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AppleOffice Speculation

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
I posted this originally in a thread in Future Hardware. But nobody really responded. (Instead people started talking about gyroscopes...don't ask why...) I'd actually really like to hear people's thoughts on this, whether or not you think Apple can or should pull this off, etc.

Quote:
"...You hear they are moving File Maker back in-house?"

Thank-frikkin-gawd!

Filemaker used to be the shiznit back when I sold Macs for a living (or, more accurately, an air-quote living). Lots of people loved Filemaker.

Ever since they spun it off, it's just been plain old shiznit.

I frankly haven't kept up with it in the past few years. But for those more in the know thatn me, how difficult/desirable would it be to have Filemaker be a combo speadsheet and db app, as part of MacOffice (TM)? Should it be a "combo" app, or should Apple create a new one from scratch?

So would it look like this?
AppleOffice Suite
- Document (Word processing)
- Mail (duh)
- Filemaker (DB...+ spreadsheet?)
- iSpread (spreadsheet if necessary)
- Keynote (duh)
- iCal (duh)
- iChat ("no techies required" videoconferencing)
- Address Book (duh)
- Safari (duh)
- Quicktime Pro (just for the hell of it, and so that annoying upgrade message doesn't pester employees...or just remove the pop-up from the non-pro version)

Note that the only thing missing is the word processing and spreadsheet bits (they are the most important too).

Of course, it would have to be perfectly/seemlessly compatible with MS Office (particularly Document and the spreadsheet app; keynote already is). Have a preference where documents can be saved as MS Word docs by default. It would also have to come close to MS Office's functionality (though Word has a lot of crap that 99% of users don't use or even know about), and exceed its usability.

BTW, on the subject. If Apple really wants to kill MS... give AppleOffice (or whatever it ends up being called) away on all new computers. Sell it retail for $149. Upgrades for free... $49 if necessary ($19 education/bulk). Sell 10-user licenses for $499; unlimited licenses for $999 (isn't that like OS X Server?). Make it irresistable! (particularly in this economy).

On top of that, since WWDC is a developer conference, make it open-source (or at least parts). Contribute it to OpenOffice...or as an alternative...whatever. Duplicate the success with Safari. Also, Apple will want to avoid the security/backdoor problems with MSOffice, along with the "monopoly" accusation (that it's just replacing MS's monopoly). Opensourcing it will help with both problems. The point is to make AppleOffice a vehicle for gaining marketshare and shielding Apple from MS's wrath/BS, not to necessarily make it a cashcow in and of itself.

A gamble? Yes, certainly.

What does Apple have to lose? Not much. Maybe a few million bucks. (It can't lose much more marketshare. )

What does Apple have to gain? Marketshare. Customers. Money. Bragging-rights. Respect.

..Oh...um, since this is FutureHardware, um... make a version available with one of those neato, slim Apple FireWire cameras that connect to those neato new Apple monitors with the USB and FireWire ports. \
post #2 of 126
AppleOffice ~ yep it does deserve it's own thread. I think the Smeagol thread was spinning down even before I posted the gyroscope image.

If Apple can leverage Open Office into it's suite like it did using Open Source code for Safari it would be a blow to M$FT but they will remain a moving target for file format compatability.

The computing World needs a standard document format that is not tied to M$FT. Is that XML? I would think so. I'd rather see Apple go this route than chasing the moving target that is the .doc compatability.

As far as spreadsheets Mesa in Open Source might be a good starting point.

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post #3 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Aphelion
The computing World needs a standard document format that is not tied to M$FT. Is that XML? I would think so. I'd rather see Apple go this route than chasing the moving target that is the .doc compatability.

XML is good, XML is great, but XML is not a file format! One company could use
Code:

<i>xxx</i>

for italics and another company could use
Code:

<ital>xxx</ital>

. Both ways are compatible with XML, and incompatible with each other. Furthermore,
Code:

<f></f>

could mean "font" in one company's word processor and "footnote" in another. XML makes it very easy to parse data, but what you do with that data is up to you.

The important thing is to agree on a format. XML can help because it's so readable, but it's not the magic bullet that so many people seem to think it is.
post #4 of 126
Why wouldn't RTF and/or PDF make for a good file format? Sure, PDFs are normally "archival" in that most apps don't make them editable, but maybe that could change? Bad idea?

Maybe Apple and the open source community could do for the.doc format what the DWG Alliance is trying to do for CAD documents and acreate a separate entity to lobby and pursue the format as a true standard.

As for brining filemaker back into the fold, it makes perfect sense to me. Apple could pull all their enterprise software into one place, get them to comingle and provide solutions and service. That would include not only Keynote (which is likely to mature quickly) and FileMaker, but also WebObjects (does EOF exist in here?), QT Pro (good idea, IMO, but maybe they could/should repackage it a bit, maybe even incorporate it functions into the other software like Keynote?), and of course Author/Document/Thesis whatever it's called.

They could basically have four software groups, but they hopefully would not be too insular: system software, consumer software, productivity (I'm avoiding using the word "business") software and creative software. System software folks could incorporate souped-up frameworks for Address Book and Mail. Keynote lands somewhere between productivity and creative, let its people come from both groups. ...and so on.
post #5 of 126
Apple Office would be a bad, bad idea. Apple has alienated 3rd-party developers time and again with their software...case in point, Premiere, which hasn't even been updated for Jaguar, is on the chopping block because of Final Cut Pro.

