Originally Posted by cliphord
I've grown up using Office, of course, so I've just never seen the need to switch to iWork, even as I've become a Mac user exclusively. Why switch when I already know Word/Excel inside-out, forwards and backwards?
The current version of Word is really great, in fact. The addition of source management over the last couple versions has been a godsend.
Why use iWork? Because it does things MS Office wants to do when/if it grows up...
Yes, I use MS Office too, but I have taken to using iWork more and more. I hope to switch completely some day, but only if Apple improves spreadsheet features, adds decent forms features to Pages, and makes import/export to MS Office so good you won't have to reformat your files after opening them in the other program...
So what does iWork do that's so special? Well, I don't have time to list everything here, but here's two major points:
Keynote. The whole thing. I can't even stand to use PowerPoint at all anymore. In fact I don't. I've switched completely to Keynote and have not looked back. I know of no capabilities in PowerPoint that are not 100% better in Keynote, plus Keynote has capabilities PowerPoint only dreams of.
Graphics. Create a chart in Numbers and then an identical one in Excel. There is no comparison. Numbers charts are smooth, professional, and photorealistic. Excel charts look like stick figures. Excel charts are fine for throwing around typical office crap to colleagues, but when it comes time to put together a professional presentation, I turn to Numbers to generate all my charts, and then I can place them in whatever presentations or printed documentation that I need to distribute to clients.
MS Office can't be replaced just yet - I have found continued requirements in the business world (because unfortunately, everybody uses it). OpenOffice seems to be the most compatible, but does nothing to improve upon Office. iWork is less compatible and still a little immature, but produces far superior results.
One fine day, hopefully one fine day, an alternative suite will be a sufficient replacement for MS Office, until then I'm okay with using iWork and Office together. I would really like to switch to iWork completely, but Apple needs to build in lots of additional compatibility, and a Windows version of the suite would be nice too. Apple, are you listening?