Apple’s iWork for iCloud beta seeded to consumers; brings iWork to Windows PCs; may be free, hurting Microsoft’s Office 365

“After introducing iWork for iCloud during its Worldwide Developers Conference and sending invites to registered developers soon after, Apple has begun inviting normal users to test the software according to a number of MacRumors tipsters,” Jordan Golson reports for MacRumors.

“iWork for iCloud offers in-browser versions of Apple’s iWork software suite, including Pages, Keynote, and Numbers,” Golson reports. “The software can be accessed from both PC and Mac computers as well as a number of mobile devices. It is expected to be released to the public later this year.”

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MacNN reports, “The online version of the three iWork apps — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — is not believed to be intended to replace the local Mac and iOS versions, but instead complement them with a way to use the programs from any online device — including, for the first time, Windows computers.”

“The web apps, first announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, offer nearly mirror-copies of the existing iOS and Mac versions of the word-processor and layout tool Pages, the spreadsheet app Numbers and the presentation tool Keynote, accessible through any desktop or notebook version of Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer,” MacNN reports. “As we found in our reviews, the service is nearly functionally complete, and fully supports syncing and importing documents (including Microsoft Office documents).”

MacNN reports, “Developers, who have had access to the apps since earlier this month, have praised the programs and suggested that Apple may be intending to offer them for free, at least to those who already own a copy of either the OS X or iOS versions. The web apps require a free iCloud account, available for both Mac and PC owners, and use cloud syncing of documents. The free beta, depending on how widespread the offer becomes, could pose a serious threat to Microsoft and its efforts to get Mac and PC owners to switch to its own version of an ‘office in the cloud’ suite, Office 365 (which costs $100 a year…)”

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38 Comments

  1. Yippee. We want iWork for the Mac version 2013, hosted on our own Macs, thank you very much.

    We cannot used the “cloud” for many reasons, security and client confidentiality amongst the top reasons. So for any company that already hosts its own data securely on its own servers, why pay for server-based computing, especially with all the limitations Apple’s iCloud has?

    Wasn’t the 1984 Mac ad SPECIFICALLY lampooning this kind of mainframe umbilical-cord computing system? Sorry, but the “cloud” logistically and philosophically represents computing dependencdy. Apple, update your goddamned iWork for the Mac and stop being IBM.

  2. My only complaint: Bookmarks and links to them I created in the OS X version of Pages don’t work in the iCloud version (or in the iOS Pages, for that matter). For small documents, this is no big deal, but when it’s hundreds of pages long and I cannot go to a specific chapter/section, it can be annoying. Hopefully Apple will add this functionality.

    Otherwise, I experienced no problems and it worked smoothly for me.

    (And I have a free iCloud account, not a paid one.)

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