“Apple’s new iWork ’05 application suite is a small but significant assault on Fort Microsoft. Though this new two-application office suite for Mac OS X won’t replace Microsoft Office on most corporate Mac desktops, at just $79 (direct) it gives home, small-business, and education buyers—that is, the vast majority of Apple customers—an affordable alternative to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint,” Edward Mendelson writes for PC Magazine.

“iWork comprises a new word processor (called Pages) and an updated version of the Keynote presentation package that Apple introduced in 2003. The suite is strong in typographic and visual features—the areas where Office is weakest. Rumors that the suite would include a spreadsheet called Cells turned out to be false, but they do suggest that Apple has plans for a more full-featured suite in the future,” Mendelson writes.

“Pages resembles a cross between a page-layout program (think Adobe InDesign) and a word processor (à la Word), combining all their basic features and a few of their advanced ones… In our tests, Pages imported our Word test files with only minimal changes in page layout… All told, iWork ’05 is a fine effort. It gives most Mac users an affordable alternative to Word, and whets the appetite for a more filled-out suite, which we hope is in the works,” Mendelson writes.

Full article here.