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Microsoft counters Apple's free iWork suite by bolstering its Office Web Apps

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
Following a major, free update to Apple's iWork productivity suite for Mac, iOS and Web, Microsoft responded this week with its own significant updates to the company's Web-based Office applications.

Office


Most significantly, Microsoft announced that it has now added real-time co-authoring to its suite of Office Web Apps, allowing users to contribute to and edit documents simultaneously. The collaboration tools are now available for Microsoft's Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and Excel Web App.

"New real-time presence helps you see where your co-authors are working in the document so that you don't create conflicts as you edit," the company said in a blog post. "Additionally, the new ability to see changes to text and formatting as they happen will help you and your co-authors stay on the same page as your ideas develop and evolve."



Word Web App has also been improved with new formatting controls, including headers, footers and page numbers. Documents now automatically save and reflect collaborative updates, and the Web-based word processor includes find and replace functionality.

Microsoft has also added a new table styles feature, that offers users a number of preset options. And page breaks can now also be inserted into Word Web App for more document control.

Office


Significant updates were also issued to Microsoft's Excel Web App, such as sheet protection, which prevents users from selecting or typing in protected cells; status bar aggregates, which show values for multiple selected cells; and reorder sheets, allowing users to quickly move sheets into a desired order.

Excel on the Web has also added the ability to drag and drop cells and rename workbooks. And Microsoft has promised that it has "much more in the pipeline," with additional features expected to be added in the coming months, greatly expanding the functionality of its Web-based productivity suite.

The announcements come just a few weeks after Apple announced collaboration for its own free Web-based iWork for iCloud suite. In a live demonstration at the company's October keynote presentation, two users were shown editing a document at the same time, with their presence in the document shown within the browser.

Apple's iWork platform has been enhanced to work across the Web, on a Mac, and on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. In revamping the suite, Apple was forced to change or remove a number of key features, though the company has indicated that a significant number of them will return within the next six months.
post #2 of 119
In the light of the iWork disaster this looks good. I am using iWork since years as only Office suite. I don't think I want to go back to MS Office. I don't want to pay $100 per year. But Apple has to rectify what they have done with iWork, or I might jump ship in a year or so.
post #3 of 119

I thought MS didn't see iWork as a threat?

 

After all, isn't Office supposed to be MS' core business?

post #4 of 119
Office and iwork dont compete against each other. Its like comparing a toy truck and a big rig.
post #5 of 119
An announcement of vague future features might be considered a "response."

Complete and delivered features, though, were simply in the works long ago. Nothing else makes sense.
post #6 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Office and iwork dont compete against each other. Its like comparing a toy truck and a big rig.

And yet the hyper-defensive post made by the Microsoft exec a bit back would seem to show the opposite. If they don't compete why even mention it at all? It's like the statement made from Linus Torvalds after the free Mavericks upgrade was announced about how free OS X upgrades doesn't affect Linux. Again, if this was true there would be zero need to make a comment.

post #7 of 119
The Surface is beginning to sound better and better..
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
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Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
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post #8 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Office and iwork dont compete against each other. Its like comparing a toy truck and a big rig.

Because Excel is leaps and bounds above Numbers? Please clarify.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
Reply
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
Reply
post #9 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

The Surface is beginning to sound better and better..

You need a Surface to run Office 365?

post #10 of 119
Microsoft is unwilling to make a proper version of Office for the iPad because they want to use Office to leverage people to their Surface tablet. Well my bottom line is "No stand-alone Office for the iPad, I'm looking elsewhere. Bye bye MS."
post #11 of 119
isn't that like ripping right out of the same feature in OSX mountain lion??
they showed it off at the event right?
post #12 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Because Excel is leaps and bounds above Numbers? Please clarify.

Excel may not be leaps and bounds above Numbers but Numbers is not entirely compatible with Excel files. I am running into issues often where the Excel formulas use notation that is not supported in Numbers.

 

Semi-related: I can tell you one thing I wish Apple would copy from Microsoft's IE is the ability to right click on a table in the browser and export to Excel, or in Apple's case, Numbers. I absolutely love that feature as we use a lot of tabular data on the web and it is a super fast way to get it into a spreadsheet.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #13 of 119
Real artists ship.
post #14 of 119
I agree that Office is leaps and bounds (and any other adjective for worlds better) than iWork and that was before Apple offered the newer, but less functional versions.