Making "Apple Office" free and/or cheap would further discourage Microsoft to abandon the platform. Mac IE is one thing (it wasn't generating any sort of revenue for Microsoft) but Mac Office is a cash cow. Microsoft is not going to axe it unless Apple does come up with "Apple Office".

If Apple attacks Microsoft with "Apple Office", and they leave the Mac platform, the Mac has lost legitimacy in the eyes of many potential switchers.

Keeping Adobe, Macromedia, and Microsoft developing on the Mac platform is VERY important.
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post #6 of 126
My attitude is that the abandonment of the platform is inevitable, especially when it comes to MS, income or no. While in the short term, they would lose the income of Office for Mac, in the long term, more people will buy and use windows and Office for windows when the Mac platform dies. As for Adobe, Premiere didn't make the grade, which is why Apple jumped in.

I would consider an Apple productivity suite to be merely pre-emptive action against what is inevitable.

I should add that my attitude before Safari came out was that Apple dhoulsn't rock the boat. Well, they have, and we're seeing the fallout. so given current circumstances, they can't be wishy-washy. If they want to gain independence from the big software houses, they should do balls-to-the-walls work to make it that way.
post #7 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Gizzmonic
Apple Office would be a bad, bad idea. Apple has alienated 3rd-party developers time and again with their software...case in point, Premiere, which hasn't even been updated for Jaguar, is on the chopping block because of Final Cut Pro.

Premiere was lagging badly before FCP. Adobe might have patched it for Jaguar if not for FCP, but that's about all.

The fact is that Apple steps in when and where other developers either aren't contributing at all, or aren't contributing enough. What was the Mac browser landscape like before Safari? What was the Mac video editing landscape like before FCP? What's the Mac office landscape like now? We have, um, AppleWorks, the poster child for Bad Carbon Ports(TM), and office:mac, which is dated, poorly designed, overpriced, not even perfectly document-compatible with its Windows counterpart, and unable to support basic OS X technologies to boot. Oh, and TextEdit. And a kinda-sorta version of Nisus. For something as bread-and-butter as a word processor, the options are pretty bleak right now - and the 800lb gorilla (MS) is waffling about whether there will be an update to office:mac after the next one. Apple can't wait for MS to decide that there won't be an Office 2004, because replacing a beast like Office isn't easy.

I don't think Apple wants to move into this space. It means a lot of engineers occupied for a long time when they could be working on improving Apple's core software. But when nobody else is going to pick up the ball, what do you think they should do?
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post #8 of 126
It's only fair to note, however, that the Macintosh editing market was sailing happily along with Media Composer, Media Composer XPress and Media 100 i

Admittedly, they are all hardware/software combos that cost a bit more than FCP and Premiere. In all fairness, however, if you're going to be building a real editing suite based on FCP that could compare to a Media Composer, you will be spending a damn near equivelant amount of money...
post #9 of 126
If Apple did not begin strategizing about some kind of "Apple Office" suite the day after Microsoft extorted them 5-6 years ago for continued development of Microsoft Office, frankly they deserve to go out of business!

Any company that gets held hostage by another has been given their one chance to find another option. Apple Office may be Apple's only option. At least an Ace in the hole.

Secondly, Apple could do a better job than Microsoft any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Period.

Thirdly, I'm not sure I'd use the Open Office CODE base, but what Open Office DOES bring to the world is an open, XML-based, office file format. "It's the file format stupid." That is the issue. If the government ever wanted to put a bullet between Microsoft's eyes, it FORCES them to open the file format. Microsoft Office would cost less that $100 within 2 years. Guaranteed. There would be direct, FULLY compatible competition immediately. Suddenly I don't have to fear not being compatible with everyone else if I choose something other that MS Office.

The Open Office File Format could be that. That is my hope anyway.

If Apple is smart that is the format they'll use (whether they use the code base or not).

PDF and RTF are possibilities, however RTF doesn't do everything. And PDF is owned by Adobe. Adobe might be more frightening than Microsoft.
post #10 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph

The fact is that Apple steps in when and where other developers either aren't contributing at all, or aren't contributing enough. What was the Mac browser landscape like before Safari? What was the Mac video editing landscape like before FCP? What's the Mac office landscape like now? We have, um, AppleWorks, the poster child for Bad Carbon Ports(TM), and office:mac, which is dated, poorly designed, overpriced, not even perfectly document-compatible with its Windows counterpart, and unable to support basic OS X technologies to boot. Oh, and TextEdit. And a kinda-sorta version of Nisus. For something as bread-and-butter as a word processor, the options are pretty bleak right now - and the 800lb gorilla (MS) is waffling about whether there will be an update to office:mac after the next one. Apple can't wait for MS to decide that there won't be an Office 2004, because replacing a beast like Office isn't easy.

What about BBEdit? I know its not a word processor, but it's still pretty good.
post #11 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Gizzmonic
Apple Office would be a bad, bad idea...[snip]...Making "Apple Office" free and/or cheap would further discourage Microsoft to abandon the platform. Mac IE is one thing (it wasn't generating any sort of revenue for Microsoft) but Mac Office is a cash cow. Microsoft is not going to axe it unless Apple does come up with "Apple Office".

If Apple attacks Microsoft with "Apple Office", and they leave the Mac platform, the Mac has lost legitimacy in the eyes of many potential switchers.

Keeping Adobe, Macromedia, and Microsoft developing on the Mac platform is VERY important.

