Microsoft Sticks By Apple As Rumors of Apple Productivity Suite Spread

Heading into Macworld, rumors of a new productivity suite from Apple that might compete with Microsoft Office have made been making the rounds. Microsoft, however, is sticking by Apple, according to a statement from the companyis Mac Business Unit published by CNet News.

"Our relationship with Apple remains productive and strong," said Scott Erickson, group product manager for Microsoftis Macintosh Business Unit, in a statement. "Ninety-two percent of Mac users tell us they need native file compatibility between Mac and Windows--we deliver that with Office for Mac. Weire 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."

At the heart of the issue is "iWork." TMO first reported that Apple had filed for a trademark on the name on August 17th, 2004. What prompted Microsoftis statement, however, is a report from ThinkSecret detailing a supposed new productivity suite from Apple that the site says will be introduced next week by Apple.

Appleis policy is to not comment on unannounced products, but as CNet News pointed out in its article, it has long been argued by many, including Apple, that Microsoft Office is a very important product for Apple. It has also been very profitable for Microsoft, and the companyis statement suggests that will continue to be the case, rumors notwithstanding.