January 4, 2005 11:17 AM PST

Apple office software seems likely

A small Macintosh software developer has renamed an application it had been calling iWork, lending credence to rumors that Apple plans to introduce office software of the same name.

IGG Software, which has marketed a time-billing application as iWork, has changed the program's name to iBiz. The change, which is reflected on the company's Web site, follows reports on rumor sites that Apple plans to offer its own suite of word processing and presentation software.

Enthusiast site ThinkSecret reported last week that a product from Apple called iWork would include an updated version of Apple's presentation software, Keynote, and a new word processing program, which the site says will be called Pages. The site predicted Apple would unveil the product at next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco.


Photo: Ina Fried
At a conference in June, Apple
showcased a Mini Cooper with an
iPod adapter--and displayed posters
that knocked Microsoft.

Such a program would be an interesting move for Apple, which has for years kept its office software ambitions limited, counting instead on Microsoft to produce a Mac version of Microsoft Office.

Having a version of Microsoft Office for the Mac has been a key selling point for Apple as it tries to convince people who use Windows-based machines at work to have a Mac at home. In fact, Apple's Web site lists the Mac version of Office as reason No. 8 of 10 to switch to a Mac.

Apple's relationship with Microsoft--at least publicly--has run hot and cold. At times the companies have moved closer, though in recent months Apple has taken a number of shots at its rival, ranging from its Switch campaign, which targeted Windows users, to posters at last year's developer conference that suggested that Microsoft's Longhorn version of Windows would be a copycat of Apple's Tiger release this year.

For the time being, Microsoft appears to be sticking by its Macintosh products, and the company says it is already working on a new version of Office for the Mac.

"Our relationship with Apple remains productive and strong," said Scott Erickson, group product manager for Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, in a statement to CNET News.com. "Ninety-two percent of Mac users tell us they need native file compatibility between Mac and Windows--we deliver that with Office for Mac. We're committed to delivering this critical level of compatibility to customers and are well under way on the next versions of Office and Virtual PC for Mac."

Apple representatives were not immediately available for comment.

IGG Software representative Ian Gillespie said in an e-mail that the name change to iBiz "better reflects the direction in which we see our product going, toward business management and not just time-billing."

Several Macintosh enthusiast sites spotted the iBiz name change, including MacDailyNews and MacMinute.

The productivity arena, which includes word processing, database and spreadsheet software, is not new to Apple. Apple has offered a separate program, known as AppleWorks, that offers basic capabilities in all of those areas. However, updates have been sparse in recent years, and the software appears primarily targeted at the education and consumer markets. The company tiptoed more into the high-end arena

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32 comments

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understand this is NOT a MS Office competitor
If true this isn't intended to take on MS Office. Its going to be a low cost solution for Mac users and will prob ship with new Mac systems. Windows has MS Works that comes with a scaled down version of Word. The only good solution out there for the Mac (Other then a hand full of one off apps that from what I've read have had mixed results.) is either then $500 MS Office or the ancient Appleworks. I've played with AW on a friends system. Simply: it sucks. And for an average consumer $500 is way to much to get a simple word processing app. Consequently Apple is filling the gap here.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
True: it'll be far superior like everything else Apple does
NM
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
understand this is NOT a MS Office competitor
If true this isn't intended to take on MS Office. Its going to be a low cost solution for Mac users and will prob ship with new Mac systems. Windows has MS Works that comes with a scaled down version of Word. The only good solution out there for the Mac (Other then a hand full of one off apps that from what I've read have had mixed results.) is either then $500 MS Office or the ancient Appleworks. I've played with AW on a friends system. Simply: it sucks. And for an average consumer $500 is way to much to get a simple word processing app. Consequently Apple is filling the gap here.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
True: it'll be far superior like everything else Apple does
NM
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
AW doesn't suck
I agree with the comments, with one exception: AW does not
suck. It's limited, but it's more useful, in many ways, than Word,
which I also use. It's certainly easier to use. Within its limitations,
it's excellent. Is it the right tool for a book project? No.

I will be glad to see an updated replacement, however, as AW is
showing its age. If the new app is done with Apple's usual skill,
it will be a delight to use.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
agree with the comments
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/mazda_truck_b_series_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/mazda_truck_b_series_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
AW doesn't suck
I agree with the comments, with one exception: AW does not
suck. It's limited, but it's more useful, in many ways, than Word,
which I also use. It's certainly easier to use. Within its limitations,
it's excellent. Is it the right tool for a book project? No.

I will be glad to see an updated replacement, however, as AW is
showing its age. If the new app is done with Apple's usual skill,
it will be a delight to use.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
agree with the comments
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/mazda_truck_b_series_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/mazda_truck_b_series_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
My question... WHY?
You have Appleworks.. Where did that go? Will this new product be a new product or an upgrade for appleworks? What about Open Office (free) for the mac? <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ooo-osx_downloads.html#download" target="_newWindow">http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ooo-osx_downloads.html#download</a>

Why Safari for the Mac when there is FireFox for the Mac? <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/all.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/all.html</a>

They are putting money down the drain... again...

Repeat...
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Safari is not new
"Why Safari for the Mac when there is FireFox for the Mac?"

Because Safari was introduced long before Firefox even existed.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
Yes why... OpenOffice works and is free
I have been using OpenOffice - and while an Aqua version is still in the works, the current version does all I need, and is free. I would need compelling reasons to pay for a product.
Posted by ljloeffler (2 comments )
Link Flag
My question... WHY?
You have Appleworks.. Where did that go? Will this new product be a new product or an upgrade for appleworks? What about Open Office (free) for the mac? <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ooo-osx_downloads.html#download" target="_newWindow">http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ooo-osx_downloads.html#download</a>

Why Safari for the Mac when there is FireFox for the Mac? <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/all.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/all.html</a>

They are putting money down the drain... again...

