or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Rumor: Apple planning cloud-based iWork suite for iPad to fight MS Office
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Rumor: Apple planning cloud-based iWork suite for iPad to fight MS Office

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Apple is reportedly working with VMware to bring a cloud-based, business oriented version of its iWork suite of apps to the iPad, with the partnership said to be directed squarely at Microsoft's rumored release of Office for iOS.

iWork


According to CRN, people familiar with the project claim that the initiative looks to undercut Microsoft's exorbitant pricing for MS Office by offering a cloud-hosted version of Apple's iWork suite, which includes Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

"Apple wants Pages to be seen as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Numbers as a replacement for Excel and Keynote as a replacement for PowerPoint," one of the sources said.

The system is thought to incorporate VMware View virtual desktop software with cloud versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers, which will be running on Apple's servers. Interestingly, the service will be separate from iCloud, which currently hosts "Document in the Cloud" for syncing and downloading files between iOS and OS X devices.

As iWork has traditionally been aimed at consumers, the rumored partnership could yield a totally separate offering for enterprise class customers, with the cloud-based software offering a more powerful set of features when compared to iCloud.

It appears that the rumored suite will be a central hub for business customers as the two companies are looking to leverage Horizon Mobile, VMware's software that allows personal and business apps and data to be stored on two different partitions, alleviating IT concerns with the bring your own device (BYOD) movement. Also part of the solution is VMware's Horizon Application Manager, a tool sometimes described as an app store for enterprise.

Not much is known about how Apple plans to implement the project, though it could feasibly be compatible with machines running Windows. This would account for VMware's contributions, including Virtual View, as well as the purported suite's location on non-iCloud servers.

The source failed to offer a launch timetable, however the rumored solution could debut before Microsoft releases an expected iOS version of MS Office in March 2013.
post #2 of 55

Why in the world would VMWare have anything to do with this? Apple would do their own thing or directly buy a company needed to do it their way. 

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #3 of 55
Pages is nowhere near as powerful as Word. Take references, they are impossible in Pages, and Word does this natively. Actually, Framemaker is the best word processor ever designed.

On the other hand, Numbers could be a contender.
post #4 of 55
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
Pages is nowhere near as powerful as Word. Take references, they are impossible in Pages, and Word does this natively. Actually, Framemaker is the best word processor ever designed.
On the other hand, Numbers could be a contender.

 

Huh? Did you mix up these names? And how are references impossible?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #5 of 55
Keynote already beats PowerPoint, but neither Pages nor Numbers have the power of Word or Excel. Apple needs to bring these productions up a couple of notches in power. If they leave the bloatness and bugs that MS puts into their products, Apple could have strong winners.
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

Pages is nowhere near as powerful as Word. Take references, they are impossible in Pages, and Word does this natively. Actually, Framemaker is the best word processor ever designed.
On the other hand, Numbers could be a contender.

 

 

Pages does footnotes. Easily. 

post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Huh? Did you mix up these names? And how are references impossible?

 

Footnotes were impossible in Pages on iOS until fairly recently.  Probably means that. 

 

Framemaker was good for large structured documents (not "word processing" per se), when it was at Sun.  Anyone who still uses the "Framemaker rules" meme is kind of outing themselves as someone so old and out of touch that they probably shouldn't be taken seriously.  Besides, Adobe ruined Framemaker years ago as they do with everything they touch.  

post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

Pages is nowhere near as powerful as Word. Take references, they are impossible in Pages, and Word does this natively. Actually, Framemaker is the best word processor ever designed.
On the other hand, Numbers could be a contender.

 

Pages is much closer to Word in terms of features compared to Numbers and Excel. But both Pages and Numbers are very very poor substitutes for business needs. 

 

Keynote is great, just wish it would render PowerPoint presentations correctly.

post #9 of 55
"Apple wants Pages to be seen as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Numbers as a replacement for Excel and Keynote as a replacement for PowerPoint%u201D

I am highly suspicious that Apple has no such plans.
post #10 of 55
1. I agree that Framemaker is way better than Word.

2. What the heck has VMware has got to do with this?

3. I don't think Apple wants to take on MS Office, they simply wouldn't have the time to create all the products in that package:

Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Outlook
Access
Lync
SharePoint Server
Office 365
Communicator
Live Meeting
OneNote
Project
Project Online
Project Server
Publisher
Visio
Accounting
FrontPage
Groove
InfoPath
Dashboard Designer
Search Server
SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Foundation
SharePoint Online
SharePoint Workspace
Small Business Accounting
Windows SharePoint Services
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
post #11 of 55
Interesting. If Apple is serious about migrating consumer Macs to 64-bit quad-core ARM chips (of their own design) in the next few years, they'll need to beef up iWork first. Apple can't assume that Microsoft will ever port Mac Office to ARM-based Macs running OS X. Better to beef up iWork to replace Office.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #12 of 55
If executed right, this can definitely be an excellent solution for SMB's. For the enterprise, I highly doubt they'll go to iWork. Keynote is a great app but Pages & Numbers don't hold a candle to Word & Excel, not only in terms of functionality but also compatibility with Office documents.