The point is that MS *is* going to abandon MS Office:Mac. The multi-year deal that Apple and MS signed (Ms would continue to develop Office and IE would be the default browser) is over. The first overt move has been made by Apple by creating Safari, although the fault lies with MS, since IE has sucked for years. The writing is on the wall: now that the anti-trust suit is basically dead, MS wants to swat the Apple fly. (Although it has to do so in a way that ensures that no future anti-trust suit would be filed...)

When MS bought out Virtual PC, many Mac journalists/commentators duly fell into line and said this would be a good thing. Most Mac *users* (myself included) were however horrified and disgusted. We knew intrinsically that this was a Bad Thing (TM). In fact, I believe it is one more axe for MS to hold over Apple's head. For me, it is not a question of MS not swinging the axe, it is just a question of when.

As for other developers in the field...I'm not sure who else is developing Productivity Suites that are any real competitors for MS. Apple creating its own would not scare annyone away; MS has already cleared them out.

The developer angle is why I mentioned the possibility of going open source. Nobody is excited about doing office suites. But if developers have a few million lines of free code to poke around with, who knows...

Does MS really shift the .doc file format around all that much so that any third party really can't make something 100% compatible? It wouldn't surprise me, but I would have thought that even MS had to be relatively consistent in order not to piss off its corporate customers too much... But then again, I guess that's the point of having a monopoly, to be able to do whatever you want...

Conversely..or additionally...Apple could gather a group around itself (developers, educational institutions, major corporate types who are sick of MS's monopoly prices in the business world, etc.) to initiate a true open (ISO) standard for word processing documents, whether or not it is XML-based or whatever. Force MS to play ball.

As for MS leaving the Mac market, many would probably be dissappointed or scared. But if Apple has truly killer hardware, OS, and software...and they don't need MS and all its spyware, expensive upgrades, etc. they might feel relieved. A bunch of friends of mine (computer geeks) swear that they want to create an MS-free home because of the privacy issues. They are refusing to upgrade to XP, and are surviving on cracked versions of Windows 2000. (Unfortunately, they like games too much to go whole hog and dump wintel altogether, but that's another issue.) They all make their livings doing various computer (Wintel) related things, and they hate MS more than I do!

The point of all this is that I believe the "platform wars" which went into armistice a few years ago are about to heat up. Apple would be suicidal to try and play the "can't we all be friends" game. The only way MS will continue to develop Office:Mac is if Apple's marketshare skyrockets to 20%+, and gains major, gigantic inroads in the corporate market. But I also think MS will do everything in its power to keep that from happening...things like cancelling Office:mac...

-DCQ
post #12 of 126
I think Appleoffice suite would be a good idea, Granted apple's history with making kick-ass apps(safari being the only exception...but it's getting there imo)I'll bet Apple could release a very complete and useful suite, that would be even more incentive to switch to mac.

Of course whatever they made would have to be 110% compatible with windows counter-parts, because, even though Apple has made some strides in this area, it is still a very commmon misconception that Apple products are incompatible with everything.

Office.X is a good suite, it has it's problems sure, but it also works, and there are gobs and gobs of cool features. The challenge presented for Apple is to make a suite that not only trumps MS office, but offers something that MS dosen't offer, and in an easily accessible way. Something very useful.

I'm not an office professional so I can't say off the bat what Office needs, or any features that would make me want to jump ship in favor of another app with those features. But I'm sure there has to be something.

I guees seemless integration with the Apple system, and ease-of use, would be what apple could offer, but on top of that, what?
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post #13 of 126
We really are rotting out in word processor land, the fact is there's still no alternative to Word. If Apple hasn't been prepping for Office discontinuation they haven't been doing their job.

I think Apple could 'easily' do it, meaning they have the talent and the tech to create an office suite. Filemaker, Keynote... what is missing? A relatively simple word processor - I think Excel is going to be the sticking point, that won't be nearly as easy, and compatibility will be a must.
post #14 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by DCQ
The point is that MS *is* going to abandon MS Office:Mac. The multi-year deal that Apple and MS signed (Ms would continue to develop Office and IE would be the default browser) is over. The first overt move has been made by Apple by creating Safari, although the fault lies with MS, since IE has sucked for years. The writing is on the wall: now that the anti-trust suit is basically dead, MS wants to swat the Apple fly. (Although it has to do so in a way that ensures that no future anti-trust suit would be filed...)

When MS bought out Virtual PC, many Mac journalists/commentators duly fell into line and said this would be a good thing. Most Mac *users* (myself included) were however horrified and disgusted. We knew intrinsically that this was a Bad Thing (TM). In fact, I believe it is one more axe for MS to hold over Apple's head. For me, it is not a question of MS not swinging the axe, it is just a question of when.

As for other developers in the field...I'm not sure who else is developing Productivity Suites that are any real competitors for MS. Apple creating its own would not scare annyone away; MS has already cleared them out.

The developer angle is why I mentioned the possibility of going open source. Nobody is excited about doing office suites. But if developers have a few million lines of free code to poke around with, who knows...

Does MS really shift the .doc file format around all that much so that any third party really can't make something 100% compatible? It wouldn't surprise me, but I would have thought that even MS had to be relatively consistent in order not to piss off its corporate customers too much... But then again, I guess that's the point of having a monopoly, to be able to do whatever you want...

Conversely..or additionally...Apple could gather a group around itself (developers, educational institutions, major corporate types who are sick of MS's monopoly prices in the business world, etc.) to initiate a true open (ISO) standard for word processing documents, whether or not it is XML-based or whatever. Force MS to play ball.

