Apple releases iWork '09, Ponders About Cloud Computing

Apple has released an updated version of its business suite, iWork, which promises to offer a number of improvement including the ability to add cinematic transitions to your presentations (ed : to keep the audience awake).

The three components of the suite, Pages, Numbers and Keynote will be able to use a new online website called iWork.com (which currently redirects to Apple.com) by the end of this month and will allow users to upload files for sharing with others. You will also be able to control your presentations via your iPhone or your iPod Touch.

As it stands, the service looks quite similar to Microsoft's own Office Live Workspace which promises to "get your document from anyware" for free and was released last year. Apple's iWork page shows that all three components of iWork will be able to connect to iWork.com through a single button, adding that "projects you publish to it can be viewed by anyone using a current browser. You don’t need to know whether your colleagues use a Mac or a PC." Users without iWork will only be able to view rather than edit the documents.

Reviewers will be able to leave comments and feedback but Apple's solution fails far short of the complexity of Google Docs or Zoho Office. The application set costs £54 for new Mac owners (when purchased with their machine) and oddly enough £69 for existing Mac users; the Family pack version, which costs £85, can be installed on up to 5 computers.

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Our Comments

iWork.com is far from being impressive especially given the fact that it will be a paid service once it is out of beta. You need to download a local copy of the document you want to edit on your computer before re-uploading it again. Unlike Wired however, we won't deride Apple's attempt to jump on the cloud. The company has shown a remarkable propensity to adapt to new challenges. Oh and wait till Me.com interfaces with iWork.com

Related Links

Apple unveils raft of new Mac software

(Times Online)

Apple's Entry Into Online Office Apps Is Confusing, Laughable

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Apple Embraces Social Networks With iLife '09

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iWork ’09 Family Pack

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Apple takes another small step onto the Web

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iWork ‘09: Quick Look

(Macapper)