Apple will have to seriously update iWork if it wants this catch on in enterprise settings.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

2. What the heck has VMware has got to do with this?
 

 

VMWare provides, among other things, cloud computing services.   Which Apple has historically been very bad at...  

post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1. I agree that Framemaker is way better than Word.
2. What the heck has VMware has got to do with this?
3. I don't think Apple wants to take on MS Office, they simply wouldn't have the time to create all the products in that package:
Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Outlook
Access
Lync
SharePoint Server
Office 365
Communicator
Live Meeting
OneNote
Project
Project Online
Project Server
Publisher
Visio
Accounting
FrontPage
Groove
InfoPath
Dashboard Designer
Search Server
SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Foundation
SharePoint Online
SharePoint Workspace
Small Business Accounting
Windows SharePoint Services

 

I would venture that any product that includes all this useless dreck is actually a bad product and shouldn't be imitated at all. 

 

The value in an Office alternative would be in doing it right for the first time by *not* copying everything Microsoft has done.  By starting from the ground up and re-imagining the entire product they could get to a much better place than trying to copy Microsoft.  It's more or less what they are doing already, but so far they have stopped short of taking iWork to what could be called a "professional" level.  

 

Personally I think the answer is in focussing on keeping it individual apps instead of a "suite."  The minute you get the mindset that it's a complete suite and that it should have enough in it to "satisfy everyone" then you have arrived at the gigantic unwieldy mess that is Microsoft Office.  

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why in the world would VMWare have anything to do with this? Apple would do their own thing or directly buy a company needed to do it their way. 

 

VMware is made up of a lot of ex-Apple talent (118)

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-where-all-that-talent-leaving-apple-ends-up-2012-4?op=1

 

Perhaps something is afoot? Though, I'd like to see Apple gobble up the new Sun http://joyent.com

 

Maybe all this is a precursor to Apple's big entrance into enterprise.

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Huh? Did you mix up these names? And how are references impossible?

No, Pages does not do references. A footnote is not exactly the same. For example, if I have a list of numbered items: 

 

1) Some kind of text here

2) More text here

3) Even more text here

 

And somewhere else within the document I have text in a paragraph similar to:  

 

"This doodad is used for some really useful. For detailed information please see reference 1)"  <-- this is numbered item 1) above (or index of references in Framemaker) 

 

This is not a footnote, this is a reference I'm talking about. You can't do that in Pages, impossible and it astounds me that they have never added that ability to Pages. I have even sent a request to Apple about it. You can do this is Word simple. 

 

While I'm on my pedestal here, here's another thing that burns me about Pages. In Word, I can have different number headings: 

 

1 Heading 1

 1.0 Subheading 1

 1.1 Subheading 2

2 Heading 2

 2.0 Subheading 1

 2.1 Subheading 2

 

Can't do that in pages, it restarts the subheading 1.0 under each new heading. Why can't I use the current heading as continued number for my subheading??? You get this instead

 

 

1 Heading 1

 1.0 Subheading 1

 1.1 Subheading 2

2 Heading 2

 1.0 Subheading 1

 1.1 Subheading 2

 

Pages is very limiting. 

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post

 

... I'd like to see Apple gobble up the new Sun http://joyent.com

 

Maybe all this is a precursor to Apple's big entrance into enterprise.

 

Why?  and ... why?

 

"Getting into Enterprise" is what destroyed any chance Microsoft ever had of winning the consumer market.  The consumer market is also more rewarding financially and is now leading the corporate market by the nose.  

 

Jumping into the corporate market (something Apple has *always* sucked at anyway), would be a giant step backwards today.  It would ruin the company IMO.  

post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

No, Pages does not do references. A footnote is not exactly the same. For example, if I have a list of numbered items: 

 

1) Some kind of text here

2) More text here

3) Even more text here

 

And somewhere else within the document I have text in a paragraph similar to:  

 

"This doodad is used for some really useful. For detailed information please see reference 1)"  <-- this is numbered item 1) above (or index of references in Framemaker) 

 

This is not a footnote, this is a reference I'm talking about. You can't do that in Pages, impossible and it astounds me that they have never added that ability to Pages. I have even sent a request to Apple about it. You can do this is Word simple. 