I like my iPad, but its not a work tool by any means for me because I cannot get anything done with the iWork suite.
post #15 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post


Because Excel is leaps and bounds above Numbers? Please clarify.

Excel goes way beyond Numbers for basically one reason only, VBA. Applescript doesn't even come close to the power of backend programming with VBA in Excel.

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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post #16 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

The Surface is beginning to sound better and better..

It is? lol.

post #17 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Office and iwork dont compete against each other. Its like comparing a toy truck and a big rig.
For those who don't want to drive a truck to take the kid to soccer practice, iWork definitely competes.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #18 of 119
"I thought MS didn't see iWork as a threat?"

Heh. :P


"In the light of the iWork disaster"

In no way was it a disaster. A free, ground up re-write across Mac, iOS and Web/PC platforms?

No features have been removed. They will be added and weren't ready for the launch.

Meanwhile, the older, regarded iWorks can still be used with features included.

The new iWorks gives Apple a great fulcrum against M$.

There's blood in the water and Apple senses it. Free OS, free office software. M$ PR has seemed panic stricken in response.

The new iWorks has the chance to be far more ubiquitous than the old model every was. It will be pervasive on 200 million iOS devices next year...plus another 20 million Mac users.

Those are the kind of numbers the old pay for model was never going to reach.

With Apple's push into enterprise with iPad...

...this is a masterstroke.

It's chess.

It's damn good move.

Apple now have a clean slate platform to add morpho-platform parity and features to pile on pressure to M$.

To me, it's obvious where this is going. M$ won't be able to keep on charging a fortune for their bloated crap with quality 'does 80%' of what you need software and an awesome OS for free with hardware purchases.

The eco system comparison will be crippling in time.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #19 of 119
Just wait a year or two. If I would be Microsoft I would start to freak the hell out. There's just one hope: apple does not get this right.

All new Apple devices (and they are a few) come with the free productivity suite. No need for private households to pay or hack or rip the MS software. And once you start to like working on it because you find it intuitive, well, you do what you can to use it also in the office; especially considering BYOD.

I, for once, love the new direction of the iWork, I really do. I use it more and more at the office as well. My other aplle colleagues have it. My PC colleagues want it. And my CEO loved the 'crippled' keynote, just imagine in a year from now with the new and re-added features.

Can't get your work done? You kiddin' right? Normal office use is perfectly fine. I hope Apple hits the turbo with adding needed features. 1wink.gif
post #20 of 119

Apple are in a great pincer movement on OS X/iOS along with iWorks striking at the heart of M$'s business empire.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #21 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

In the light of the iWork disaster this looks good. I am using iWork since years as only Office suite. I don't think I want to go back to MS Office. I don't want to pay $100 per year. But Apple has to rectify what they have done with iWork, or I might jump ship in a year or so.

 

Disaster? Rectify?

 

 

So you've been using iWork for years? Why can't you simply continue to use iWork '09 as you were? Then when the latest version regains all the features you hold so near and dear, you can make the switch.

 

I don't believe Apple has screwed anyone over or did anything wrong. It's their software, if they feel the need to rewrite it from the ground up so they can gain cross platform compatibility then they should do just that. In the long run this makes much more sense.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #22 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by racingbull View Post

Just wait a year or two. If I would be Microsoft I would start to freak the hell out. There's just one hope: apple does not get this right.

All new Apple devices (and they are a few) come with the free productivity suite. No need for private households to pay or hack or rip the MS software. And once you start to like working on it because you find it intuitive, well, you do what you can to use it also in the office; especially considering BYOD.

I, for once, love the new direction of the iWork, I really do. I use it more and more at the office as well. My other aplle colleagues have it. My PC colleagues want it. And my CEO loved the 'crippled' keynote, just imagine in a year from now with the new and re-added features.

Can't get your work done? You kiddin' right? Normal office use is perfectly fine. I hope Apple hits the turbo with adding needed features. 1wink.gif

;)

 

This guy gets it completely.

 

Under the old model, we weren't sure Apple even cared about iWorks.  Now we realise what they were doing all along.  Devising a master plan to take out M$ big time.  iWorks is now an essential trojan horse into business along with iPhone and iPad.  PC users can even use it, LOL.

