Armen Chakmakjian

OK so I’m a mac guy…

In Random on January 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm

But I’ve used everything before. DOS, ProDos, OS7, OSX, VMS, Windows 3.0, OSF, AIX, Blah Blah Blah…I’ve used their productivity apps…appleworks, office, iWork, DecWrite, Framemaker, EDT, TPU, EMACS, VI, Runoff, nroff, visicalc (ok now I’m dating myself) but have you taken a look at the iWork.com (beta) ?

If it is what it says it is…it’s damn amazing. I bought the first version of iWork just after buying my first mac in 2005 (on the day I left Teradyne online, literally on my way to farewell drinks). Keynote was always pretty impressive even before bundling in iWork. Pages started off as a cruel substitute for MS publisher, but since then over 3 generations have turned it into an extremely capable word processor/page layout combination. I wrote my book in pages and I love it. Numbers is ok as a spreadsheet, but has a lot of fluff and only slowly catching up to Excel if it ever will (I could not use it for my stats class because it didn’t have any of the data analysis add ons that Excel has).

Evidently, in iWork ’09 they’ve also added cross app sharing of stuff, so you can do mail merges and embed charts by symbolic links to other docs.

All that being said, what they are beta testing now is a step function different than desktop apps. You share your docs from your mac that you’ve developed in iWork, and others can annotate and edit them online and you can sync it back to your original. If they want to download a copy of their own, they can…and since it is in a browser, you can be on windows and download office style versions of the docs (rather than iWork native) if you choose.

Now you may say, so what, Google Docs, Groove and Sharepoint already exist…but they don’t look like this…the presentation of these products is really nice. I’m going to sign up for the beta, not sure what I’ll do with it, but it’ll at least give me the time to figure out what it is.

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