With free iWork for iCloud for everyone, Apple pounds another nail into Microsoft Office’s coffin

“When was the last time anyone created a database from scratch? Those apps are dinosaurs,” Jeffrey Mincey writes for Bohemian Boomer. “That said, here’s another dinosaur and it’s about dead, too. Microsoft Office. The Windows maker’s cash cow has run into a wall whereby fewer and fewer people want to pay for what they get free.”

“Microsoft has been forced to giveaway Office on low end devices and it’s nearly free through subscriptions to Office 365. Why? Nobody wants to pay for a suite of Office-like apps when comparable versions are available for free,” Mincey writes. “Apple’s iWork, as close as a Mac can get to a home-grown Office suite, is free on every iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s even free online with an iCloud account.”

“What Microsoft is doing in the age of mobile devices is a game of Chicken. The company has almost no presence among mobile devices,” Mincey writes. “Most of Microsoft’s mobile apps are free, including Office, and the game of Chicken is about whether Microsoft can gain enough new subscriptions to online services faster than it loses revenue and profits as both Windows and Office decline in the market. It’s tough to compete against free. Apple does it well against Android, but, as usual, Apple is the exception to the rules.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time for another funeral – a real one this time!

Microsoft's iPhone Funeral September 2010
September 2010

Related article:
Apple’s ‘iWork for iCloud’ exits beta; now open to everyone, no Apple device required – February 26, 2015

39 Comments

    1. While I will be happy to see Office and Windows go down, er have “nails in their coffins”, neither is on the ropes yet.

      My guess is in about five years enterprise IT will complete their transition to “Mobile First, Cloud First” as Nadella calls it, and then Windows and Office will go into free fall.

      Nadella is carefully guiding Microsoft into a battle that has already been lost by his predecessor! Microsoft’s worst days are still to come.

      1. Jeez! “Forcing” – what the heck are you talking about?

        He’s simple saying Pages is a klutz of an app, and therefore (if I may presume, Rob) not ready for the Word-crushing role proposed.

        Pages 5 IS a klutz. See also berrylium, below. It’s not, in any sense, a Word replacement, for any even moderately serious business use.

        1. I prefer Pages and I use it for business use, most businesses don’t need all the complex crap that is in Word that actually gets in the way of doing the stuff you really need. word is just appalling terrible unintuitive menus and styling and settings that always want you to do what it wants you to do rather than vide versa. Maybe Im spoilt by working with DTP programmes that let you be in control but Word is a nightmare to me. Im not saying Pages is an angel but its certainly far less of a vile devil in operation.

      2. What a joke this is.
        You must be living in some alternate universe if you think that iWork is going to harm Office, even for free.
        Pages is a replacement for Word in the same way that iMovie can replace Premier.
        Keynote is pretty but *very* limited.
        Numbers is getting there but still is hampered by feature-lack.

        Mr Mincey’s logic is as poor as his English:
        “Microsoft has been forced to giveaway Office”
        “Apple is the exception to the rules”
        “but let’s be honest. When was the last time..”

    1. I use pages and numbers daily. I like them both a lot. They each freeze daily. If I try to save docs, the app freezes and I have to force quit. I never lose data, but, it doesn’t “just work”.

      1. Sounds like a symptom of the stae of your computer. I have never had any freezes that were caused by these apps. Look at your memory. Look at your other apps that may be causing this. I have an app that became incompatible in Yosemite. Caused some freeze ups. Uninstalled that app. Now no more freezes.

          1. I did have a version of Pages that used to quit on me a few years back that didn’t impress though that said I have a version of Excel that quits as soon as I shortcut copy so have to use the menu, indeed never really had totally reliable versions of any Office programs.

          2. You do need to consider whether your 7 year old laptop (and other hardware) can actually physically deal with Yosemite and the various apps involved. Reports of sluggish performance and hangs after an upgrade to Yosemite or a newer app like Pages can sometimes be traced to inadequate hardware. My 2008 Macbook unibody has no problems with Yosemite or anything else after I upgraded it to 8GB RAM and installed a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive with a larger cache. Apple designs its OS and software for the units it’s selling now, not the ones it sold 5 to 10 years ago.

            1. Oh, and I also found that inadequate RAM in my Xerox printer was causing printing problems after the various upgrades, so I added some RAM there and solved the problem.

            2. I have a 2010 13″ MBP
              Upgraded the RAM, and tossed in a 1TB Hybrid drive.

              I can get around the base OS faster than my sister’s 2012 13″ MBP. the rest of the apps depends on how much I use them, but it’s not like a noticeable slowdown compared to hers.

              You can’t say that about ANY windows PC. 😉

            3. We have a bunch of worstations with MS Office 2011 running on various iterations of the old big box Mac Pro.

              I also don’t understand what exactly you’re trying to imply, Zeke. A 7 year old Mac Pro has more balls than any laptop Apple has released since. Apple has done nothing but lock down user upgrade-ability. Compatibility with basic programs hasn’t changed since Apple made the switch to 64 bit Intel processors — except, of course, with certain Apple programs where planned obsolescence and bundling with the OS, or freebie gimmicks to drive future iCloud rental, was Apple’s game du jour.