As for MS leaving the Mac market, many would probably be dissappointed or scared. But if Apple has truly killer hardware, OS, and software...and they don't need MS and all its spyware, expensive upgrades, etc. they might feel relieved. A bunch of friends of mine (computer geeks) swear that they want to create an MS-free home because of the privacy issues. They are refusing to upgrade to XP, and are surviving on cracked versions of Windows 2000. (Unfortunately, they like games too much to go whole hog and dump wintel altogether, but that's another issue.) They all make their livings doing various computer (Wintel) related things, and they hate MS more than I do!

The point of all this is that I believe the "platform wars" which went into armistice a few years ago are about to heat up. Apple would be suicidal to try and play the "can't we all be friends" game. The only way MS will continue to develop Office:Mac is if Apple's marketshare skyrockets to 20%+, and gains major, gigantic inroads in the corporate market. But I also think MS will do everything in its power to keep that from happening...things like cancelling Office:mac...

-DCQ

You bring up some good and interesting points.

But I think it's time for Apple to move on or die. Apple can't be MS's lapdog forever. I think the time is right for Apple to prove to the world that they are the best and that they can regain the marketshare they badly need.

If they fail, they die. If they succeed, well, they succeed!

But they can't go on like this, barely surviving, and needing MS to keep them afloat.

Apple has some killer apps coming out. The FCP4 suite has just been released. DVD Studio Pro 2 is coming soon. The recently released iTunes 4+iTMS combo is awesome. iDVD 3. iMovie 3. These last apps are, IMO, killer apps and, in fact, there are no equals out on PCs.

Not to mention that Panther is coming out and equally amazing hardware.

If Apple dies in a few years, it wouldn't be because the software wasn't good or because the hardware sucked. It'd be because Apple didn't manage to market their stuff correctly.

Switcher ads and all that bullshit doesn't explain how Macs work one bit. "My PC went kablooie", and "My printer ate my paper" doesn't show that Macs are better.

Apple needs to really show that making movies on a computer can be fun and painless. Buying music is as simple as one-click. Configuring a network via Rendezvous is as simple as picking your nose and scratching your ass.

It's great that the iTunes music store got rave reviews...but Apple needs to get in the consumer's face and stop them from looking at any other alternative because, hey, the iTMS *is* the best.

Apple shouldn't just show apps one at a time. Apple should list all their killer apps and tell the world that these apps are available out of the box and are simple to use.

Current Mac users should invite people to see these apps.

Apple's got their Apple Stores ready. I'm sure they'll start advertising their products more and more now that they actually don't suck.

Mac users should also advertise if they care for the platform.
post #15 of 126
serrano: The biggest obstacle, I think, to replacing Word is replacing its functionality as a DTP app without enraging Adobe and Quark. I'm sure that sentence caused half a million DTP people to mash their mice on the Reply button in a red rage, so hear me out first: I know Word blows as a DTP app. But it has those capabilities, however superficially, and it is used that way, however unreliably. Apple can not do it, and find some other way to make up the difference, or they can build in DTP capabilities and do it right. But they'll be stepping on a lot of toes either way.

Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Apple needs to really show that making movies on a computer can be fun and painless. Buying music is as simple as one-click. Configuring a network via Rendezvous is as simple as picking your nose and scratching your ass.

Your challenge is to make the ad in such a way that it doesn't look like every other "our product is the easiest to use, and it does everything you want in a gyroscope!" ad, including all the ads for XP. Or remember the ad favorably comparing the Gateway Profile 4 to the iMac?

There's a reason Apple isn't going that way: It's the oldest cliché in the business, everyone knows that the claims made in those ads range from dubious to bogus, and I doubt there's anything Apple could do to make their version of the cliché convincing where everyone else's isn't.

As a number of switchers have pointed out in their blogs and web page updates, you really do have to use a Mac to figure out what its advantages are. So the best advertising Apple can do is advertising that puts people in front of a Mac. Curiosity is sufficient. (If they can get rid of the last few roadblocks to compatibility with e.g. Windows networks, all the better.)
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post #16 of 126
Yeah, I still contend that you cannot effectively demonstrate how a Mac works in a 30 second commercial, you can only express the idea of that. We can't expect advertising to explain a product. An infomercial would I suppose, but does Apple really want the public's view of the genre to reflect on the brand?

I think you're right on the mark there, Amorph. The only real difference between a DTP app and a word processor, in essence, is the ruled page vs. the empty page. DTP uses text blocks, and Cocoa's text objects work just like a word processor in those block as it stands now. Assume that each new document in ths hypothetical word processor had a text block that by default covered the page from margin to margin. Then the user could just go back and resize the text block as desired. Want two columns? Easy. want a caption for that picture in your newsletter? Piece of cake. Or just don't touch the text block and type away. Apple could probably hide the DTP aspect by emphasizing the wp features that they would add: search and replace, header and footers, etc. They would keep the image/object tools pretty basic, so you can't manipulate the pictures, graphics/clip art or lines too much, at least not directly. Sort of like how Keynote's drawing tools are more basic than PowerPoint's but you can use other apps like OmniGraffle to make more complex shapes. This Document/Author/whatnot app would be even more basic with shapes and lines, allow easy import of clip art and pictures with more basic manipulations (rotate, scale). Keep the features specific to the task, and let the document be whatever it wants. Theoreticaly, if Keynote uses xml to write the file data, this app would use the same conventions, and could be opened in Keynote or any other such apps and vice versa (adding Keynote slides as a or into a word processor document).
post #17 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
If Apple did not begin strategizing about some kind of "Apple Office" suite the day after Microsoft extorted them 5-6 years ago for continued development of Microsoft Office, frankly they deserve to go out of business!

