Apple's Office Suite - Will It Raise Apple's Marketshare?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
If Apple really is working on an office suite (iWorks?), Apple has two very different options to market its office productivity suite...oh and one that mixes both together. The choice may be difficult to make but Apple has to think it out and make the right decision:



If iWorks (or whatever it's supposed to be called) was a free download and/or bundled with all new computers, and if iWorks had some very innovative features not available in any other suites (ie Rendezvous-sharing/collaborating on office documents) including MS's Office but also have compatibility with MS Office files, I think Apple could put a large dent in MS's marketshare.



Think about it...if you own a Mac, you get a free, excellent, and MS compatible office suite. What does this mean? It means that you don't really have to worry about buying the $350+ Office v.X or any other office productivity program for that matter.



You could if you wanted to...but you wouldn't *need* to.



What else does this mean?



It means schools would be able to buy Macs for their students and not have to buy Office v.X. It means businesses would be able to buy Macs for their employees and not have to buy Office v.X.



It means, out-of-the-box, you'd be able to write and receive .docs, .xls, without having to install any software from other CDs other than the 10.3 CD that came with your computer or that you bought seperately. It means upgrades would be easily done via Software Update.



Really...having killer office apps bundled on a computer is a huge +. Anyone who wants everything to work out-of-the-box would go nuts for such a package. It would, in my opinion, boost Mac sales which would make up for the loss made for releasing years of development for free.



Sure...you can get a Office XP bundle deal when you buy a PC but I doubt it's really free, I'm sure you'd still be paying a bit more money for that bundle than if it came without Office XP.





The other alternative is that Apple charge for iWorks. Then the incentive to buy it and the free, 'out-of-the-box' coolness factor is gone. Schools and businesses won't necessarly be enticed to buy iWorks. But Apple would be making money off every iWorks copy sold. I'm sure they'd make quite a bit of money off that.





So Apple has to figure out if they'd get more money and marketshare off selling iWorks, or bundling it for free on Macs.



Is iWorks going to boost Mac sales? If Apple thinks it will, then it should bundle it on all Macs for free and maybe sell iWorks to those that aren't buying a new Mac. I think that would be the perfect solution. Apple would be making money off people that aren't ready to buy a new Mac since they'd just fork out some money to buy iWorks...since making iWorks a free download wouldn't bring them any money or any boosts in marketshare. But then, if advertised carefully, Apple could make money and increase its marketshare off increased Mac sales if they touted their free bundled office productivity apps with the purchase of a new Mac.



So...anyone else care to talk about other options Apple might have?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    to make a long thing short: no... or at least, I doubt it.



    There are a myriad of other 'office' solutions, but I dont think anyone will ever get out of the 'MS Office' death grip.



    If anything, an Apple office package that PERFECTLY opens Word, Excel and Powerpoint files will give people a reason to keep a mac or buy a mac.



    I doubt there will be big advances towards marketshare... unless Apple makes a HUGE campaign to make sure the news gets through
  • Reply 2 of 10
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Apple can always do what they did with AppleWorks: Charge for the suite and bundle it free, as appropriate, or inexpensively, as they've done with various Adobe and MS promos.



    They can also do the same sort of split they've done with their other applications, and offer an iOffice and an Office Pro, or something similar. They can enrich either or both with services like the font purchasing service they're apparently working on, and .Mac, and the online clip art collections that AppleWorks 6 takes advantage of.



    They have a lot of options. The hardest thing to break will be fear of incompatibility. Even if they say it'll open MS Office files with no problem, people will still consider MS Office itself to be the safer bet. They'll have to wow people with capabilities that MS' suite simply doesn't have, as they did with Keynote.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    Bundling definitely is a good idea.



    I am skeptical of Office Suite compatability. Even Office v.X isn't 100% compatable and try as they might, many devs have not been able to break the M$ code. (mariner, nisus, appleworks, melell, et al)



    Keynote was said to be compatable with Powerpoint and we know now it is not. (I am a big fan of Keynote and enjoy using it.)



    M$ is getting ready to put Office 11 on the street. I would assume they are only moving the code target once again.



    Until Apple gets a better foothold in the business world, I just don't see M$ taking that big of a hit. And I don't know how anyone expects the 1.0 version of iWorks being that equal head to head. (At least in the corporate world.)



    Home, school and business use that don't have to really worry about total compatability however could be very interesting with iWorks.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    My vote: No.



    Users just aren't on a quest for superior word processing and spreadsheets. They are more concerned with whether thier setup is compatible with everyone else. These are mature software markets. While some improvement is possible, the potential isn't enough to unseat an industry standard.



    On the other hand, I do think users see room for improvement with presentation software. They would be willing to switch simply for the wow factor it can give their presentations. When's the last time you heard anyone saw 'wow' about a document from a word processor?





