“No application, from Microsoft, has been more important for the Mac’s long-term survival than Microsoft Office,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.
“Office for the Mac continues to be the best-selling piece of Mac software that doesn’t come from Apple,” Hesseldahl writes. “So it was a tad surprising that Apple announced on Aug. 7 a new version of its own office productivity software, dubbed iWork ’08. Included in iWork, which will sell for $79, is a new application called Numbers, a spreadsheet application analogous to Microsoft Excel, but as with all things made for the Mac, Apple made it easier to use.”
“Previously, iWork had contained only Pages, a word-processing program comparable in many respects to Microsoft Word, and Keynote, a presentation program that is comparable to, but far better than PowerPoint… Adding Numbers completed the circle,” Hesseldahl writes.
“So, as of this week, Apple has its own office software suite that does more or less the same things, is compatible with Office, and sells for just a little more than half of Office’s starting price of $149,” Hesseldahl writes.
“Should Microsoft be worried? Certainly not yet. I checked with Chris Swenson, an analyst with NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks retail software sales. What effect if any, has there been on sales of Office for the Mac in reaction to Google, Zoho, and ThinkFree? ‘None. Zero. Zip,’ he said. Microsoft Office for the Mac enjoys a market share in the neighborhood of 97%, while its nearest competitor is Apple’s iWork, which comes in at 1.8%,” Hesseldahl writes.
In his full article, Hesseldahl explains why Apple bothers with iWork and explains why Microsoft bothers building Office for the Mac (hint: big profts) and wonders why, with Mac sales growth running well ahead (3X) of the rest of the PC industry, why is Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit down to producing one flagship application and just a few minor other apps?
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Many Mac users — the majority, we believe — think they need Office, but really don’t. Give Apple’s free 30-day iWork ’08 trial a try and see for yourself.