Now that the RDF around that event has worn off (for me), here's my take, with generous helpings of ideas from lurking on these forums. Forget the sideshow of Gates showing up as big brother. Steve Jobs was continuing to perpetrate a big ol' whammy on the silicon world, and most of us fell for it.

After a covert, reverse buyout of Apple by NeXT, he convinced Gates to give Apple money, software, and time to breathe. "I don't wanna play with you right now, uh, I've got a headache, why don't you just continue on without me. I'll be behind this curtain, tinkering away..." (Imagine Jobs strumming his fingers together evilly behind that curtain, if it helps.)

Processor angst aside, Apple is a company that's found it's groove . The drum beat of software updates. The drum beat of new apps. Purposeful style. iMac, iBook, iPod, Xserve, Airport, SuperDrive, and metal briefcases called Powerbooks. Quartz Extreme, Rendezvous, iTMS, Aqua, free development tools, the world of UNIX, and a little something for everyone when it comes to those 'moving pictures' .

Putting MS at arms length was a smoke screen. Time enough to shore up both software and hardware, secretly working on both -- we were watching Keynote for a year, and IIRC, no one (really) guessed the iPod -- all while fixing for a platform that didn't need MS. Mordorolla's incompetency put the spotlight on next gen hardware sooner than it should have, but it doesn't mean Apple wasn't at work on it long before. I remember the ApplePi rumors long before the 970 ones.

AppleOffice is definately coming, but hopefully not by that name. Making 'office' apps from MS irrelevant on the Mac started with Mail and Address Book. Continued with iCal, iChat, Safari and Keynote. Mimicking Word and Excel doesn't really gel with the NeXT philosophy of small purposeful apps, or Apple's easy to use philosophy. How long does it take to sreamline them? Get interoperability with the PC versions? I don't know, but Apple's tinkering away at it. They'll release them when they're ready.
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post #18 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Flippy
Mimicking Word and Excel doesn't really gel with the NeXT philosophy of small purposeful apps, or Apple's easy to use philosophy. How long does it take to sreamline them? Get interoperability with the PC versions? I don't know, but Apple's tinkering away at it. They'll release them when they're ready.

Overall excellent post.

On this point I agree to the extent that Word and Excel have become "Swiss Army Knives". This is most definitely not Apple (NeXT) style. Smaller. Simpler. Cleaner. Just a word processor. Doesn't also slice, dice and make Julianne Fries. I almost think that TextEdit++ is where they would go. And it would work with Keynote, and Address Book and iCal and Mail (as appropriate and as needed...for example mail merge naturally uses AddressBook). Think (possibly) Nisus Writer (the new one, formerly Okito). Why doesn't Apple just buy them. Maybe they will.
post #19 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Overall excellent post.

On this point I agree to the extent that Word and Excel have become "Swiss Army Knives". This is most definitely not Apple (NeXT) style. Smaller. Simpler. Cleaner. Just a word processor. Doesn't also slice, dice and make Julianne Fries.

hmmm... sounds like something i remember from 1996-97. went by the name of "OpenDoc" or something.

well, okay, opendoc was taking that "bit and pieces" approach to sublime extreme (great in theory, nightmare to market), but the sentiment is still there.
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post #20 of 126
OpenDoc is alive and well at least to a fair extent in Cocoa objects and frameworks. You can use standard Cocoa text in any app, access the Address Book from any app, etc. That's why Apple doesn't have to buy NisusWriter, because most of its features are in Apple's own frameworks, and we already know from the seminar description at WWDC there are improvements coming to Cocoa text and such with Panther. Now imagine search and replace being fueled by the v-twin engine that the Finder, and such uses. They have tables in Keynote, the Keynote rules with auto-guides, etc. This is the sort of stuff Apple already has that it can build all this software with. Like OpenDoc, most of the pieces are there, they just have to put in place.
post #21 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
OpenDoc is alive and well at least to a fair extent in Cocoa objects and frameworks. You can use standard Cocoa text in any app, access the Address Book from any app, etc. That's why Apple doesn't have to buy NisusWriter, because most of its features are in Apple's own frameworks, and we already know from the seminar description at WWDC there are improvements coming to Cocoa text and such with Panther. Now imagine search and replace being fueled by the v-twin engine that the Finder, and such uses. They have tables in Keynote, the Keynote rules with auto-guides, etc. This is the sort of stuff Apple already has that it can build all this software with. Like OpenDoc, most of the pieces are there, they just have to put in place.

Agreed. Good point. No reason to buy Nisus.

Personally, I am quite impressed with Keynote (as I am with most Apple software). It is well thought out. Features are not added just for the sake of adding them. You get the sense of purpose behind almost everything. I expect the same thing with "Document" (or whatever they call it).

This is true generally about Apple software (and hardware). Some things that look like there just there for show, you later find were some well conceived idea that makes using these things easier, more pleasant, more powerful.

