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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 120
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 120

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

     

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

  • Reply 3 of 120
    Office and iwork dont compete against each other. Its like comparing a toy truck and a big rig.
  • Reply 4 of 120
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 120
    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.

  • Reply 6 of 120
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    The Surface is beginning to sound better and better..
  • Reply 7 of 120
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 120
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    The Surface is beginning to sound better and better..

    You need a Surface to run Office 365?

  • Reply 9 of 120
    davendaven Posts: 538member
    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."
  • Reply 10 of 120
    isn't that like ripping right out of the same feature in OSX mountain lion??
    they showed it off at the event right?
  • Reply 11 of 120
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.

  • Reply 12 of 120
    Real artists ship.
  • Reply 13 of 120
    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.

  • Reply 14 of 120
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    The Surface is beginning to sound better and better..

    It is? lol.

  • Reply 15 of 120
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 120
    "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.
  • Reply 17 of 120
    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. ;)
  • Reply 18 of 120

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 120
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,910member
    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.

  • Reply 20 of 120
    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. image

    ;)

     

    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.

Sign In or Register to comment.