Microsoft has fired back at Apple’s decision to offer free productivity software with new Macs and iOS devices, and has accused the company of distorting reality.
Apple drew a huge cheer during its keynote address on Tuesday, when it announced the newly updated iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) and iLife (iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band) suites would no longer incur a charge when folks snapped up a Mac computer, building on its decision to make them free on new iOS devices.
However, contrary to the adoring reaction from Apple fans, Microsoft says its new Surface 2 tablets, which bring free access to the more popular Office productivity software offer better value for customers.
In a post on the official Microsoft blog, Frank Shaw, the company’s often spikey VP of corporate communications, accused Apple of simply working the price of the software into its new iPads.
He wrote: “Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino.
Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world’s most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively. Making Apple’s decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal.
Later in the blog, he continued: “Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their “iWork” suite of apps. Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it’s hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.
“But you wouldn’t know that from reading some of the coverage I’ve read today. Perhaps attendees at Apple’s event were required to work on iOS devices that don’t allow them to have two windows open for side-by-side comparisons,” he wrote before highlighting how the Surface devices offer more efficient productivity solutions.
“So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don’t see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch up,” Shaw wrote.
Do you agree with Microsoft’s assertion that Apple has ‘woken up to the fact’ that its rival offers a better solution? Or are you an iWork devotee who is delighted their next Mac will come with the apps free of charge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.