Originally Posted by extremeskater
iWorks doesn't even come close to doing what Office does. Keynote is the best part of iWorks but you have to jump through hoops to show a presentation if you don't live in an all Apple world. Numbers isn't even remotely in the same league as Excel.
You are right if you consider doing the kinds of things that we do at work which have been almost designed around using the capabilities of MS Office for decades - long boring text based presentations, big spreadsheets with macros, long complex documents with bibliographies, footnotes etc. All of which I have to do on occasion and would be hard to do with iWork.
Flip your argument over and talk about all the lightweight productivity work that people have to do for home/charity/hobby/school/family etc. and iWork is generally a much better solution since it is easier to make good looking content, has more creativity baked into the templates etc. and has a much lower learning curve and less feature bloat.
Since the iPad/iWork will never be a full on productivity platform, it will probably do a great job of a huge segment of casual productivity work for which Office is a far inferior tool.
As for other people's points...
Macbook Air vs. Netbook - Air is already old so not really fair to compare to unreleased netbooks but fundamentally Netbooks are miserably slow, small screened, tiny keyboard runts. The Air is a proper laptop with a proper CPU (C2D at full speed >2Ghz) in a netbook weight. Key advantage is battery life but not surprising considering you can do so little with them.
As for the footprint, a lot of people like the low weight/large size because netbooks screens/kbds are so small and crappy. When it is as thin/light as it is and the size of a paper pad the only size inconvenience is if you carry it around without any sort of case or want to put it in a purse/manbag? I see plenty of Airs on the plane in the hands of people who can afford them. As for price, they are predictably expensive but if you look at the Apple refurbs, they are often found approaching $1000 - still no netbook $s but much less.
I was round at a friend's last night and his wife was using her netbook (which she generally likes) to surf around but then had a problem that hubby had to try to fix. To watch him use this tiny thing was comical. We then competed to find something out via google - my iphone vs. her netbook. Needless to say, I won since the touch UI is so much easier to move around in (and not much slower to type a few keywords). She is now considering an iPad.
BTW did you know that the native Intuit peoples of the frozen Canadian north who designed the 2010 Olympic rock man figure make their living these days making trinkets and preparing taxes? That's what you get using a netbook
Oh and Daniel/Cara - the new Dr Tiki/Lala?