Repeat...
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Safari is not new
"Why Safari for the Mac when there is FireFox for the Mac?"

Because Safari was introduced long before Firefox even existed.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
Yes why... OpenOffice works and is free
I have been using OpenOffice - and while an Aqua version is still in the works, the current version does all I need, and is free. I would need compelling reasons to pay for a product.
Posted by ljloeffler (2 comments )
Link Flag
Not another over priced under featured prod
Great. Another over priced and under featured product from Apple. Anybody care to bet that this will be priced near MicroShaft's Office's price?

Just use Open Office and ignore it. Given Apple's history of software releases, this is most likly a portent of a new Apple OS to be coming out soon. An OS that, of course, does not support legacy products like this iWork.
Posted by (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
*sniffs* Still no deodorant for the troll?
Come on oom you can do better then that. You have a rep to maintain as a troll. I see that you never bothered to respond to my posts. Hit a little to close to the mark on a couple of fronts didnt I?
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
Not another over priced under featured prod
Great. Another over priced and under featured product from Apple. Anybody care to bet that this will be priced near MicroShaft's Office's price?

Just use Open Office and ignore it. Given Apple's history of software releases, this is most likly a portent of a new Apple OS to be coming out soon. An OS that, of course, does not support legacy products like this iWork.
Posted by (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
*sniffs* Still no deodorant for the troll?
Come on oom you can do better then that. You have a rep to maintain as a troll. I see that you never bothered to respond to my posts. Hit a little to close to the mark on a couple of fronts didnt I?
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
A passionate market
I'm not sure this is a bad idea. Mac fans tend to be fanatics about all things Mac. Assuming Apple can offer file compatibility with current and future versions of Office (which should be simple since Microsoft releases the necessary information), I would bet that a large percentage of Mac users would purchase the software. If Mac users were interested in free software (as in zero acquisition cost), then they would probably already be running Linux or FreeBSD on cheap hardware. They certainly would not have already paid Apple prices for Apple hardware and software. Customer dedication could make this a profitable product.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree.
Apple has phenominal customer dedication. That's how they're able to grossly mark up their slower (compared to PCs) products. It's not the customer dedication (or psychosis) that I have a problem with, it's the customer shafting I have a problem with. Apple's well known to shaft their customers over and over again. Most of the world understands this and avoid Apple. Others....

hmmm.... come to think of it. I DON'T have a problem with Apple now. If people likes to get shafted, they deserve it.
Posted by (75 comments )
Link Flag
A passionate market
I'm not sure this is a bad idea. Mac fans tend to be fanatics about all things Mac. Assuming Apple can offer file compatibility with current and future versions of Office (which should be simple since Microsoft releases the necessary information), I would bet that a large percentage of Mac users would purchase the software. If Mac users were interested in free software (as in zero acquisition cost), then they would probably already be running Linux or FreeBSD on cheap hardware. They certainly would not have already paid Apple prices for Apple hardware and software. Customer dedication could make this a profitable product.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree.
Apple has phenominal customer dedication. That's how they're able to grossly mark up their slower (compared to PCs) products. It's not the customer dedication (or psychosis) that I have a problem with, it's the customer shafting I have a problem with. Apple's well known to shaft their customers over and over again. Most of the world understands this and avoid Apple. Others....

hmmm.... come to think of it. I DON'T have a problem with Apple now. If people likes to get shafted, they deserve it.
Posted by (75 comments )
Link Flag
Apple is a music company now anyway
An Apple Office Suite is a stupid idea. The reason for MS Office on a Mac is that the majority of computer users use MS Office. If MS stops supporting office for the Mac Apple will be the loser.

Apple is now more of a music company now anyway. Computers seem so secondary to the iPod when speaking of Apple. Maybe it is time to switch to PC?
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
office for the Mac
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/acura_vigor_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/acura_vigor_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
Apple is a music company now anyway
An Apple Office Suite is a stupid idea. The reason for MS Office on a Mac is that the majority of computer users use MS Office. If MS stops supporting office for the Mac Apple will be the loser.

Apple is now more of a music company now anyway. Computers seem so secondary to the iPod when speaking of Apple. Maybe it is time to switch to PC?
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
office for the Mac
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/acura_vigor_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/acura_vigor_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
Just wait & see. Then decide for yourself...
Wait for the MacWorld Convention Keynote speech by Steve Jobs. IF the "iWorksapp" IS actually announced, then check it out, then either use MS Office OSX,FreeOffice, Appleworks or other OpenSource Office apps out there.
It's just a tool &#38; it is up to you. This is what freedom of choice in the marketplace is about.
Enjoy it!
StarOffice from Sun is soon to port over from Solaris to OSX Unix... worth a try, or stay with MSF-OSX.
It's up to Jobs &#38; it's up to you.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just wait & see. Then decide for yourself...
Wait for the MacWorld Convention Keynote speech by Steve Jobs. IF the "iWorksapp" IS actually announced, then check it out, then either use MS Office OSX,FreeOffice, Appleworks or other OpenSource Office apps out there.
It's just a tool &#38; it is up to you. This is what freedom of choice in the marketplace is about.
Enjoy it!
StarOffice from Sun is soon to port over from Solaris to OSX Unix... worth a try, or stay with MSF-OSX.
It's up to Jobs &#38; it's up to you.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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