 

iWorks is cream compared to the kludge that is M$'s ribbon nightmare that I can't even figure out how to use the basic features let along the 'power' (HA!) features.  Want office?  Get Scrivener if  you're serious about your writing.  Office is pure bloat.  It's nice to see Apple take a simplified approach to what people need and how they use it...and add features in a way that makes sense.

 

This is the ultimate Steve Jobs revenge.  Implemented by Tim Cook.

 

Go Apple.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #23 of 119
I would really like to see the MS office monopoly fall. Hopefully iWork will continue to erode away horrible MS software.

If iWork is so inferior to office where are the office ios apps? MS obviously doesn't want to port office to iOS as it would kill surface business. If office is so great why can't it sustain surface sales along with iOS versions? Could it also be that MS knows it couldn't compete on iOS with free iOS iWork apps? More evidence that MS doesn't know how to compete in free markets, it can only manage monopolies.
post #24 of 119

Me too. M$ are between a rock and the hard place. iPad is killing them and surface in hardware.  Now iWorks is going to put the boot in.

 

Adding to the crown jewels of Apple's business.  The ecosystem.

 

Add in that OS X now costs nothing?  That's another layer of money that business now don't have to pay for.  (If only Apple would make their Mac hardware just that bit cheaper...they used to!!!)

 

Lemon  Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #25 of 119

Business will just invest in one eco-system.  That works.

 

Across iPhone.  iPad.  (There's 200 million in sales nearly next year, just there!)  That's some pressure from users to bring in their own kit!

 

And there's the Mac.

 

All of it.  iCloud.

 

The App store.

 

All of it.

 

Just works.  All connected.  No extra training.  Simple.

 

Whether you are on iPhone, iPad or Mac.  It just is the 'Mac' experience.

 

All Apple have to do is keep going, keep piling the pressure on.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #26 of 119
Would help if they had the latest version available for mac, I'm used to office but adapting to iWork quote well. Don't want both and ones free 1smile.gif
post #27 of 119

Add in a bigger iPhone...

 

and a 13 incher iPad....

 

AND A MORE AFFORDABLE iMAC for the LOVE OF GOD.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #28 of 119
Free iWorks still beats $100 a year any day. I have the money but I just don't think I need a subscription to use what should be a core feature on any of their products running Windows.

Free doesn't always mean better but in this case it's a "no-brainer" to go with the "FREE" iWorks Suite.

2010 15" MBP, iPhone 5 64GB, New iPad 64GB LTE, (2) ATV 2nd Gen

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2010 15" MBP, iPhone 5 64GB, New iPad 64GB LTE, (2) ATV 2nd Gen

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post #29 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

In the light of the iWork disaster this looks good. I am using iWork since years as only Office suite. I don't think I want to go back to MS Office. I don't want to pay $100 per year. But Apple has to rectify what they have done with iWork, or I might jump ship in a year or so.

Why is the new iWorks a disaster ? You can use the old apps. Downloading the new one doesn't overwrite the old apps.

Meanwhile, the new apps all have better UI and will be at least as powerful as the old apps in 6 months. Plus collaborative editing and a web version on other platforms now. All for free.
post #30 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post


Why is the new iWorks a disaster ? You can use the old apps. Downloading the new one doesn't overwrite the old apps.

Meanwhile, the new apps all have better UI and will be at least as powerful as the old apps. Plus collaborative editing and a web version on other platforms. All for free.

Knee jerk over reaction by some people.  A disaster would be the US dollar collapsing in the next 2-5 years...

 

What Patsu said.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #31 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Semi-related: I can tell you one thing I wish Apple would copy from Microsoft's IE is the ability to right click on a table in the browser and export to Excel, or in Apple's case, Numbers. I absolutely love that feature as we use a lot of tabular data on the web and it is a super fast way to get it into a spreadsheet.

 

While not as convenient as right-clicking, you can simply copy the table and then paste it into Numbers.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #32 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post


Because Excel is leaps and bounds above Numbers? Please clarify.

Your serious right, I'm sure Numbers is okay for the average consumer to do their home budget on but the second you require a scripting language to calculate the PnL from thousands of trades from different exchanges in which the source information comes from 15 different sources ranging from XML, comma separated files to password protected Oracle DB that are located on remote servers across the Atlantic, Number starts to look like a toy real fast, So please clarify what you mean.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #33 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post
 

Knee jerk over reaction by some people.  A disaster would be the US dollar collapsing in the next 2-5 years...

