Washington Times: Apple’s iWork should make Microsoft’s Bill Gates a ‘bit uncomfortable’

“The biggest news from Apple Computer last week might not be the $99 iPod Shuffle or the $499 Mac Mini,” Mark Kellner writes for The Washington Times. “The big news might well be a $79 software package that received somewhat less attention: iWork combines Apple’s already-sound Keynote presentation software (now called Keynote 2) with a new word processor/document publisher called Pages. Oh, and did I mention the $79 retail price tag for both, 20 percent less than Keynote alone originally cost two years ago?”

Kellner writes, “As good as PowerPoint is, it’s not the easiest software to use. It’s so widespread that you can often tell a PowerPoint presentation from a mile away. And at $230 it’s not cheap. So here’s Keynote 2, offering new themes for your presentations, integration with photos, video and music already on your computer, and what Apple says is ‘cinema-quality’ text and graphics animation. All this for about one-third the price of PowerPoint, and you get the word processor. Pages — which I hope to see and test later this week — will import and export Microsoft Word files. That’s crucial: If it works with Word, a company’s IT department will have less to gripe about when employees want to use it.”

Kellner writes, “Buy a $499 Mac Mini from Apple, add $75 in a needed memory upgrade (to 512 megabytes), and the $79 iWork package and you are ready to unplug your PC and recycle the monitor, keyboard and mouse for use with the new Mac product. And did I mention that the Mac OS comes with an e-mail client and Web browser? Or that Apple is loading the iLife/iTunes/iMovie trio on all the new Mac Minis? It’s a formidable package… Apple is strutting with a little more swagger these days, and if that isn’t making Microsoft’s Bill Gates even the smallest bit uncomfortable, perhaps it should.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kellner’s up to his neck in hyperbole about iWork being “the big news,” bigger news than the Mac mini, which was obviously the highlight of the show, if not the decade. But, it’s a nice use of hyperbole, because it draws our attention to iWork, which certainly deserves the notice. Find out more about Apple’s new iWork and how you can create, present, and publish your work with style here.


  1. Ok Steve…just add a spreadsheet app to iWork the next time and I will remove the last piece of Mediocresoft software from all of my Macs! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. At least he did his research.. the CNET coverage said Pages was worthless because in the ‘REAL WORLD’ you needed MS Word compatibility.. they didn’t know it was compatible. And this guy goes straight to the Mac mini ‘use your old accessories’ mode, which is great. He gets it.

    Is Gates worried?

    Nope. Gizmondo did an interview with him and actually asked him, before this thing came out. And he said (this is very flattering) that the Mac platform has lots of options, and that MS makes lots of money on Mac Office, so he wouldn’t ‘pull out’ no matter what Apple releases..

    I’m sure Gates is looking at it as an ‘Apple-ized’ version of Office: Gorgeous, Easy-to-use… It’ll never catch on.. lmfao

  3. This is great, but I’d like to see more press (Apple and otherwise) emphasize the KVM switch option. Keep your PC, add a Mini, and experiment. You’ll get more people to ‘switch’ if they don’t feel like they’re giving something up. Then, the Trojan Pony and Apple’s remarkably usable software will do all the enlightening necessary for long-term conversion.

    Oh yeah, Trojan Pony. You heard it here first. Spread the word.

  4. What we need in iWork is not import/export of Word files, but open/save support for M$ Office file formats. Once Apple includes spreadsheet in iWork 2 (Numbers?), corporate users will finally be able to enter MicroSoft free computing.

  5. I think he’s right. iWork is a huge accomplishment. Everyone is sick of powerpoint presentations looking so “Redmond” like. And Word outgrew itself 15 years ago. I can’t wait to get my hands on iWork.

  6. iCalc — you read it here first. But don’t expect Office for Mac to go away. It’s needed as long as it’s a virtual monopoly in the biz world.

    Brought to you by the magic word quality — as in ’nuff said.

  7. I’m not sure that they will include a heavyweight spreadsheet. Pages and Keynote already have facilities for putting data in to make charts and graphs.

    That might be all we get from Apple on that score. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s the feling I have.

  8. They’ll add a spreadsheet app next year in iWork ’06

    And it won’t be called ‘iCalc’

    Maybe they’ll also include a basic database app as well…Filemaker Express, anyone?

  9. Ehm.. you don’t need a spreadsheet to put graphs, etc on presentations.. you need it for keeping track of your finances etc. That doesn’t sound like a market Apple is going to touch.

    Sorry MS haters. Apple bundles Macs with Quicken, which is vastly superior to any first version of ‘Sheets’ that Apple could produce. Besides, that numbers stuff is SOO boring.. hard to imagine Jobs demoing this..

    “Check this out.. gorgeous graphs.. sexy IF,THEN statements… look at these borders here… “

    Don’t bother..

    The truth is.. whatever integration MS has between Excel and Word.. it’s already in iWork. As for Excel as a standalone.. Apple offers Quicken with all their Macs. Use that instead.

    You know.. or you could get Office

  10. The point about iWork being so important is greater than the Mac mini in many regards – without it, ANY Mac is of lesser value. Considering MDN beats the drums about Mac OS X and iLife, etc. being awesome $499 software that comes with a free computer, the hyperbole comment is about the article is itself up to its neck in…

  11. “Besides, that numbers stuff is SOO boring.. hard to imagine Jobs demoing this..”

    It doesn’t matter if Steve finds it boring. It’s an important app to have in a productivity suite. Anyway, if Steve doesn’t want to demo it, they can have Phil do it.

    I also don’t think Excel is similar to Quicken. If that were the case, why would MS make both Excel and Money??

  12. Apple is putting the components in place. Tiger is going to have a much revised iSync application, a more powerful Mail app, an updated iCal, and more. Tiger’s iChat could easily be morphed into a NetMeeting-type application. Add in Pages and Keynote and you are set except for an Excel-type application.

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