PC Mag: iWork "Most Creative" Office Suite "in Years"

Despite good marks for the Mac mini and iPod shuffle from Windows-based magazine PC Magazine editor-in-chief Michael Miller believes iWork i05 is "the most creative office-productivity package" in years and might spur Microsoft and ist developers to "rethink their software design" of other applications.

In his latest column for the March 8 issue, Mr. Miller wrote that iWork i05 "may turn out to be most influential" new Apple product in some time and "is the most creative office-productivity package weive seen in years."

Mr. Miller said iWork "rethinks" the way software features are presented and "offers a visual way of looking at your documents, so it brings out many features that are buried in Microsoft products.

"Microsoft Office is as dominant in the office market as Microsoft Windows is on the operating-system side," he wrote. "But in recent years, Microsoft has focused more on adding enterprise features than on changing the core word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation features. Office has some decent competitors?Corel WordPerfect and StarOffice/OpenOffice?but they have focused primarily on being compatible with Microsoft software.

"This more competitive software from Apple might finally get Microsoft to overhaul PowerPoint, and might also get Microsoft and the developers of other Windows-based productivity packages to rethink their software design. And that could lead to more innovation than weive seen in office suites for a long, long time."

While he called the presentation package, Keynote, and Appleis new word processor, Pages, "visually stunning, with graphics, shading, and lots of incredibly professional-looking templates," he also said they are not "ready for the broader business audience."

"Keynote is sluggish at times, its importation of PowerPoint is far from perfect, and it doesnit offer a slick way of publishing your presentation on a CD or DVD. Pages lacks a grammar checker, revision marks, and the collaboration, tracking, and security features that Microsoft Word offers."

In a separate review of iWork i05 by Edward Mendelson, the productivity suite received a three-and-a-half point out of five rating, or "good" to "very good".