 

What Patsu said.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post
 

Your serious right, I'm sure Numbers is okay for the average consumer to do their home budget on but the second you require a scripting language to calculate the PnL from thousands of trades from different exchanges in which the source information comes from 15 different sources ranging from XML, comma separated files to password protected Oracle DB that are located on remote servers across the Atlantic, Number starts to look like a toy real fast, So please clarify what you mean.

 

The thing is - if Apple creates a productivity suite that makes ALL users happy, power users as well as the more casual user, the suite will end up like MS Office (and only power users will be truly happy). It will be better for the vast majority if iWorks never catches up with MS Office. The real power users should continue to use Office and the rest of us will gravitate towards our suite of preference. 

post #34 of 119

Think of this as a preemptive move by Apple, sort of like what happened with Google Maps. Since Google wasn't updating the platform with features that they were doing for Android, Apple said we will go our own way, remove Maps and provide our own. That cuts into Google's revenue. Thus, Google had two choices, stay off the iOS platform, which provided  huge chunk of search revenue, or put out their own version of Maps that competes and provides features on parity.

 

What everyone overlooks in the Apple "Map Debacle" is that its not about having their own or better mapping system, its leverage for Apple to ensure that users of their hardware, which is were the majority of their revenue comes from, has the best user experience. What did it cost Apple to release and provide their own mapping solution vs. the costs of consumers possibly jumping ship and going to Android to get features they wanted? 

 

This is the same scenario. What does it cost Apple to develop software and give it away for free? Microsoft can't compete here since they are predominately a software company and that is their revenue stream. But, providing iwork apps for free cuts into MS revenue stream of Office. I believe what Apple wants is MS to release office apps for iOS. They don't have to be free but Apple know that users want that as well and MS is holding out. 

 

By applying the pressure of both increased iPad sales, which further erode PC sales and places to run Office, and giving away their own productivity apps, which will reduce reliance on Office, they are pushing MS into releasing MS Office apps on the iPad. This would be a huge win for Apple and will escalate hardware sales. I see this happening if Surface 2 doesn't come back with good number by holiday time.  

post #35 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pujones1 View Post

Free iWorks still beats $100 a year any day. I have the money but I just don't think I need a subscription to use what should be a core feature on any of their products running Windows.

Free doesn't always mean better but in this case it's a "no-brainer" to go with the "FREE" iWorks Suite.

Um Microsoft Office is free to use online as well, all you need to do is sign up to SkyDrive. What you are referring to is Office 365. Please do a simple Google or Bing search before posting false info. People might take what you posted as fact and miss out on a pretty decent FREE service from Microsoft, it's a no-brainer.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #36 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post
 

You need a Surface to run Office 365?

This isn't Office 365, do you guys just read the headlines and then just assume.

 

Go here -> https://login.live.com get a free account and start using it. 

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #37 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post
 

This isn't Office 365, do you guys just read the headlines and then just assume.

 

Go here -> https://login.live.com get a free account and start using it. 

Sure, it's Office 365. It's a post from the "Office 365 Technology" blog. Maybe you should have read the blog post rather than making assumptions about what I did and did not read? Even if it wasn't Office 365 (which is honestly irrelevant to my question), I see no answer to what exactly about these Web Apps requires a Surface tablet which was the entire point of my question.

post #38 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post
 

Sure, it's Office 365. It's a post from the "Office 365 Technology" blog. Maybe you should have read the blog post rather than making assumptions about what I did and did not read?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post
 

Sure, it's Office 365. It's a post from the "Office 365 Technology" blog. Maybe you should have read the blog post rather than making assumptions about what I did and did not read?

The Office part of 365 part is free, has always been but they don't call it Office 365 when in Skydrive just Office. This is a free service available to anyone, all you need is a SkyDrive account.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #39 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post
 

 

The Office part of 365 part is free, has always been but they don't call it Office 365 when in Skydrive just Office. This is a free service available to anyone, all you need is a SkyDrive account.

Great, so why does it require a Surface tablet? You know, my actual question rather than this irrelevant nitpicking over whether it's Office 365 or not.

post #40 of 119
Knowing how slowly Microsoft responds to the competition, I doubt these new features were a response to making iWork free a few weeks ago. Microsoft isn't that nimble. But writers are always trying to create a narrative.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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