I like to take a short step back and trying to see if I can discern where Apple is GOING rather than where they currently are. Applications (and hardware) delivered today are often only pieces (and possibly only partially completed) pieces of a larger strategy. The point of the Cocoa frameworks is typical. You get the feeling they are getting all of the pieces together. And the "whamo" they "suddenly" come out with this stunning application "out of thin air". When all the time it has been sitting right under the noses of 3rd party developers.
post #22 of 126
Apple should just support more OpenOffice.org. It's very MS-Office compatible (much more better than AppleWorks). If Apple loose MS-Office then there is OpenOffice.org. Apple should not develop their own office software, because it could take a long time. OpenOffice.org is best competitor for MS-Office and it's free application. Look what is happening in Linux world. Companies and towns etc.. are moving into Linux and they are selecting StarOffice / OpenOffice.org, because it's very close to MS-Office and compatibility between MS-Office and StartOffice & OpenOffice.org is very good. OpenOffice.org just needs Aqua GUI and that's it! Then we have very good Office solution.

I think also, that Safari web browser from Apple was mistake. We have now Mozilla browser and it's better than Safari, because most of the sites works with Mozilla.

Apple just should look more what is happening in OpenSource projects. Some projects are really good. Apple should put some money into those projects.
post #23 of 126
But again, aside form MS Office compatibility, Apple has most of what they need. If OpenOffice.org just has libraries for Office compatibility, Apple should use those and contribute to them, much like they use KHTML for Safari. Apple's attitude towards open-source is very smart. They don't sacrifice their front-ends at all, but rather adopt and extend (just don't extinguish ) open source as frameworks on the back-end. Apple can already reciprocate a good PowerPoint conversion engine in Keynote.

Then again, considering how those conversion engines have to deal with stuffon the front-end, I'm not sure OpenOffice stuff can be much good if Apple is just going to blow the doors off with leveraging its own graphics technology like they did in Keynote. The way everything ties into Quartz and Cocoa frameworks now, would adopting OpenOffice in any respect make sense? Would OpenOffice compromise the quality level of fit and finish in these apps?
post #24 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Stratosfear
Apple should just support more OpenOffice.org.

Support? Yes. Adobt code base? Maybe. Adopt the file format? Definitely.


Quote:
Apple should not develop their own office software, because it could take a long time.

Quote:
OpenOffice.org is best competitor for MS-Office and it's free application. Look what is happening in Linux world. Companies and towns etc.. are moving into Linux and they are selecting StarOffice / OpenOffice.org, because it's very close to MS-Office and compatibility between MS-Office and StartOffice & OpenOffice.org is very good.

Again, if they adopt the file format. Then they will be compatible with OpenOffice and StarOffice. Different code bases can generate the same file format.

Secondly, just because something might take a long time to do is not a valid reason (in and of itself) to not do it. This is how great things get built. Someone works hard and takes a long time to do it. Dell, for example, builds what they build because it doesn't take a long time. It's easy.

Quote:
OpenOffice.org just needs Aqua GUI and that's it! Then we have very good Office solution.

And I would advocate someone taking this approach, though not necessarily Apple. This simply gives people more options.

Quote:
I think also, that Safari web browser from Apple was mistake. We have now Mozilla browser and it's better than Safari, because most of the sites works with Mozilla.

I disagree. I've heard before that the Mozilla code base is huge, bloated and ugly. Apple confirmed this. They evaluated both it and KHTML. They thought KHTML was a better approach. Again we need to focus and STANDARDS...not specific code bases. This is how we've gotten into this thing with Microsoft. We need STANDARD file formats for data (CSV, TDF, RTF, PDF, JPEG, PNG, EPS, SVG, HTML, vCard, iCalendar, etc.) and protocols for exchanging data (SMTP, NNTP, FTP, SNMP, HTTP, etc.) Then anyone can write any code they want to utilize and leverage these standards. Then you and I get to choose from a variety of good (and bad) implementations. But we don't get tied into a single vendor, because the formats and protocols are open standards.
post #25 of 126
Quote:
I think also, that Safari web browser from Apple was mistake. We have now Mozilla browser and it's better than Safari, because most of the sites works with Mozilla.

Ooops...there goes any credibility in your post. I won't going into because the poster above handled that just fine. I don't care about Opensource. I want an Office Suite that is flexible...powerful and hopefully doesn't require 256mb to run.

If Safari is any hint.

If Keynote is any hint

Then I think Apple can do better than to just throw a aqua interface on some current Open Source code.
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post #26 of 126
I dream of FileMaker7 - Honestly I do and if it was included in an Apple Office Suite (or a program like it) I would buy it just for that reason. I think that in terms of an Office utility the only thing the mac is missing is an Access Killer.
post #27 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
serrano: The biggest obstacle, I think, to replacing Word is replacing its functionality as a DTP app without enraging Adobe and Quark. I'm sure that sentence caused half a million DTP people to mash their mice on the Reply button in a red rage, so hear me out first: I know Word blows as a DTP app. But it has those capabilities, however superficially, and it is used that way, however unreliably. Apple can not do it, and find some other way to make up the difference, or they can build in DTP capabilities and do it right. But they'll be stepping on a lot of toes either way.


AppleWorks is as good of a DTP app as Word is. Adobe and Quark care less about AppleWorks why would Apple's Write application (my own made up name).

Besides Adobe and Quark really don't give a sh*t about the Macintosh platform anymore. It took Quark nearly 4 major OS revisions (10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and soon 10.3) to produce a native version for OS X. How long did native PhotoShop take? Why is Mac Acrobat considerably different than Windows Acrobat? Where are Mac versions of Encore and where is the beta of Atomsphere?

