Apple kicks Microsoft when it’s down with free iWork for iOS apps

“Apple used its iPhone launch to take a swipe at Microsoft,” Brian R. Fitzgerald writes for The Wall Street Journal. “During its presentation Tuesday, Apple said it would make its suite of office-productivity apps called iWork free on any new iPhone and iPad.”

“When Microsoft finally brought its popular Office program to iOS, it put serious handcuffs on them. Now Office faces competition from a bigger roster of free mobile rivals, too, including not only the iWork apps but also Google Docs. Consumers must pay $99.99 a year to access Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps on their iPhones or Android devices,” Fitzgerald writes. “‘Already Microsoft has left customers stranded on mobile, and Apple is taking advantage of that opportunity to push its own software,’ said Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst with Forrester Research.”

Fitzgerald writes, “But analysts say Microsoft is hurting Office — a business that generated about $16 billion of operating profit in the last fiscal year — by refusing to make full-fledged versions for all iOS and Android devices. Of course, if Microsoft does so, the company risks one of the major exclusive selling points of tablets, PCs and phones running Windows.”

MacDailyNews Take: That are not selling. Hopefully, by the grace of Jobs, Microsoft doesn’t get a CEO in there with at least half a brain, so that the world can be properly weaned off the bloated mess that is Office.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in July:

Microsoft had a chance to preserve one of their cash cows by making Office for iOS and Android. That window of opportunity is closing, if it hasn’t already.

The world has or soon will realize that, no, actually you do not need Microsoft Office to word process or create spreadsheets and presentations.

The failure to create Office for iOS and Android in a misguided push to sell tablets and phones running Microsoft OSes will be looked at as one of, if not the, biggest mistake Microsoft made during their ill-fated attempt to recover after being repeatedly, unmercifully steamrolled by Apple’s Steve Jobs with the iPhone, iPad, iCloud, App Store and the rest of the formidable iOS ecosystem.

Related articles:
Apple’s iWork for iCloud beta seeded to consumers; brings iWork to Windows PCs; may be free, hurting Microsoft’s Office 365 – July 19, 2013
NY Times’ Pogue: Microsoft’s Office Mobile for iPhone is very little, very late – June 19, 2013
Microsoft releases Office Mobile for iPhone via Apple App Store – June 14, 2013


  1. “Hopefully, by the grace of Jobs, Microsoft doesn’t get a CEO in there with at least half a brain, so that the world can be properly weaned off the bloated mess that is Office.”

    Maybe Apple can send Cook over to Microsoft. For as long as it takes.

      1. Yeah, but how long can you keep using the Steve Jobs justification. Maybe Steve Jobs was just making the best with what was available to him. Steve Jobs was certainly not infallible. He made a lot of right calls, and also some bad ones. He took risks. These often paid off. But remember, taking risks means that there is some risk. Obviously. He likely took a risk on Tim Cook. And hopefully it pays off. That last internal memo he sent does not sound promising …

  2. Microsoft wasn’t kicked to the curb. Rather they were given every opportunity to port their franchise productivity apps to both iOS and Android.

    They didn’t.

    Big Stupids.

    1. Exactly. MS sat on the curb at the bus stop while the bus came, stopped, opened the doors, asked if anyone needed a ride, and then drove away. Instead MS thot they had enough money and smarts to build their own bus where they could charge ridiculous ticket fares.
      At the very latest, MS should have had some version of office ready to go within a year of the iPad, by 2011.

      Between free versions of iLife and a free OS in android, MS’s entire monopoly business model has been torpedoed.

      So they buy Nokia to fight back?

      1. Well they bought Nokia because the deferred success they are experiancing now will be scalable but turn-key in a synergistic way to de-integrate the mission critcal business propulsion.

        There. See. MicroSquish will be OK now.

    1. It would be nice, but at current prices iWork costs 3 times more than ML ($60 vs $20 bucks), so this seems unlikely.
      iWork could be bundled with new machines, however.
      That was the case with Appleworks (at least for a long time).
      Does anyone remember the name of a bundle that included iLife,iWork and the OS for a reduced price?

