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Detroit Free Press: iWork Needs Some Work

Detroit Free Press: iWork Needs Some Work

by , 7:10 AM EST, January 25th, 2005

Mike Wendland, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press who often writes positive pieces about Apple and the Mac platform, said Tuesday he thinks Apple's new software package, iWork, needs some work. Mr. Wendland wrote that Pages isn't a full-featured word processing program, and that Keynote "seems a bit klutzy" compared to Microsoft's PowerPoint."

iWork was introduced by Apple during Macworld San Francisco earlier in January. The software is comprised of Pages, a word processing application, and Keynote 2, the successor to the formerly stand-alone Keynote presentation solution that Steve Jobs uses to put on his own keynote presentations.

Calling Pages the more interesting of the two applications, Mr. Wendland wrote, "It's really a tool for creating newsletters, stationery, brochures and the like more than a word processor. Oh, you can write letters and documents and even save them to the Word format, but for anyone who does a lot of writing, this is not the main word processor you'd want to use."

In a somewhat harsh assessment, Mr. Wendland said "At best, Pages is a poor man's version of the Microsoft Publisher program for Windows."

As for Keynote 2, Mr. Wendland noted that it is easier to work with and "greatly improved" over its predecessor, "it still seems a bit klutzy compared with PowerPoint. For instance, it lacks PowerPoint's ease of imbedding and playing movies in slides."

Comparisons to Microsoft's established Word and PowerPoint are inevitable in that Pages and Keynote are both intended to serve the core functionality of their Big Redmond counterparts. Though the iWork suite is a fraction of the price of just Word, for instance, many consumers and professionals alike will be making the comparison, whether or not either of Apple's offerings are intended to replace Word or PowerPoint.

Mr. Wendland's review attempts to look at the applications from that view point. You can find the full review at the Free Press's Web site.

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