              We will stick with fully capable desktop programs, thanks but no thanks Apple. If you ever get around to it, maybe you should try to make serious Mac software that isn’t dumbed down for iOS users.

    2. I like it, for the most part, although I too find its interface a little quirky. It has also been solid as ft as crashes and bugs are concerned. However the most annoying thing pi##ed me off the other day. I wanted to make one page landscape and one page portrait. Couldn’t be done. Word can do that however. I can assure you however that I didn’t solve it with Word. I created a seperate document – exported both as PDF and merged them in Preview. Take that! (BTW Numbers’ formula entry approach is shocking and almost unreadable. Just use brackets for crying out loud. Excel will always rule for spreadsheets. I was there when version 1 came out (It was on a Mac of course)

  1. The problem with Apple though is they change things majorly and backwards compatibility isn’t an option and people are not going to use that product! Apple has had what, Clarisworks, Appleworks and now iWork. They shot themselves in the foot with Final Cut Pro with the transition to version X. They have to stop doing that! Office has used .doc, .xls for years now and no issues along with a smooth transition to .docx, .xlsx. I am an Apple fan, but Office still holds a spot for Business’s, etc.

    1. I cannot move to the new Pages because many of my project documents are done in page layout mode and use text box linking which Apple stupidly left out of the new Pages. I don’t know of they ahem shot themselves in the foot, but they have shot me. Worst of all, I don’t think they are even listening to the complaints.

      1. This could be a sizeable bump in the road to adoption. Apple hasn’t hesitated to remove features and drastically change the UI of their desktop iWorks and other apps, but the excuse on here has always been “well keep using the old version, it still works”.

        This will not be the case for apps running off iCloud. Even if they run new versions in a separate Beta environment for awhile, eventually the old versions will no longer be accessible. Hopefully Apple is finished with their slash-and-burn of features meant to sync features between desktop and mobile and will only be adding things going forward.

      2. I am with you 100% on this. I use Pages ’09 for large posters, small books, scientific papers and application reports. These have lots of images and graphics. Using layout mode with linked text boxes works great for these.

        I understand why they wanted to start over and write these apps from scratch. I’m just hopeful that eventually we will get these missing features back, and then some.

  2. There are too many people that think that office is what they need.
    Doesn’t matter if iWork is better or free, office is what they have used for 20+ years, it’s what they are told they need in school/work.

    1. There are also many of us who know what we need. Apple’s latest feebie baitware to support @#$%^& iCloud rental is not it.

      Apple keeps chasing after Google. Anyone who does significant office work knows that the features in Pages and Numbers are, and always have been, inferior to Office for the Mac. Keynote is the one office app that Apple offers that holds some promise, but even that is only a marginal improvement over the unintuitive ugliness that is Powerpoint. But Apple has stripped away the intuitiveness of its own apps since it now thinks everything should be flat and grey. Help menus aren’t even helpful. Features are removed.

      The Apple cheerleaders seriously need to perform an objective comparison of features and operation of all the major office apps. Maybe then they will see how silly their assertions are. Apple’s latest iPad-like iCloud-chained apps are simply not equivalent to solid desktop apps for the Mac. You know, the ones that are so good that people actually are willing to pay money for them. How can they be when Apple throws out what it has and starts over every 5 years? Mac Office, for all its minor flaws, has been improved pretty steadily without losing any functionality.

      1. I agree.
        I’m not an Apple Fanboy that buys everything Apple produces.. JUST cause it’s Apple.
        I’ll buy their stuff that suits me. Which is OS X + iOS.

        “The Apple cheerleaders seriously need to perform an objective comparison of features and operation of all the major office apps.”

        Not only on iWork..

        1. My concern is that Apple is dumbing down its Mac platform to drive everyone to its damn iCloud. Haven’t seen a Mac software release from Apple in 5 years that is worth downloading.

  3. Free iWork.com is no threat to Microsoft Office.

    For the vast majority of folks they either need or think they need MS office and iWork won’t cut it.

    Me – I’m a very happy iWork ’08 user.

    1. LibreOffice is a free alternative to MS Office. It’s a bit of a resource hog, but the huge advantage is that it’s available offline for non-Mac users. My internet was down for an hour yesterday, and there are many on slow broadband or even dial up (yes, even in the US).

  4. There is no free alternative that offers everything Office does. Sorry but its true.

    For a lot of home users office may not be needed but a free version of application X is just as useless to me today as it was yesterday when it comes to replacing Office.

  5. iWork is great for personal use, and this is wonderful for say high school students or those with light personal needs.

    Personally, I use Pages all the time for compiling reports and the output will be PDF anyway. It’s a good mix between desktop publishing and word processing.

    However, for real office work, there’s a whole other level when it comes to Excel and Word.

    Likewise, for collaboration, Google Docs is a level above.

    While there are other options (OpenOffice), the 3 from Apple, Google and Microsoft all have their pros and cons. It’s good to see options regardless of whatever anyone thinks is best for them.

    Microsoft really screwed the pooch though on not making MS Office available and with feature parity across all major platforms.

  6. iWork used to be very popular with clients. Now I hardly every see clients using it. When Apple stripped away functionality instead of increasing it clients walked away.

    They didn’t pay for a Mac to get iPad functionality.

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