MWSF05: A Look at iWork

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Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 16:21
Category: Software

iWork '05Apple’s new iWork productivity suite strikes me as a curious beast. Pages and Keynote 2.0 make beautiful documents and presentations yet it seems that Apple recommends you have iLife on your system too. From Apple’s initial marketing pages (oh what a word to choose) it seems that integration is the word of the day – using movies, pictures and pages to make your Keynote presentation fly. Read on…


iWork '05Apple’s new iWork productivity suite strikes me as a curious beast. Pages and Keynote 2.0 make beautiful documents and presentations yet it seems that Apple recommends you have iLife on your system too. From Apple’s initial marketing pages (oh what a word to choose) it seems that integration is the word of the day – using movies, pictures and pages to make your Keynote presentation fly.
For me the Keynote cube transitions still make it shine, so it will be interesting to see what is new in that department. Interface-wise Keynote 1 was a little tricky to master so I hope some of that has cleared up. As for Pages we all hanker after a program to surmount the mighty word but after ClarisWorks, AppleWorks and all the rest of the bunch I wonder if we all really want to learn another WP program.
All Apple needs is a spreadsheet application (like Excel) to eliminate the need to buy Microsoft Office. It seems that Pages has a charts feature we can use until Apple releases Sheets – or whatever they’re going to call it. Anyway lots to sleep on tonight – especially the integration with Apple mail (when the 10.4 version comes out). Seems to me that Apple is playing catch up with the big software beasts (Microsoft and Adobe) but can never dent it ubiquitous armor. Well one can but try.
Gizmodo asked Bill Gates what he thought of Apple’s then-rumored Office competitor, iWork:

Gizmodo: How do you feel about this rumor going around that Apple’s going to launch their own Office competitor? Their own office suite.
Gates: They’ve always had a Works-type product.
Gizmodo: Yeah, but if they end up coming out with an actual competitor and sort of billing it as that, would that… Since Office for the Mac has always been?well, not a huge revenue generator, but it’s always been that one…
Gates: It’s been a great business for us. I mean, not as a percentage of Microsoft, but it’s a very, very good business. We have a great relationship with Apple.
I don’t know what they’re thinking, but they’ve always had the low-end product?It’s actually not that low-end. It’s pretty good. Not as good as Office, but not bad at all?that they’ve bundled in with different machines.
Gizmodo: And that’s why it seems sort of weird to me, because Office for the Mac is sort of one of the must-have OSX programs.
Gates: Because we’ve done a good job on it. There are freeware Office-type offerings that run on Mac OS. I don’t keep up to date on which ones and all that, but it’s not like Mac users don’t have various alternatives. We’ve kept the price of Office low enough?Student and Teacher editions, educational pricing?and we’re very aggressive. Those are the markets where over 90% of the Macs sell into. I think it’s a very good value. So, we hope we keep doing well! It allows us to invest in it. Our Mac Office group has been very, very innovative.

Read the rest of the interview at Gizmodo.
What’s your take on iWork? Will you replace MS Office, or AppleWorks with it? When do you think Apple will release Sheets?

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