  3. Entire school districts are moving away from Office products and switching to Google Apps. Mine is emphatically NOT supporting iWork, in part because the district is lead by an anti-Apple crowd. But if Apple opens up and offers more free versions, they could capture marketshare from Google who, after all, barely makes anything from their Apps for Education programs. (I understand they no longer give Apps for Education away free. New subscribers are now charged a fee.)

    1. Damn, I hate Google apps. My employer makes me use Google. They are utter crap compared to MS Word and Apple Pages. The UI looks like 1995 and works about as badly. It’s formatting capabilities are from the stone age.

      I use Pages when left to my own devices. But I’d rather use Word than freakin’ google’s junk any day. Google’s word processor is shite.

  4. iWork should always be included with every kind of Apple device from the iPad Mini through the Mac Pro. Absolutely no reason to charge for it. Part of the great Apple culture to provide customers with the basic tools they need to run their hardware. Sets the company apart – like it used to be before it became ordinary in the Tim Cook era.

    1. What a crock. Apple was charging for iWork waaaaay before Cook even took over temporarily while Jobs was on medical leave. And don’t forget, under Jobs Apple used to charge $129 for an OS X upgrade before Apple started to slowly lower those prices.

    2. I strongly disagree. Even when attached to a huge ecosystem, as in iTunes, the application itself should cost something. With rare exception, anything that is offered for “free” is worth about that much to the end user — and these days more likely than not, “free” apps are merely trojans designed to support Google and other advertising platforms.

      If Apple truly offers the best software, it should charge a reasonable fee for it.

      1. It’s Apple’s way to lower software prices for Apple computer users. Logic went from $1,500 to $200 as they made it better and better. It’s worth every penny of $1,500, and it’s a freakin’ steal now.

        When one buys an Apple computer, one has all the software one needs. And it’s good software, not like that crapware that comes on a Sony or Dell.

        Sure, I can get higher-end stuff for specific purposes, like Photoshop and Logic, but all the basics are there. It’s value added. Apple charges good money and gives good value for it.

      2. The apps aren’t free. They are included at no charge if you buy a new IOS device. If you bought your IOS device earlier you still have to purchase the apps. This is a move to add more value to the new 5S and 5C and doesn’t diminish the value of the apps themselves. The cost for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iPhoto collectively is $34.96 (USD).

  5. Agree with Jay Morrison. Apple should have done this years ago out of necessity. I’ve often just simply put myself in teachers shoes and asked, what good is teaching students the APPLE OS, if that puts them behind, Yes behind, when they seek employment at a bank or anywhere, and don’t get the job because they don’t know windows. SO sad, so sad.. Can anyone say they are really FEELING the vision at Apple? The release of ‘Final Cut Amateur’ still haunts me. That is why they need the pro app for EVERY occupation.

    1. Stupid answer. Windows changes interfaces every 7-8 years, and Office changes UIs every 4-5 years, so people have to learn something different anyway. Plus, most banks, etc. have their own proprietary software that is far more rudimentary than anything OS X or Windows puts out.

    2. You learn a word processor and you can adapt. If you know Mac OS, you can figure out Windows. The only problem with learning Pages or Mac OS would be that you would be frustrated trying to do things on those MS systems that you can do with Apple software.

      You learn computers, and you can use computers. It’s not that hard.

      Word is very good software, and it’s better than Pages if you need a bibliography and footnotes. I like Word. It was a Mac program before Windows even existed btw. Pages has better capabilities for students doing reports and other school things, because it is a native multimedia app. Pages works better than Word for things other than text.

      But you complain that Apple should have made this software free years ago? Well, they did it now, and you’re still bitching? WTF about Microsoft, they aren’t making Office free, are they?

      OBTW, you ever actually look at the OS banks use? Haaaa ha! Command line DOS and variants… but DOS is antiquated shit. More cutting edge banks use *nix system variants – still command line. Teaching the kids UNIX would be way better than Windows. And better they learn UNIX on a UNIX system, like OS X.

