An easy solution for an Apple Office Suite

in Mac Software edited January 2014
I use Microsoft Office 2007 every single day. There are parts of the program that I think are great (I don't mind the ribbon all that much helps for a new user like myself). But like most Microsoft apps I have grown weary of the Microsoft way exhibiting paranoia through Genuine Advantage checks at every step (templates, add-ins etc)

As good as Office 2007 is's about time for Apple to create the iWork big brother. Here's what Apple might want to do and this could be somewhat controversial.


Apple will not likely find another small yet capable developer with the right product set that complements what they already have so well.


Competes with Safari and not that well IMO. This product would be shelved.


A very popular app for diagrams in the Visio mold. Totally complementary for Apple's needs and important for business.


Getting a bit old UI wise but still actively developed. I could see Apple combining OO into the basic word processor.


Project Management- another complementary and powerful program that Apple could use to great effect in a suite.


Forthcoming GTD application which is going to be good for general tasks and could turn into a nice iPhone app someday as well.

Now for the rest of the tools

Word processing- Pages is nice but it's a hybrid. Focus the big bro on more document creation that aligns with the needs of business. That doesn't mean that you have to forgo on making it graphically rich but focus on easy template creation and management. Allow for powerful Macros and Autotext like features. Export options should be extensive and add OpenDocument support.

Spreadsheet - I'd personally love something along the lines of Lotus Improv/Quantrix Modeler. I'd like to see solid integration between the WP and spreadsheet.

Mail client - mail app is solid but let's take it's core, make it more "Outlooky" with integrated iChat and iCal Server support. Push email to the iPhone would be fantastic and a web front end would be the bees knees for calendar and email access from the road/home.

Database- Poach from Filemaker Pro

Keynote - I'm not sure Keynote would really need to be all that beefed up. A standard revision would probably suffice for most business users.

The vision here would be to include the basics WP/SS/DB/Pres/Groupw client, in the basic version and then add in a Plus package that includes Diagramming, Project management. As an adjunct Apple would also deliver a Web Pro app for professional level web authoring.

A community would be set up outside of the domain which would facillitate the learning of the suite. Templates, and components would be available to extend the programs.

In summation:

Microsoft Office is a nice program but it still suffers from being a Microsoft app in the way that it mucks up the simplest things (like setting default templates or customizing the UI). In order to be the Man you have to beat the Man. Apple shipping a half baked suite in iWork isn't going to entrench them with many people. The stakes are high now...we're seeing the proliferation of Web 2.0 Rich Internet Apps (RIA) and further reliance on web resources for content. Apple has its own initiatives that cannot be met by subservience to Microsoft Office.

It's time to take the Office Suite into a different direction.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
  • Reply 2 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

    No to Buying Omnigroup.

    No to shelving OmniWeb.

    No to integrating OmniOutliner into a word processor.

    No to making Mail more Outlooky (that's the stupidest idea on this list!)


    Let's discuss this some more.

    Omnigroup is a safe buy. They know Cocoa more than just about any other software developer. Their products are currently complementary to Apple's (eg they don't make a word proc or presentation program)

    Omniweb isn't going to gain any traction and it uses Webkit so it'll never really have more features than Apple at the render level.

    Mail for business users needs to be tightly coupled with all communication software. The current mail is insufficient. In Outlook 2007 I can view my inboxes, daily tasks, Calendar & Contacts. Anyone saying it isn't like this likely doesn't have a busy schedule. I travel a lot and go from doing onsite to e-training..the only way I can keep in tough is having "at-a-glance" info.

    Outlining is just format that doesn't require a seperate app IMO. Word has a solid Outliner and being that it's just a function of word processing the ability to quickly outline and then drop back into text formatting is "natural"
  • Reply 3 of 5
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
  • Reply 4 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    Frankly I don't think Apple is looking to compete with MS Office just yet. But I think that by 10.6 we may see the two giants face off. Apple has never been a 100 billion dollar company. If the they continue to find success with Macintosh, iPod and iPhone they'll likely be a 150 billion company soon enough. Eventually Mac users will grow tired of the lack of parity between Office on a PC vs Office on a Mac. People will grow weary of running Office 2007 in Parallels or Fusion. Apple is developing some nice frameworks and they typically deliver the best implementations.

    Omnigroup has a wonderful knack for delivering products that the big boys don't tread on. They cleverly eschewed developing a web authoring app or a music player. I really don't think Apple would buy Omni...but I wouldn't be upset if they did. It'll be interesting to see how much work has gone into iWork XX.

    I still disagree about the mail app. Mail app today is fine for consumers but inadequate for business users. If Apple developed a biz suite they'd need to have a more robust mail app. Hell, the perfect system is creating the "communications mashup" and delivering a unified system for IM, mail, voicemail, voip and other fringe communication stuff.

    Microsoft is investing heavily into voip and communication programs. Office Communicator 2007 is ambitious and MS is serious about delivering.

    At times I wish Apple was a little bit more serious about delivering solutions to people who are doing the daily drudgery in the biz sector.

    Ahhh next week should be fun.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
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