CNET: Apple ‘iWork’ office software seems likely

“A small Macintosh software developer has renamed an application it had been calling iWork, lending credence to rumors that Apple plans to introduce office software of the same name,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News. “IGG Software, which has marketed a time-billing application as iWork, has changed the program’s name to iBiz. The change, which is reflected on the company’s Web site, follows reports on rumor sites that Apple plans to offer its own suite of word processing and presentation software… Several Macintosh enthusiast sites spotted the iBiz name change, including MacDailyNews and MacMinute.”

Fried reports, “The name iWork may seem a natural for Apple, which already bills its iLife suite as being ‘like Microsoft Office for the rest of your life.’ But the term is already used by many others. Sun Microsystems, for instance, uses the name for a program that allows its employees to work remotely. IGG Software applied for a trademark of the term in March 2003. In August 2004, Apple also filed for a trademark on ‘iWork.’ IGG’s application is currently suspended, while Apple’s is listed as newly filed and not yet assigned to an examiner. Other trademark applications are also pending for both ‘iWork’ and ‘iWorks.’ It is unclear what effect an Apple product might have on Microsoft’s long-term support for the Mac version of Office. The company, which at one time had a five-year pact with Apple to provide Mac versions of Office and Internet Explorer, now says that it evaluates new products one version at a time.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
IGG Software changes name of ‘iWork’ to ‘iBiz’ – clearing the way for Apple’s iWork? – January 03, 2005
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software – May 16, 2003

41 Comments

  1. for me, this is going to be a great thing if apple releases an office killer. for the overall macintosh sales, i’m not so confident. If apple forces another third party developer (microsoft) off of the apple platform, it will discourage future ones. Granted, competition is great, but i think microsoft has been looking for an excuse to leave apple completely for years.

    If apple loses Office (no matter how bug ridden the software might be), the majority of the world thinks of it as a standard and will base their next computer purchase on whether it will support that standard.

    I’m all for an iWork but it might iNot.

  2. I agree, I think it’s a bad idea to potentially harm their relationship with Microsoft on that front. Many would be switchers I’ve worked on are more easily persuaded when you show them Office on the Mac and how it’s compatible. Sometimes it’s what seals the deal.

  3. i agree with the impact to PC converts. but remember, SJ specifically said he is not at Apple to make money, but to design cool and great things.

    SJ is not too hot on gaining market share. Apple is profitable, will never challenge MS for marketshare in anything.

    face it folks, Apple is in a state of change and i sense a slow migration away from the computer business. i am not sure how exactly i feel about it, but change can be a good thing, too.

  4. Lose MicroCrap Orifice for the Mac ??

    Personally, I’d never miss it … but then, all my machines have been Redmond-free from the beginning ! …. I’ve never had a need for such an over-bloated, bug-ridden piece of garbage !!

    I do, however, have a bit of sympathy for those who seem to can’t go thru life without it… They probably do need it

    If His Steveness can have his people design an app (or suite) which is better compatible to Aw-fus than AppleWorks attempted, it just might be a hit !!

    And, if we carry this fantasy a little farther … what if … he releases a WinDoze version, too ??

    Who knows ?? … it might be enough to bring down the House of Cards known as The Evil Empire !!

    (Just my 2 cents)

  5. Last time I checked, wasn’t MS Office supposed to base their files on XML. Isn’t XML a standard? It wouldn’t be hard to have cross-compatibility if MS didn’t change its extensions. Even so, a quick update would fix this. As an example, try opening Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents in OpenOffice 1.1.3 (absolutely free software). I’ve opened several documents already and I don’t see any difference. Plus, isn’t PDF built into MacOS X. I’m sure there is some good mojo there as well.

    I think we’ll be seeing a lot of switcher commercials this year. Especially if this productivity suite does come out.

    Edgeknight, rumor hound of 2005

  6. I don’t think we should view iWork as an Office-killer (sadly), but rather a totally new version of AppleWorks.

    I think that iWork will be to AppleWorks like Mac OS X is to Windows: totally superior and makes the other look like a slopped together POS.

    No offense to AppleWorks (mostly).

  7. I can now totally understand if Apple is going to produce an Office suite of Apps – now knowing that Microsoft evaluate whether they are going to produce a Mac version of Office a version at a time.

    This could have left Apple in the shit if Microsoft suddenly announced that they were not going to produce Office 2005 – especially if Apple didn’t have their own Office Suite of Apps.

    This would have put alot of business users off from buying a mac as all they use would be and ‘Office Suite’.

    Good for APPLE – This is a good strategic move – Don’t trust or rely on Microsoft, there is no guarantee that they are going to continue off ice for the mac in the future!

    I would buy this Iwork software the minute it is available!

  8. Yeah, it’s supposed to be based on XML, but what the XML tags mean, now that is the question. They can have the XML so bloated with tag names that it is hard to understand and only Office could decrypt what the XML actually represents.

  9. I know this is a weak argument.. but we already have Office 2004..

    MS already has a kick-ass version of Office out … it’s not like they’ll pull it off the shelves. They may not come out with another version.. but.. they’ve been struggling to get people to upgrade Office anyway.. because most people are more than fine with Office 97.. Seriously

    There may not be a downside..

    What’s MS gonna say, “We don’t like to compete”?!

