impose. This isn’t just Numbers, but also Photos (my biggest pet peeve: no proper star ratings, just a fairly useless binary favourite flag), Calendar, Contacts (what the hell do you mean after 10 years you still can’t ADD a freaking GROUP in the iOS Contacts app??? That alone makes including “Pro” in any iOS laughable at best)… it’s utterly ridiculous.

      The Apple of old was not just for newbies, they gave us advanced options that could be easily accessed by more experienced users.

      If the design geniuses at Apple today were in charge of Mac development in the early to mid 80s, the Mac would not have included keyboard shortcuts. If they were in charge of the initial OSX release, they would’ve disabled native right-mouseclick and forced us to always use the control key.

      1. Hi mossman,

        I am one with you on the Photos and the other Apple softwares for Mac*.

        I bought the Apple software, Aperture (more than $105 plus tax) if I am not mistaken in 1993 or before, because I was not satisfied with the features of iPhoto. Only for Aperture to be completely abandoned, as well as iPhoto to be replaced by Photos. I was not even reimbursed for such a costly purchased or at least given a comparable replacement *Mac* application software. I thought iPhoto was bad, but now I missed some of its features that were no longer options in Photos — as you stated to be able to make suitable to the majority of the common Apple consumer, in the case the iPhone.

        So, I am more cautious now in investing money to acquire Mac software and time (and other resources) in order to use them.

        I am hesitant to buy from other (third) party vendors, unless the product is well established, and the company reputable for security and privacy issues. I have been burned in the past, investing so much time, only for some start up software providers to fold or not provide update as the Mac is updated.


    2. Microsoft Office has its own many many flaws

      In response to other posters, it is not a simple choice between either “Pages, Numbers” or “Microsoft Office”. As noted above, Microsoft Office has become too bulky and its graphic presentation, specially for Excel, is just not acceptable specially for professional publications and presentations. [In this regard, Pages and Numbers have better graphical presentations.] More specific applications are required for more complex applications and presentations.

      I have used many versions of the “Microsoft Office for the Mac” in the past. However, Microsoft always has its own agenda — “Microsoft Office for the Mac” is a crippled version of the Windows software. In fact, it got to the point that Microsoft stopped upgrading the Mac version, to the extent that it stopped support completely in the mid 1990s. [Bill Gates/Microsoft was trying to annihilate Apple then.] If memory serves me correctly, one of the deals between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates — to resolve the ongoing legal battles between the two companies — was the “Microsoft Office 1998? for the Mac”.

      That was the last version I ever used, and would have used it “forever” because I disagreed with the licensing and am concerned with privacy issues related to later versions of the Microsoft Office. Obsolescence (hardware and systems incompatibility) made my “Microsoft Office 1998? for the Mac” with my later laptop computers.

      I started Pages and Numbers the past few years. And, for many activities they would suffice, and the final product presented as graphs and publication materials would be better than what could be achieved with Microsoft Word or Excel. For example, the graphics associated with Numbers is much better than numbers that could then be easily integrated to Pages, iBook Author, etc.

      On the other hand, one could literally have unlimited X-Y cells using Excel, as well as allow re-arranging the database (highest to lowest or alphabetically, or vice versa wrt to a specified X-function). This complex data manipulation is limited, if not doable with Numbers, At best a workaround, using “multiple sheets” would work for a limited X-Y database my work for Numbers.

      It was for the aforementioned reason that I considered exploring whether I should buy “Microsoft Office for Mac” again. I visited the Boston Microsoft store last year, talk to the sales people and tested the latest software. The bottom line the Microsoft store does not have the equivalent of the “technical assistance” that you get from an Apple Store. And, as I suspected, the Mac version is “crippled” compare with the Windows version.

      And perhaps more critical, as revealed in this article, the “Microsoft Office for Mac” may not be updated regularly to be compatible to the Mac hardware — the very reason why I abandoned “Microsoft Office for Mac” after the 1998 version.

      The long term solution is for Apple to improve Excel and Pages, so that they can be suitable for ADVANCED technical applications — business, engineering, scientific and research purposes, and more importantly complex and massive data manipulations (using Excel) needed in business, economics, engineering, mathematics, scientific and research, and publication purposes.

      Maybe call software suite by another name (maybe AppleWorks Pro? to revive an Apple software icon) — intended for more ADVANCED technical applications as outlined above.

      I would not be surprised if more serious Mac users would opt for this more professional *Mac* software, as an alternative or in addition to the current Pages and Numbers. The latter remains for MacDailyNews and other content users that comprise the majority of Apple customers.


      1. There could be a valid and simple reason for MS Office for Mac being ‘crippled’ as you say. MS does not have deep knowledge nor access to macOS as they do for Windows.

        Perhaps Apple should try writing Numbers, etc. for Windows with full file interoperability as a start to breaking people away from MS Office if they have no intention of making MS Office filetypes fully supported in their alternative productivity products. If Apple can match MS Office and not have a ‘crippled’ Windows version of their suite it would be a big step towards gaining Enterprise share. Windows may be the stone bridge but MS Office is the keystone that keeps it standing.

  6. I’m not a MS fan by any means. However, as a Mac user in a large MS corporate environment, we run on MS products. I MUST use Office to function. I have no choice but to use Outlook for full integration with Exchange, view multiple calendars of team members, have it integrate with Skype for Business (you can’t schedule a meeting with Skype except from within Outlook on Mac) and it’s one of our main tools. We have so many spreadsheets that are incompatible with Numbers, it drives me crazy.

    Yes, we are moving to O365 and I’m trying to keep most of it in the cloud. However, it’s a work in progress and I still must have thick clients. Even after, there are things you still MUST use the thick client for as the web isn’t as fully featured.

    Bash all you want, I get it, but for those of us in the corporate worlds on Macs, we usually NEEED to run Office.

  7. Cheap, lazy Microsoft.

    There are reasons to at least wait to update to 10.13 High Sierra. One of them is that Apple has not yet formally settled on its final APFS (Apple File System) technology. I have no idea why. The result is that any software utility the directly analyzes and repairs the macOS file system / Mac drive, isn’t going to get the final spec until some nebulous time after High Sierra is released.

    But does MS have a viable excuse for not being ready for High Sierra on Day 1? Of course not. That stupid company never changes. Why anyone puts up with their crapware…

    1. According to the above MS Office 2016 IS ready for High Sierra assuming the user applies the update. That Office 2011 will not be supported is only the first part of the article.

  8. I have Office365 on my Macs for these reasons:

    1. Numbers is hopeless with charts
    2. Numbers doesn’t do macros
    3. Pages no longer allows Portrait and Landscape pages in the same document (essential for reports with charts or tables)
    4. OneDrive works on all my devices – its a bit clunky but it works. iCloud is useless for organising any work which has content from various sources. I still use old Adobe software, particularly Indesign – I own the software and it meets my needs but it doesn’t work with iCloud.
    5. And even if it did work, iCloud is way too expensive
    6. Pages doesn’t handle conversion to and from Word without screwing things up – especially in legal documents where highlighting changes is in use.

  9. So sick of the ugly stepsister version of Office apps for Mac that I finally just switched to Office 2016 for Windows and run those on Parallels. Couldn’t be happier. Now I can freely interact with all my coworkers who are on Windows Office. I was the only one on a Mac. But more than that, the Windows versions are much more full-featured, which I appreciate. Apple’s counterparts just don’t cut it for me (work in a legal office as a lawyer).

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