Apple needs to draw the line in the sand and find out who is on their side and who isn't. If there not sided with Apple, then Apple should develope software/OS/hardware solutions needed to secure/attract users to the Macintosh platform (as in the case with Safari, FCP, DVD Studio, etc.).

Thanks

Dave
post #28 of 126
Alex Salkever of BusinessWeek has weighed in on the Office debate.

Here's the linky....

Interestingly, he takes issue with how hard it would be for Apple to create an Office suite without access to Redmond code.

Of course, the same could be said for Safari...but that didn't stop Apple.

He makes good points. But with Cocoa, I'm not sure Apple would need 150 developers and there's no mention of the fairly solid rumor that Apple hired the Gobe Productive developers last year. Haddad wouldn't have missed that one.

At this point I'm really conflicted about the whole thing. I'm sure Apple has a suite in the oven, but I'm not sure which way's the course they should take.

Keynote and Filemaker show the Nexties "one-app-per-task" philosophy, while going the OpenOffice route with a proprietary interface is the road they took with Safari, and with the backend code Apple would contribute to OpenOffice.org, there's the potential OO could murder the MS cashcow on the Windows side.
And that's a great reason to do it.

The only thing I'm sure of is that if Steve unveils an Office suite on Monday, I'll order it regardless. Down with Appleworks!
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post #29 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
Alex Salkever of BusinessWeek has weighed in on the Office debate.

Here's the linky....

I read this article and found it to be superficial analysis, containing some (minor) inaccuracies (e.g., Safari is built on KHTML, not Mozilla).

The author (along with others) claims a couple of things that are dubious (at best).

1. Microsoft's interest in maintaining Office for the Mac is strictly about anti-trust insurance. He also wonders why MS would continue to assign a large (for many companies perhaps, but not MS), 150 person staff to the Mac BU for such a small percentage of the computing market. Yet he fails to dig any deeper into this. He fails to examine the revenue and profitability of the Mac BU. A rough guestimate might put the Mac BU revenue at about $200-300 million a year. Not too shabby. And probably highly profitable at that. Perhaps not s "show stopper" for MS at large, but reflective of Apple's size of the market too.

2. Apple would have a lot of work on its hands to produce an Office equivalent. Perhaps. Perhaps not. The author is assuming that one NEEDS 150 developers to develop this software. This assumption is flawed (at best) and potentially very misleading. Does MS REALLY have 150 developers? Is is a total staff of 150? Are some testers? Documenters, etc? Finally, Apple has built a tremendous framework that could get them further along in word processor and spreadsheet with fewer developers, than many people realize.

3. MS dropping IE for Apple is some kind of retaliation or evil act. Perhaps it is. This is the prevailing assumption at this point. But maybe its not as evil as everyone thinks. Maybe Apple knew this was happening a long time ago. Maybe MS said, we're going to do this. We think the browser is now part of the basic OS shell. You probably think the same thing. Why don't you just go do it yourselves? We're going to integrate IE into the Windows UI shell. Perhaps there was even an opportunity to license the IE code base. Perhaps not. My point here is more in the lack of true analysis. The author in this article (and many posters and other authors) have simply jumped to conclusions (or at least have not backed up their statements with facts). Fact is MS is stopping continued development of IE for Mac. But why? We may not have ALL of the facts about the why.

My thoughts?

Apple has been working on an Office "plan B". They had to. They'd be stupid NOT to. How will they use it? Who knows. Only as a plan B? Go on the offensive? Hard to say. They might not even know the best way to use it. One thing for sure? If ANYONE has the balls (stupidity? arrogance?) to take on MS, its Jobs. Period.
post #30 of 126
I think you're right on the mark there, Amorph. The only real difference between a DTP app and a word processor, in essence, is the ruled page vs. the empty page. DTP uses text blocks, and Cocoa's text objects work just like a word processor in those block as it stands now. Assume that each new document in ths hypothetical word processor had a text block that by default covered the page from margin to margin. Then the user could just go back and resize the text block as desired. Want two columns? Easy. want a caption for that picture in your newsletter? Piece of cake. Or just don't touch the text block and type away. Apple could probably hide the DTP aspect by emphasizing the wp features that they would add: search and replace, header and footers, etc. They would keep the image/object tools pretty basic, so you can't manipulate the pictures, graphics/clip art or lines too much, at least not directly. Sort of like how Keynote's drawing tools are more basic than PowerPoint's but you can use other apps like OmniGraffle to make more complex shapes. This Document/Author/whatnot app would be even more basic with shapes and lines, allow easy import of clip art and pictures with more basic manipulations (rotate, scale). Keep the features specific to the task, and let the document be whatever it wants. Theoreticaly, if Keynote uses xml to write the file data, this app would use the same conventions, and could be opened in Keynote or any other such apps and vice versa (adding Keynote slides as a or into a word processor document).

This sounds almost like kWord, a part of the KDE kOffice package, that someone already has made a proof-of-concept port of, using QT/Mac (being released in a GPL'ed version at this wwdc !!).

I think an application using an enhanced kWord backend, with an Aqua UI, using the Openoffice file format (= basically the Safari approach) would be great for the mac platform, regardless of M$ plans..
post #31 of 126
LoopRumors (http://www.looprumors.com) is saying the the so-called "iWorks" has been postponed because Microsoft cancelled IE, and Apple is now concerned that they might do the same if Apple were to release an "iWorks" suite.

