My solid experience with Apple’s Pages prompted me to get a refund on my Microsoft Office order

“Earlier this year, I returned to Apple’s Mac after too many years as a Windows guy,” Rocco Pendola writes for TheStreet.

“Without hesitation, I downloaded Microsoft Office. I was under the impression I could not live without it,” Pendola writes. “Then a strange thing happened. There was a technical problem with the download. While waiting to hear back from customer service, I used Apple’s Pages word processing program.”

Pendola writes, “I also used Numbers (the Mac alternative to Microsoft Excel). And, although I have yet to test it, several people tell me Apple’s Keynote blows away Microsoft’s PowerPoint. My solid experience with Pages prompted me to get a refund on my Office order… Office might be big, but, just like the CrackBerry habit, its hold on consumers can be broken.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
TrustedReviews: Apple iWork ‘09 a capable, less expensive alternative to Microsoft Office – February 19, 2009
Apple’s iWork sports impressive features, gives Microsoft Office a run for its money – February 17, 2009
CNET reviews Apple iWork ‘09: An emerging powerhouse; worthy replacement for Microsoft Office – January 30, 2009

54 Comments

      1. Yeah, right.
        Lightroom, Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, Illustrator, In-Design?

        Apple should simply buy Adobe and make it a Macintosh company again and let Windows users drown in their own spit.

    1. I wish that were true.

      I wish Apple would buy freehand from Adobe, or make another professional level vector program.

      All of us wish some competition would pop up against Photoshop while there are some programs that come close, no REAL professional level programs exist, nothing has the level of tools for print professionals except Adobe. This sucks because Adobe’s programs are a bloated mess done the “Adobe way” and that also sucks.

        1. Whatever people think of Adobe, Pixelmator is a pale shadow of Photoshop. Those who call Pixelmator a “Photoshop replacement” simply don’t know what they’re talking about. For Photoshop novices, maybe; but not for the rest of us.

          1. Could you give JUST ONE convincing example of what “the rest of us” can’t get in Pixelmator that they can get in photoshop?

            I ask because I am in the market to get one or the other.

            1. Lighting effects, cmyk colour management, automated actions, masking, channels…etc…there is way more
              Apple please buy adobe and make photoshop ours again.

            2. While I don’t think that Pixelmator isn’t 100% replacement for Photoshop, I hate people saying things that aren’t true. I started retouching in Photoshop 5.5 and have owned every version from 7 to today’s CS6. I’ve also used Pixelmator since version 1.0.

              First, Lighting Effects haven’t been in Photoshop on the Mac since CS4. It’s true there is no CMYK in Pixelmator. Who cares unless you do offset press work (I do, but most don’t). No masking Radio Moscow? Really? When was the last time you used Pixelmator? It has had masking for literally years. Channels don’t exist for making channel masks, but channel mixer is there. You can do many of the automated tasks by tying Automator to Pixelmator. For being stared nearly twenty years behind Photoshop, it has amazing feature parity and works faster.

            3. No.

              “First, Lighting Effects haven’t been in Photoshop on the Mac since CS4.”

              Huh? I don’t really use them, but they do exist. Filter>Render>Lighting Effects.

              I have to agree w/ Moscow. Pixelmator just doesn’t cut it for pros. CMYK is hugely important, don’t try to minimize it. Also:

              *Adjustment Layers – I can’t live without them

              *16-bit editing – once you break free of the limitations of 8-bit, it’s impossible to go back. Pixelmator just doesn’t feel modern without it.

              *HDR support built-in – goes with the above, but very important. HDR is here to stay. Yes we’ve all seen bad HDR. But I do a lot of HDR that doesn’t look at all like HDR, and sometimes it’s the only way you’ll get the shot.

              *Channels – Come on, if you are a pro, you’ll miss channels.

              *Liquify – It’s not just for rendering really cool fire effects and making people look thinner (which can sometimes be a deciding factor whether you get a follow-up job later, LOL) it’s a really useful tool for a lot of stuff if you know how to use it and don’t go crazy with it.

              *Lens Correction that works with metadata – awesome feature to correct known issues with the lenses we love. The ability to set custom settings and recall and apply them is really really cool. You can minimize the importance of this by saying “Oh, I can do this in Aperture,” but sometimes you don’t want to go back to Aperture and re-process if you forgot to do it in RAW the first time.

              *Native stitching/photomerge – I use it all the time, even when not shooting panos. Again, it’s often super convenient to have this built-in instead of having to do it in a stand-alone. It’s all about workflow.

            4. What do you know, Lighting Effects is there. I swear it was gone in CS5 due to the switch to native Intel code. Must have updated it.

              Everyday that another magazine goes digital and a another print shop goes out of business, CMYK becomes less relevant in todays digital RGB world. There are tons of Pros that have no use for CMYK. I work with digital imaging and post work everyday and can count the number of times I’ve had to use CMYK on one hand in the past year.

              Adjustment Layer…. um… enough said. They are something the Pixelmator team should really look into.

              Outside a test image designed to make it obvious, some elaborate 30 curve adjustment posterizing test, or some other none real world test, 16 bit doesn’t really make a visible difference. Don’t get me wrong, I use 16 bit just like I use Pro Photo RGB. Archival, in case someday advanced technology can render the benefits in the real world. Check out some of the old Dan Margulis arguments and tests. Pretty much put this debate to bed when it comes to working with real images and real world output.

