“iWork for iOS is free. The Office apps that Microsoft released for iOS on Thursday are free, technically, but they’re ‘free’ in a way that’s worse than ‘paid,'” Andy Ihnatko writes for The Chicago Sun-Times. “Because if you want to do something as radical as create and edit documents, as opposed to simply opening and reading them, you can’t just fork over a one-time fee and be done with it. You’ll need a monthly subscription to Office 365.”

“But that’s $99.99 a year, or 10 bucks a month, forever,” Ihnatko writes. “So given the presence of powerful, Apple-engineered free alternatives, what’s the point of these apps at all? …Using iWork in Office environment always involves steps, and crossed fingers, and much more effort than would be required if you just stayed inside the Office tent to begin with. I only just got hold of the new Office apps but my first impressions are highly positive.”

“If your interactions with the Microsoft Office world are limited to just an occasional file import and export, iWork wins this debate on price alone,” Ihnatko writes. “But if your business uses Office, it’s an obvious win for Office. It’s a no-brainer upgrade. I can open a Word document on my cloud storage, I can save a Word document on my cloud storage, I can open it again from a Mac or PC attached to that same storage. No need to share links, make conversions, or worry that the editor to whom I hand off this book chapter can’t see my changes.”

Read more in the full review here.

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