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Free Apple iWork and iLife ‘isn’t a good deal,’ blasts Microsoft



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.

Via SlashGear


October 24, 2013, 9:22 am

Disregarding the productivity software, iLife is a great deal for Mac and iPad buyers and Microsoft have never had a reply to that. You can download movie maker, but why not include it with the OS? And there is nothing for music nor photo's. The last thing a new computer purchaser wants is to go fumbling around the 'net looking for software to do the basics


October 24, 2013, 10:50 am

While Apple is making headway back into the business space with the Mac Pro. It's productivity software will never win out against the corporate might that is MSOffice and they have realised it and dropped the price to free accordingly. It's a win/win against price cuts to some of their hardware and will drive up the value add proposition.

For the vast majority of home users, iWork will be more than adequate to meet their needs. Home users have been forced into using MSOffice ever since Microsoft got rid of MSWorks and it's overkill for what they need in terms of price / features. Home users (which is what Apple are targetting ultimately) want easy to use software that will be able to create good looking documents.

Besides, its not about creating the stuff on an iPad / Surface, it's about refining / consuming the stuff on those platforms. 2 Windows side by side? a feature only introduced in 8.1.... wow...

ps. I use a PC for work with Office and I couldn't get by without Excel/Word which I use for home use as well, but the point is I know how to use this like an expert, not everyone does. Microsoft need to wake up and smell the coffee, their attempt at targeting consumers is an abysmal failure, time to have a rethink, rather than continue the confusion and charade.


October 24, 2013, 4:24 pm

MS make a big deal of the split screen multitasking but whenever I see it pop up a split screen (Windows 8.1) I find the text too small to read and the space too cramped to do anything useful! A case of trying to invent a feature to grab attention but of little practical use on small screen devices (anything less than 14").

Given the 170 million iPad users they could make more money selling an iOS version of Office rather than Surface sales!


October 27, 2013, 11:12 pm

As a PC gamer and user of Windows XP Vista(it sucks >.<), 7, and 8, I will say that Microsoft ain't got nothing on iLife. iWork, I'll giceem that Office is decent, but iLife? Its been years and we still have no content creation apps in Windows by default.

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