              HDR, Stitching… It’s ok. I use better tools such as Photomatix, Calico, and HDR Effects Pro, but if you don’t have them its nice to have. However, Pixelmator, Photomatix, and Calico combined is still less than 1/5 of Photoshops price.

              Channels again? Are there people that need Photoshop’s power? Hell yes, I’m one. Do pro’s need channels? Many do, I love making channel base selections and more. Am I or any retouch pro the average image manipulation user? No, I would say we are deep in the minority of people who edit images. I never said Pixelmator is the only tool that should be in a retouch pro’s Application folder.

              I say that Pixelmator is a great alternative for the majority of image editing users short of working pro photographers or extreme digital artists. At it’s price and feature set, the ROI for most people doesn’t extend to full Photoshop. It just is a waste of money for them.

              Also, if you forgot to do your lens correction before sending your RAW to processing and then proceed to perform a bunch Liquify steps, 42 Layer Adjustments, and then step to CMYK. Yes you need Photoshop, but second you’re a sloppy pro for not following a good workflow to start with.

      1. I too wish Apple would offer a high-level vector program such as ACD Systems Canvas X which I depend on for my business. ACD has said that after a delay of five years they are finally working on a revision for the Mac, but if Apple offered a competent replacement I’d be all over it.

    1. I have been using Excel since 1986 on Mac, but recently got stumped trying to get a simple date calculation to work. I saved the file, with the formula intact, opened the file in Numbers, and hey presto! The results appeared correctly on screen. Have been using numbers ever since, on Mac and iPad, and as I gradually learn the few quirks and differences, find it less likely to impede my information processing and presentation efforts.

    2. I somewhat agree with you. I am a power Excel user at work but also use Numbers for many things. I really like how Numbers can have multiple spreadsheets on a tab and still have multiple tabs. The seamless syncing of Numbers between Mac, iPad, and iPhone is also incredibly helpful.

  1. it would, however, be nice if Apple would give us a big update with more functionality, e.g. more shapes in Pages and Keynote, better large dataset support in Numbers, etc.

    1. Agreed. Of the three, only Keynote is widely regarded as superior to the Office equivalent. And if your workplace is Windoze-based, and you’re permitted to use a Mac, you’ll need Office for Mac, and will probably have no choice but to stick to PowerPoint as well.

      1. I also agree, as much as I’ve abandoned the MSFT products, letting go of Office has been more difficult. I can’t deny that MSFT has built a good product here. Besides iWork is in need of a major upgrade…

    2. Few people use more than about 10% to 20% of the functions offered in Word and Excel. So it is reasonable to believe that many people can get by just fine with the existing functions offered by Pages and Numbers. However, I do agree that Apple still has a lot of work to do to upgrade Pages and Numbers to be *viable alternatives* for people who use the higher end capabilities offered in Word and Excel. I have been highly vocal regarding my disappointment that Apple has not focused enough resources and attention to iWork and its other Mac applications over the last few years. Apple, it is time to spend a tiny portion of that bankroll to make your iWork apps best of class and a “no-brainer” for anyone considering switching from MS Office.

      At the same time, however,

    3. BB users used to say, “I use a BB because it has such great E-Mail”.

      But NONE could explain exactly why….except some unconvincing BS about “attaching” documents. Which can be done simply by clicking the “box with the arrow” while viewing the file (you want to attach) in iOS.

      Now we are getting the same BS about Excel and Pages. That’s all it is…..complete BS.

      Apple will update iWork (I would prefer it be called iWorkPro…. since most people are quite fickle) anyway to be totally the thing you use for the best office experience without question.

  2. Most people can replace Word with Pages, so long as you don’t need complete compatibility with Word documents. Unfortunately I need that compatibility, so I can’t fully drop Word. Also, I fail to understand why Pages does not fully support AppleScript (it only supports limited AppleScript).

    Number works well for me, but I’m not a serious numbers cruncher so I don’t understand or need the differences with Excel. Keynote absolutely is better than PowerPoint, and I only use PowerPoint when my kids have to use it for school because their Windows teachers don’t have Keynote (I know you can export Keynote as a PPT file or QuickTime movie, but I can’t take a chance on my kids’ presentation not working and a QT movie doesn’t work in most presentation situations).

  3. Pages is good, but if you exchange a lot of documents with others, you might want to stick to Word, although I do import and make the final version in Pages as it does tend to look nicer and has better control of the location of figures.

    Keynote is way better than powerpoint. No question about using it for all my presentations.

    Numbers is so far inferior to Excel. I keep trying to use it, but it is just pathetic.

  4. Pages and Numbers are great, we use it on a daily basis on 30 Macs. Nobody wants to go back to Word and Excel.

    However, a big update is missing. Apple never took their office software serious enough, see AppleWorks, was just the same.

    1. I’m hoping the delay has been related to work on the iOS versions and possibly an addition to the suite – graphics creation program to compliment Keynote or Bento-style database program? Given that they have very popular iOS versions of the iWork suite, I don’t think it’s an issue of neglect. I’m just hoping for a seriously kick-ass version of iWork ’13. January? We can only hope.

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