Microsoft Office vs. iWork

February 19, 2016
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If you are a student or your work requires you to write a document or make slideshow presentations, then most likely you are already familiar with Microsoft Office. But have you also tried using iWork?

It’s good to know that there are already several options we can choose from for tasks that involve writing documents, making charts and spreadsheets or creating powerful presentations. Microsoft Office has been widely used for decades because of its polished functions. Whereas iWork is also quickly becoming popular due to its less complicated and straightforward functionalities. To help you determine which applications are right for you, consider this guide in knowing the differences between these two.

Microsoft Office

Since launched in 1990, for almost three decades Microsoft Office is considered the most widely used productivity suite application. It is perhaps best known for the big three applications – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. But other Office applications include Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and SharePoint Designer.

The Office applications are best known because of its extensive applications – in fact, it’s so extensive that there are much more features than most users will ever use. You have two options to buy Microsoft Office. You can either pay for a Home or Personal Subscription.


iWork is Apple’s version of the Microsoft Office. Just like the Office app, iWork has the tools you will need to create a report, a presentation or calculate a spreadsheet. In this Apple’s proprietary app Pages is the word or document processor, Numbers is used for the spreadsheets and Keynote is used for the slideshow presentations. iWork is free for most iPad, iPhone and Mac devices but if you are still using older versions of this devices then you can purchase the app at less than $10.

The Differences Between Microsoft Office and Apple’s iWork

So, now you might be wondering about what makes office different from iWork. Or which application is more suitable for you.

All in all, the two products almost have the same basic useful features. They only differ in two categories namely, functionality and pricing:


When comes to functionality, Microsoft Office is preferred by many because overall it is much easier to use compared to iWork. Excel, in particular, is easier to work with compared to Numbers. On the other side, some users prefer iWork because it doesn’t have as many features as Office has, which makes it less complicated. iWork’s Pages also has the ability to add charts in the word processor which MS Word lacks.


To use Microsoft Office, you need to purchase the product. You can opt for a yearly subscription or a one-time purchase. Office 365 Home is recently available at $79.99 per year and the application can be used by up to 5 users or devices. For individual use, Office 365 Personal can be purchased at $59.99. A one-time purchase of basic Office apps is also available at $119.99. Meanwhile, iWork is completely free for most recently released Mac devices, iPads and iPhones. Should you need to purchase it for older Mac devices, it still is way cheaper than Office as the app can cost around $10 only.