If this is true is pisses me off. It pisses me off that one lousy frappin' company (MS) has so much power that we are all stuck with mediocre (at best) and expensive crap for software (MS Office).

I'm hoping this is only a postponement...until Apple gets all of its "ducks in a row".
post #32 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave K.
AppleWorks is as good of a DTP app as Word is. Adobe and Quark care less about AppleWorks why would Apple's Write application (my own made up name).

and there's a simple reason fro this: adobe and quark make their business on being extensible applications, through filters and xtensions. they can act like their minimalist at the core, but tout high-end capabilities if need be (and they are releved of the support fro these features, as they are carried by the third-parties who created them). look at quark, for instance. there are xtensions to quark for newspaper ad layout, imposition, etc. that are so massive and expensive that quark is simply a vessel for them to work.

also, word makes the cardinal sin of regarding all graphics as rgb, no matter how hard you try to force it otherwise. and everything placed in an ms file is converted to a .bmp file at rip, accounting for some bloody huge files getting tossed around a network (and lots of goofball postscript code that'll bring down you rip faster than you can blink and go "whaaaaa..?"). but rgb printing is fine for almost any household consumers needs (honestly, you start explaining rgb vs. cmyk to a newbie, and just watch them not care).

as long as word and apple's "write" or "document" or whatever remains non-extensible, except through scripts and macros, and they do things such as rgb printing only, then adobe and quark shouldn't care at all.

p.s. my typing skills are going to hell lately... i partially blame my own fatigued brain, and my wife's awful pismo keyboard. until i get my own rig in the next few months, please excuse any typos in the meantime. (maybe i should change my signature to this?)
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post #33 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
and there's a simple reason fro this: adobe and quark make their business on being extensible applications, through filters and xtensions. they can act like their minimalist at the core, but tout high-end capabilities if need be (and they are releved of the support fro these features, as they are carried by the third-parties who created them). look at quark, for instance. there are xtensions to quark for newspaper ad layout, imposition, etc. that are so massive and expensive that quark is simply a vessel for them to work.

Yes. These are "platforms" not "applications" (per se), and that is WAY COOL. In my view many more applications than are, should be "platforms". Apple should be doing this with Address Book, iCal, Finder, Mail, iPhoto, Keynote, etc. And, who knows, maybe they will.
post #34 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Yes. These are "platforms" not "applications" (per se), and that is WAY COOL. In my view many more applications than are, should be "platforms". Apple should be doing this with Address Book, iCal, Finder, Mail, iPhoto, Keynote, etc. And, who knows, maybe they will.

What do you mean? A program that is allows extensions or plugins is a platform?
post #35 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
What do you mean? A program that is [sic] allows extensions or plugins is a platform?

Yes.
post #36 of 126
Many Apple apps for OS X, the Cocoa ones anyway, do support plug-ins. Besides, many of these apps are just front-ends to frameworks, which should be extensible, if by other frameworks, no?

Anyway, the rumors of an extensible Finder sound nice, don't they?
post #37 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Yes.

i wasn't sure, but i agree. i mean, i'm a bit tired, but i can't think of an example where an app that allows plug-ins ISN'T something like a platform on par with indesign and quark (recall that one of the downfalls of pagemaker that adobe would kinda-sorta admit to was that it wasn't nearly as extensible as quark). then other examples like photoshop, or the huge audio apps...

word (and, hypothetically, a new appleoffice) would use scripts and/or macros only to enhance (or automate) the functionality already found within those apps.

and really, that's where apple could conceivably make a killing against word. supply some pre-built scripts that take your address book and make mail merges and mailing labels, and you've taken away a large part of why people use word to begin with. throw in some easy footnoting and table of contents features, and you've covered the long-document academic crowd (trust me, my wife would have killed for an app like this in creating her dissertation)... and the list goes on.
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

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When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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post #38 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
and really, that's where apple could conceivably make a killing against word. supply some pre-built scripts that take your address book and make mail merges and mailing labels, and you've taken away a large part of why people use word to begin with. throw in some easy footnoting and table of contents features, and you've covered the long-document academic crowd (trust me, my wife would have killed for an app like this in creating her dissertation)... and the list goes on.

not to toot my own horn, but as of today's panther preview (and the new mail aspect) comes this little nugget of joy (copied & pasted from apple's website):

Print labels

Do you like to correspond by paper mail? Whether you want to send holiday greetings to friends and family or send a printed newsletter to clients, Address Book can help by printing all your labels for you. No need to export records to another application. Address Book prints directly onto dozens of supported Avery, Avery metric and Dymo label stocks.


When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
post #39 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
not to toot my own horn, but as of today's panther preview (and the new mail aspect) comes this little nugget of joy (copied & pasted from apple's website):

Print labels

Do you like to correspond by paper mail? Whether you want to send holiday greetings to friends and family or send a printed newsletter to clients, Address Book can help by printing all your labels for you. No need to export records to another application. Address Book prints directly onto dozens of supported Avery, Avery metric and Dymo label stocks.


Panther? What about envelopes?
post #40 of 126
So did Apple cave in to MS pressure to drop Office or is the new suite simply not ready yet?

The Filemaker Developer conference is at the end of August, and everybody's expecting FM 7.0. It'll be interesing to learn whether the box looks like Keynote's.

I've come to the idea that what I want most is for Apple to update AppleWorks to 7.0. But in concert with developing a Cocoa version, they need to silently develop versions for Linux and Windows. And use a common file format for all three.

That way, they have something they can use against MS if they threaten to drop Office.
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