Detroit Free Press: iWork Needs Some Work

Mike Wendland, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press who often writes positive pieces about Apple and the Mac platform, said Tuesday he thinks Appleis new software package, iWork, needs some work. Mr. Wendland wrote that Pages isnit a full-featured word processing program, and that Keynote "seems a bit klutzy" compared to Microsoftis 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, "Itis 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 youid want to use."

In a somewhat harsh assessment, Mr. Wendland said "At best, Pages is a poor manis 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 PowerPointis ease of imbedding and playing movies in slides."

Comparisons to Microsoftis 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 Appleis offerings are intended to replace Word or PowerPoint.

Mr. Wendlandis review attempts to look at the applications from that view point. You can find the full review at the Free Pressis Web site.