 

While I'm on my pedestal here, here's another thing that burns me about Pages. In Word, I can have different number headings: 

 

1 Heading 1

 1.0 Subheading 1

 1.1 Subheading 2

2 Heading 2

 2.0 Subheading 1

 2.1 Subheading 2

 

Can't do that in pages, it restarts the subheading 1.0 under each new heading. Why can't I use the current heading as continued number for my subheading??? You get this instead

 

 

1 Heading 1

 1.0 Subheading 1

 1.1 Subheading 2

2 Heading 2

 1.0 Subheading 1

 1.1 Subheading 2

 

Pages is very limiting. 

 

Your first example is a perfect example of a badly formatted document.  You want hyperlinks inside the document as if it was a web page instead of "proper" references as they normally occur in documents.  Even so, I'm pretty sure you could do it with a bookmark which works almost the exact same way. 

 

Your second example is a small problem that most users will never come across and is hardly evidence of how "limiting" Pages is.  All you are really saying is that the list doesn't format this way *automatically* when you make it in the same way as you would in Word.  It's not impossible to make the list and to make it exactly as you describe.  I just did it myself to be certain.  

 

These kind of unreasonable demands ("Pages must do everything Word does in exactly the same way!!!"), are half the problem.  The attitude that Word should do *everything* for every user and do it automatically is the very reason why Word is such a bloated mess in the first place.  

post #19 of 55
Sounds great to me... but I sure wish they would do something with the desktop versions of iWork - you know, the ones that their customers actually use.
post #20 of 55
Originally Posted by MacGizmo View Post
…you know, the ones that their customers actually use.

 

Cue dozens of citations of how foolish a statement this is, including my own.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Your first example is a perfect example of a badly formatted document.  You want hyperlinks inside the document as if it was a web page instead of "proper" references as they normally occur in documents.  Even so, I'm pretty sure you could do it with a bookmark which works almost the exact same way. 

 

Your second example is a small problem that most users will never come across and is hardly evidence of how "limiting" Pages is.  All you are really saying is that the list doesn't format this way *automatically* when you make it in the same way as you would in Word.  It's not impossible to make the list and to make it exactly as you describe.  I just did it myself to be certain.  

 

These kind of unreasonable demands ("Pages must do everything Word does in exactly the same way!!!"), are half the problem.  The attitude that Word should do *everything* for every user and do it automatically is the very reason why Word is such a bloated mess in the first place.  

 

I really don't care about hyperlinking inside the same document. I do care about a citation or a cross reference that can be auto updated throughout the entire document without me having to search all the places I made the cross reference. Seems like an easy feature to add to me. 

 

For my second example, if there's a way to do it on the iOS version of Pages, I'm completely open to understanding how to do it. Maybe this ability only exists on the OS X version because I can't find out to do it on the iOS version. 

post #22 of 55
Why would it be foolish? There is much with respect to iWorks that could be improved and that is without coping MS or creating a lot of bloat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Cue dozens of citations of how foolish a statement this is, including my own.
post #23 of 55
Consider logging into Apples software feedback site or file a bug report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

I really don't care about hyperlinking inside the same document. I do care about a citation or a cross reference that can be auto updated throughout the entire document without me having to search all the places I made the cross reference. Seems like an easy feature to add to me. 

For my second example, if there's a way to do it on the iOS version of Pages, I'm completely open to understanding how to do it. Maybe this ability only exists on the OS X version because I can't find out to do it on the iOS version. 
post #24 of 55
I just want to make comments on documents on my iPad. This could be perfect for grading papers. Seems like such a simple and useful thing, but never seems to happen. Any programmers out there know what would make this so difficult?
rmusikantow
Reply
rmusikantow
Reply
post #25 of 55

Jeez, is this another excuse for Apple to not actually update the Mac-based iWork, which has gone unchanged in 3 years??

 

Pages and Numbers need serious help. They don't need to match Word and Excel feature-by-feature, but they do need a few more tools that make them more capable for a lot of projects. And yet 3 years go by without any appreciable changes from Apple.

 

Yet another case of Apple not being able to manage its portfolio very well, unless it's an iPhone, iPad or Macbook....

post #26 of 55
Just give me the ability to write equations natively in iWork and I might not use Office anymore.
post #27 of 55

As much as I like Pages, Mellel is the one for me. 

 

Just waiting for an iPad version. 

post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

Pages is nowhere near as powerful as Word. Take references, they are impossible in Pages, and Word does this natively. Actually, Framemaker is the best word processor ever designed.
On the other hand, Numbers could be a contender.


Framemaker does not directly compete with Word or Pages. Arguably, it is more of a publishing tool than a word processor.