      And speaking of business – this is true – I met a friend for dinner and drinks in Manhattan Beach tonight. Popular place – full even on a Tuesday. The young lady hostess took my name and phone number and advised us of a 20-minute wait. She entered all this on her iPad, which had all their tables and clients shown on a graphic interface. We hit the bar, and I immediately received a free iMessage that read something like “Welcome, we expect to seat you in about 20 minutes. We’ll message you when your table is ready” Halfway into my tasty Maker’s Manhattan cocktail, I get another free iMessage telling me they’re ready to seat me. 18 minutes. Boom, as Jobs would say.

      That’s the future. Not Windows.

      1. There are alternatives to ‘Word’ and ‘Pages.’ ‘Neo Office’ is an alternative office suite for Mac. “Open Office’ is an alternative office suite for all platforms. Scrivener is an app for writing book, scripts for plays and the tv screen. I’ve been Windoze free since 2003. 🙂

  6. It’s a shame Microsoft is dying, who else is going to kick Linsux to the ground, because, while Mac is still popular, The Apple Haterz are going to go somewhere else, and it may even be Linux (of the Ubuntu version, since it looks like a Mac rip off) With M$ gone, Lindix is going to grow in popularity with the Apple hate crowd, especially with Android being a Linsux distro. I fear for Apple’s future 🙁

    1. My experience with Penguin-heads is that they pretty much ignore everything that isn’t Linux. They don’t really have the time or inclination to hate on Apple because they’re too busy resolving, whatever they call them, conflicts or interferences or whatever 😉 Penguins have their own special eccentricities 🙂 but aren’t really nuts like Android and Windows dupes are.

      I host my website on Linux. It’s not much of a desktop OS, but it’s handy for servers. I suppose I could go Mac mini colo too, and I’d fit right in 🙂

    1. I think it will eventually happen, just right now for every new 5S and 5c is gonna put a devastating load on the App Store, I would guess in about 6 months it will happen… Gotta give your new customers something to brag for having the newest model.

  7. M$ had it all and blew it; especially with ‘Office’ the defacto office app. Apple influence in the office is expanding and will gain greater acceptance its with low cost OSX apps and now, no cost iOS apps. As for why M$ is in the state it is in:

    Balmer’s Laws v2
    Impress the stockholders by describing future ‘innovative products’ (VaporWare) currently in Research & Development phase. Blind the stockholders with brilliance, or baffle them with cryptic jargon, whichever works. Get everyone really worked up by jumping up and down, moving wildly on stage, screaming motivational nonsense, and sticking your tongue out; occasionally throw a chair.

    Technology at MicroSoft (M$) is (mis)managed by those who don’t understand the product. Design by committee. Change the design at the last minute. Add all kinds of unnecessary bells and whistles to a product, call it ‘feature innovation’. Flaws will be promoted as innovative features. If you make a product any fool can use; only fools will use it. A product can be made fool proof; but it can’t be made idiot proof. If there is a way for a product to fail, it will. If a product doesn’t sell, give them away to schools, for good Public Relations. If the company is failing, don’t blame yourself, fire subordinates and restructure. Hand pick a replacement as your successor that will (mis)manage the company worse than you (so you’ll look better by comparison.) Retire and cash in your stock before the company fails completely and goes bankrupt. After you retire complain that no one innovates products any more the way that you did when you were in charge.

  8. So far, we can count on Microsoft neglecting its prosperous progeny in an effort to prop up its lame-loser, profit challenged small fry. That’s was the recent proclamation from Monkey Boy and, despite his slow motion boot out of Microsoft, this idiotic change in Microsoft protocol has not changed.

    IOW: YEAH Microsoft! Spend SPEND SPEND!

    The faster the MS cache horde is drained, the sooner we can end the Microsoft induced Dark Age Of Computing. And there shall be rapturous celebration. 😀

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