    LOL.. I think MS are contractually forbidden to utter those words in front of the the media..

  10. If Apple releases iWork for Mac, Windows and Linux then Microsoft will keep Office for Mac around in self defense. They wouldn’t want someone else to have the only cross platform suite.

  11. OK, guys, I’m officially worried.

    I want it to be true, and it sounds great.

    As the history of Apple has shown, you can’t achieve greatness unless you are willing to risk all to acheive it. This is why we love Apple, and the Mac, and the iPod. Other companies make junk and hope to get rich. For better or worse (and usually better, as far as I’m concerned,) Apple has always counted on innovation to amaze, delight, and most importantly, work not only correctly but better than expected.

    Apple doesn’t care about releasing “me too” crap. Make no mistake: Apple is a business, but its success is that it cares far more about making great, useful, fun things than it does hitting quarterly EPS targets. This is why we love the company and what it stands for — to some extent, all of us “think different.”

    But if this iWork thing is true, it could be very dangerous. For example, Apple announced Safari practically within hours of the expiration of the five-year agreement with MS, which included using IE as the Mac’s default browser. MS responded by killing IE for Mac. MS has remained quiet about Keynote, but I doubt they’re happy about it. iTunes/iPod are literally ruling the new music market, and MS doesn’t come out with anything better a than a silly “Plays for Sure” campaign. And have you noticed that in recent months, many .wmv files no longer play on MS’s WMP for Mac, due to some mysterious codec missing? In pettiness, it seems that MS has changed the rules to lock out Macs, and I’m not holding my breath waiting for them to release the Mac codec.

    So, Apple launches iWork. Most all of us loyal Mac users have to deal with Office files at one time or another. A much larger group won’t even consider a Mac, because they erroneously believe that there is no “MS Office” for Mac. Others that know about MS Office for Mac, but think it’s incompatible with Windows formats. And still others are often rightfully concerned that something will be screwed up in the translation from Mac to PC or vice versa (in my personal experience, not a problem for Macs, but often troublesome when receiving a PC-edited doc. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t by MS’s design — their products suck, but they are clever bastards.)

    We’ve demonstrated that life is possible without MS, but we as Mac people are eager and inclined to pursue that. If MS decides to kill Office for Mac, how many fence-sitters are going to abandon any thought of switching? If Microsoft is a drunken, confused, drowsy bear, then we are a sober, sentient, enlightened cub. Despite all we’ve acheived, and despite showing the greatest promise of any bear ever, we can still be thwarted, even dispatched, by one well-placed swat from an angry, drunken, confused, drowsy bear.

    Needling MS is great fun and a favorite pastime of the Mac community; but poking MS with a sharp stick in the eye is stupid.

    If iWork is true, it MUST be BEYOND Office compatible on all platforms: I don’t mean with text, but with fonts, formats, etc. I mean so compatible that there isn’t a comma out of place, even by one space, and it must have the ability to bounce back and forth hundreds of times through saves, edits, and revisions between multiple Macs and PCs FLAWLESSLY. That’s what people do with Office documents, and if iWork exists but can’t handle it, then we can kiss a huge percentage of potential users goodbye, and sadly, perhaps a good chunk of Mac loyalists.

    As Apple has always shown, art, beauty, and practicality will rule the day. If people are given an chance to work with both systems, I believe that 85%+ will choose Mac. We deserve to win, becuase we are the good guys who make computing easy, and our hearts are in the right place. Let’s not take all of the suffering and work and assume victory is assured just because we’ve won a few big battles in a row.

  12. I agree with those who figure that iWork is the next version of AppleWorks. (AppleWorks -> ClarisWorks -> AppleWorks -> iWorks?) I wouldn’t be certain that it will have all the features of Word/Excel.

    Again, like MacWrite vs. Word back in the old days, if you’re writing letters to your Mom, iWork will be fine. If you’re writing a book or you need cross-platform capability, Word would be a better choice.

    No, I doubt you’ll see iWork for Windows.

  13. As somebody at Mac Rumors said:

    “I love apple products and all, but I need some space. this is farking stupid. Apple seems to just want to stamp out every third party developer possible. its like they want using a mac to be like disney world. “oh its raining? have a disney pancho!,” “need to buy something? trade your american dollars for disney dollars!” “sit in the disney chair” “dring from the disney mug” “sick of disney branded stuff? live in celebration!”

    they’re ripping off konfabulator, buying emagic and stealing mariner’s market and as much as we hate them they chased away IE and netscape! now if you use 3rd party software your a outofthebox user(no pun intended) and all those registered “developers” jobs talks about are just people writing mods for apple software. theres like 400 dock mod apps and 2billion itunes add ons.

    dont get me wrong I love the iapps but I feel like apple is letting its brand infringe on the integrity of its products. (I know thats the point of a brand but branding is evil read naomi kliens nologo.)

    its nice that apple is making headway but dont forget what happens when you need to much control.(UM MICROSOFT?!) (yes that is a conservative statement after a citation of a far leftist book.)

    what the solution is? I dont know. but its apple, if they wanted to be good about it they could. instead they branding themselves to highhell and slowly closing us in. I’m sick of all the things that apple either passes themselves off as innovating or things that they pass as innovative.

    that all said, macs rock. but its just getting scary.
    -matt”

    I do agree. I’m near of getting a Steve Jobs overdose.

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