    Hmmm. Now I seem to have unpersuaded myself. People do say 'wow' about printed output from Quark (on occaision). If apple could combine word processing and professional page layout / publishing into a single application... Screw Quark!
  • Reply 5 of 10
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler



    On the other hand, I do think users see room for improvement with presentation software. They would be willing to switch simply for the wow factor it can give their presentations. When's the last time you heard anyone saw 'wow' about a document from a word processor?







    Exactly! Why shouldn't people be able to create documents with a lot of wow in them? That's what the Macintosh originally enabled people to do, after all.



    One of the main reasons that WP documents are so bland is that MS Word is so intractable. If you try to get it to do anything fancy, good luck. Heck, you have to spend a certain amount of time hunting down obnoxious defaults and killing them before you can even use it as a basic word processor! There really is a better way, and while the market might not think they need it, they didn't think they needed a better PowerPoint, either.



    An XML based file format is rich with implication, as well.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I think there is room for expanding market share with these products. As others have pointed out, Walmart and Dell are "good enough" for most, but a superior product can and will bring at least some people to the platform, hopefully more than there are now.



    Coming form the architecture world, where autoCad hegemony is rampant, copatiblity and import/export problems are inevitable with these de facto standards that are in fact proprietary. It is a fact of lifge, and manyin this industry at least are willing to deal with the tradeoffs for a better overall product. But with these productivity apps (name for suite: Production?), given the momentum behind PDFs in corporate work and xml whatnot for more collaborative stuff, I think there's a good chance of helping Apple's hardware sales. You might even see corporations do stuff like leave one Mac per department for such "showy" tasks, and that's a foot in the door. It's not a guarantee, but it's got a lot of potential.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    When's the last time you heard anyone saw 'wow' about a document from a word processor?







    When MacWrite came out. Seriously...MS has grinded everything to a halt. It's got a monopoly on office apps so nobody is touching this kind of stuff anymore. Nobody can even get the chance to innovate in the 'office productivity' area.



    I'm sure Apple can bring the same kind of wow that came from people that played with MacWrite back in the mid 80s. (Unless of course they play conservative like they did with Safari...no ground-breaking features...which will get them nowhere and they might as well not develop an office suite if they don't have any good ideas.)



    But seriously...Rendezvous sharing/collaboration, guides ala Keynote, powerful Cocoa text features (due to become more powerful in 10.3), expansion/improvement of text services, integration with other OS X apps. These are all really good features....some could even be revolutionary. I wouldn't be able to tell you what though, or I'd have written this suite myself.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    Users just aren't on a quest for superior word processing and spreadsheets. They are more concerned with whether thier setup is compatible with everyone else. These are mature software markets. While some improvement is possible, the potential isn't enough to unseat an industry standard.





    I'm on a quest for superior word processing. And I'm sure there are quite a few others too. I'm not saying everyone's gonna go "WOW, Apple made an amazing office suite...to Hell with my PC, I'm getting a Mac"...I'm saying more people will be inclined to buy a Mac because it'll have a very good suite bundled with it. There certainly won't be any dethronement of MS Office anytime soon. But there should be a decent augmentation in Apple's marketshare.



    Hopefully this will weaken MS and others will have a chance to take a stab at the office productivity market.



    There are tons of people that hate how Word dictates how you should write your documents by default. Have you ever tried to write something and Word would change it thinking you really meant to type something else?



    The most common case being with lists or lowercase letters after a period. How the fruck is a computer program supposed to know what you want to write? Why is it trying to correct something that is already CORRECT!?! If MS wants to guess what you want to write why doesn't it guess what I should write for my whole frickin' 10-page essay due in 2 weeks. I could simply sit back with my hands behind my head and watch the paper write itself.



    There's lots of dumb things about Word and PowerPoint to make people choose an alternative that has 90% compatibility but 100% less 'dumb'!
  • Reply 9 of 10
    stunnedstunned Posts: 1,096member
    It would take more than iWorks to persuade window users to switch. Price, other software compatability, fast processors and design are more important factors.



    But i do agree that iWorks will persuade current mac users not to switch, though I doubt its 100% compatability with MS Office.



    And how many window users would know about iworks???
  • Reply 10 of 10
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by stunned



    And how many window users would know about iworks???




    Well that's why Apple would have to advertise it. I have a suspicion that the reason why Apple isn't getting more switchers is that their ads aren't focusing on what the customer needs.



    The Switch ads are just a bunch of people that had bad experiences with Windows...that won't convince someone that has had only good experiences with Windows (is this even possible?) to switch.



    Apple needs to show off the cool apps and features and then straight out say that all of these are bundled on a Mac making it an all-in-one solution for those that don't want to be bothered finding and buying and office suite, downloading apps off the net, installing apps from a bunch of different CDs.



    And if price, design, processor speeds and compatibility are factors, they should all be coming also. The 970 is just around the corner. The prices should drop (if Freddy-boy is to be believed), the app design can't be any worse than a Microsoft app, and the compatibility would be a key factor to the sucess of iWorks so why would Apple bother releasing an office suite that is incompatible with everything else?
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