Apple’s iWork grabs 16-percent of Mac office productivity application sales

“According to NPD Group, Apple’s efforts with iWork have paid off. The revamped suite has captured 16 percent of the office productivity application sales on the Mac, with Microsoft’s Office taking the rest. While that figure is ‘a success for Apple,’ NPD says, the market-research firm doesn’t feel that number is sustainable once Office 2008 arrives on the Mac,” Jim Dalrymple reports for Macworld.

MacDailyNews Take: The article really doesn’t say how Microsoft is going to recover those Mac users they’ve lost to iWork. 16-percent of office productivity sales is quite impressive; even more so when you factor in that iWork costs US$79 vs. Office’s double or higher retail price).

“‘Office 2008 is going to be a successful product and its going to take the air out of iWork’s tires,’ said Swenson,” Dalrymple reports.

MacDailyNews Take: We know many, including ourselves who dumped PowerPoint for Keynote years ago, Word for Pages last year, and Excel for Numbers this year. We’re not going to run out to buy Office now that we’ve finally been liberated.

When Apple released the updated iWork ’08 “back in August, executives said the goal was to create applications that offered a Mac-like approach to tasks such as word-processing and spreadsheets. ‘[Some people] want to enjoy the way they work, they want their work product to look great, and [they want to be] fundamentally integrated into iLife,’ Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of applications product marketing told Macworld in August,” Dalrymple reports.

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.


  1. the market-research firm doesn’t feel that number is sustainable once Office 2008 arrives on the Mac

    Depends how bad Mac Office 2008 is contaminated er influenced by its latest Windows counterpart.

    If Mac Office 08 gets that insanely stupid ribbon menu, and/or it even HINTS at being buggy or sluggish, iWork should continue doing very well.

    We need real tools, MS. Not bloated eye candy. This goes well beyond your Mac business unit…

  2. Ralph M and Windoze Killer:

    “If somebody would sell a program with Entourage’s functionality, and an interface like the iWork apps, I would buy it in a second, and walk away from MS Office forever.”

    Take a look at Contactizer Pro 3.5 from Objective Design.

    Contactizer Pro 3.5 is an amazing all-in-one solution for managing, sharing and organizing your personal and business information. Contactizer Pro brings a wealth of powerful PIM features, an innovative interface into a clean, elegant and intuitive package specifically built for Mac OS X.

  3. I am a huge Apple fan and I decided to buy IWork with my new IMac. Pages and keynote are great but numbers is a joke. I hope they add some functions in the future for free, but for now I am forced to use excel.

  4. @ken1w

    Price will have a lot to say in moving back to Office.
    Think… if Office 2004 is doing you fine… why buy 2008?
    And if you got iWork for fun… why spend more for something that has an 08 inserted from MS. That’s typically how they do things.
    4 years to get something new. Come on. Meanwhile Apple will just CONTINUE to improve and offer free updates.

    Go NeoOffice or try Google DOCs. Before buying into the MS mind sell. Sheesh.

  5. Interesting. What they don’t show is people who’ve bought both setups, like me. I use MS Office for lots of jobs (including PPT design–BLAHHH) where the client demands I use MS products. However, with iWork 08 and Numbers, I now pretty much exclusively use iWork products for all jobs where my clients don’t care what I use, just that the results look good.

    My hope is that over time my jobs on iWork will impress those who insist I use MS products, and they’ll start asking for better results rather than specific packages. One can hope, at least!

  6. I will continue using MS Office on my MAC as long as I’m employed by a Windows using company. To much trouble to learn two different word processing, spread sheet, power point programs. If it was not for work I’d be MS free.

  7. As much as I like iWork and would like to replace Office with it, I still need to provide Word versions of documents frequently (such as resumes, documents for work, or the myriad other places that want Word formatted documents) or accept Word documents and I don’t think I’ve ever had a single error-free conversion from either Word to Pages or Pages to Word. My experience in conversions between Numbers and Excel is about the same, if not worse. So iWork still has some “iWork” to do before it can realistically replace Office.

  8. My wife, the playwright, thinks Pages is just fine. Which doesn’t mean it didn’t take a while to drum the Export menu item into her! No, indeed. Pages cannot (AFAIK) Save in Word format, and that’s just a bit confusing. It will read Word docs, and write Word docs, but can only Save As a Pages file. Which is OK by me. G.L. is also impressed with the template I made for her – both the ease of the making and the goodies included. Single document with Title page, Set-up page, and script page(s).
    I like Numbers, I like Bento, I don’t need Keynote for anything. Apparently one Mac user in six agrees that iWork contains something they can get along with. But, most Macs are personal … not business. The bar is set lower when you don’t really expect someone to send you a critical file using three of the hundreds of features Apple didn’t integrate into Pages or Numbers.
    I don’t think 16% is impressive, given the price … I’m surprised at few have been sold. Oh, wait, it’s only been a few months. Give it a year.

  9. I don’t need Microsoft Office but I don’t need iWorks also because I work in 3 languages, English, French and Hebrew, and both these programs have problems with the latter, so I use NeoOffice – or Microsoft Office on Windows with Parallels.

  10. iWork lover here. Finally totally MS software free. I was able to write a paper for law school much easier than I was with Word. It gets out of the way and having the simple comments and access to all the OS X services just rocks. I’d like to see Apple add a few features, but its a very nice suite and it runs perfectly on my 1.25 AL PB. Word used to take up quite a bit of my CPU cycles, I can have pages and numbers open and CPU doesnt jump at all. Would be nice to have the save as feature and export function combined, its too annoying to have it separate.

  11. Like a lot of people nowadays, Office resides on our computers but is only used when absolutely necessary.

    iWork is doing just fine and is a complete pleasure to boot up and use. Exporting as PDF solves all the problems of dealing with Windows users.

    That’s against Office, which is like putting an 800 pound gorilla on the back of a fine thoroughbred mare.

    In Windows of course the OS is already an 800 pound gorilla…so one on top of the other doesn’t bear thinking about..
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  12. Apple has done an excellent job with iWorks, however I’ve tried several times to migrate from Entourage to iCal and Mail. Even with the improvements in Leopard, it does not come close.

    In their quest to develop user friendly applications, Apple has somehow ignored the workflow requirements needed in a real business environment. Hate to say this, but Apple needs to go back to school on this one.

  13. I use iWork 08 and will never go back to M$ Office.

    I still have Office on my mac – Office 2000 that is, and I have never needed any updates.

    There is nothing compelling for me with M$ Office, iWork 08 does all office tasks for me, better and easier too.

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