 

References, or rather citations, are doable in Word but plug-ins are far superior.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Just give me the ability to write equations natively in iWork and I might not use Office anymore.

 

 

While you can write equations "natively" in Word, it is not that great. This is one of the things that Framemaker is better at.

post #29 of 55

nuked

post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeb85 View Post

 

VMWare provides, among other things, cloud computing services.   Which Apple has historically been very bad at...  


While customers may not be 100% satisfied with iCloud, Apple would not turn to VMWare for the type of cloud support that iWork needs. There is more (or less) to this.

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Besides, Adobe ruined Framemaker years ago as they do with everything they touch.  

 

Along with my much loved Freehand and all the Macromedia tools. 

post #32 of 55
Word is OK as long as you prefer plain text. Once you start using styles and lists, it's all FUBAR. And don't even think about inserting an image!
I used Word 2007 to create a 100-page training manual. I could've done it in Pages in less than half the time.
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Why?  and ... why?

"Getting into Enterprise" is what destroyed any chance Microsoft ever had of winning the consumer market.  The consumer market is also more rewarding financially and is now leading the corporate market by the nose.  

Jumping into the corporate market (something Apple has *always* sucked at anyway), would be a giant step backwards today.  It would ruin the company IMO.  

Not sure what you mean here, unless you are referring to smartphones and tablets. MS is still leading in consumer desktop and laptop market, much as software is considered.

I'd say that one of reasons for MS popularity on consumer's computers is that consumers are already using MS OS and Office at work, and consumers on average:

  • Don't want to learn more different software than they really have to (Homer Simpson syndrome?)
  • Don't want to complicate their life additionally with having to convert documents between their home and work setup
  • Need to share their documents with their colleagues and business partners (who are also likely to use MS products)


I think that this worked well for MS in most cases. The only case where they failed was smartphone market, but that was mostly due to MS being lazy in developing WinMo and generally treating it as unloved step-child, IMHO. For Microsoft, Windows Phone 7/8 should have happened 3 years ago.
post #34 of 55

So when will Apple upgrade their software?  iWork '09 is on course to still be sold in '13 unless something dramatic happens very soon.

 

Aperture is looking creakier by the minute.

 

iLife, along with Aperture, gets the occasional patch, bug fix or minor added feature.

 

When they do thoroughly overhaul an app, they fall flat on their faces (see Final Cut Pro X).

 

It doesn't inspire confidence.

post #35 of 55
Quote:
Easily 80% of the products you just cited are outside of the core Office suite.
Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote is core.  Everything else below is different suits of product that still fall under the 'office' umbrella but it's not the same.  For example, Sharepoint and Lync are two completely separate packages not required for Office, but they do tightly integrate with it.  It seems like you took every business oriented application MS designed and lumped it under office...
BTW - Sharepoint services are depreciated and replaced with Sharepoint Foundation (as in the free version).  So was frontpage for MOSS Designer.
 
 
 
 
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1. I agree that Framemaker is way better than Word.
2. What the heck has VMware has got to do with this?
3. I don't think Apple wants to take on MS Office, they simply wouldn't have the time to create all the products in that package:
Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Outlook
Access
Lync
SharePoint Server
Office 365
Communicator
Live Meeting
OneNote
Project
Project Online
Project Server
Publisher
Visio
Accounting
FrontPage
Groove
InfoPath
Dashboard Designer
Search Server
SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Foundation
SharePoint Online
SharePoint Workspace
Small Business Accounting
Windows SharePoint Services
post #36 of 55
See the right-hand date in the "iWork" graphic, under the "W"?

That was when the latest version of iWork was introduced. In January.

We're coming up on this thing being four years old on the Mac, and yet that isn't mentioned anywhere. What the hell is Apple doing with this software?


Edit: Beaten by photoeditor.
post #37 of 55
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
There is much with respect to iWorks that could be improved and that is without coping MS or creating a lot of bloat.

 

Oh, sure! Absolutely! But to claim that "no one really uses it" is certainly foolish.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Oh, sure! Absolutely! But to claim that "no one really uses it" is certainly foolish.

Fair enough. Though I don't think it's foolish to say "hardly any one uses it."  Definitely nowhere near on the scale compared to Office.  Creating Office is the smartest thing MS ever did.  It's the single biggest reason the vast majority of people remain on Windows.

post #39 of 55
This partnership sounds like a mess.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

 

 

 

While you can write equations "natively" in Word, it is not that great. This is one of the things that Framemaker is better at.

 

Better how? Seriously, I am interested since my writings involve large number of complex equations. I have been using MS Equation Editor for years and it does exactly what I needed and more. However, Word does get sluggish when using MS Equation Editor.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Rumor: Apple planning cloud-based iWork suite for iPad to fight MS Office