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The After Mac

Office vs. iWork, Which Side Are You On?

by Juan on September 30th, 2007

I’m not really a heavy Office or iWork user. I hardly do presentations and the only software from any of these two suites I use is Word. However I was spurred by this discussion over at the Philippine Mac Users Group forum. For you Mac users, which software suite do you prefer?

Microsoft Office is the current standard. It’s been there quite awhile and you’ll probably find it on most computers both Mac and PCs. However that being said, it doesn’t mean its the best. Office 2004 which is the current version for the Mac is severely lacking an upgrade. It’s been around for years and it’s still not an Intel native binary.

Another thing against Office is the steep cost of ownership. The Standard Edition costs $399.95. That’s a bit expensive for most consumers. While a Student and Teacher Edition is also available for $149.95, it’s not available to all.

Microsoft Office includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Entourage and Messenger.

iWork on the other hand is Apple’s answer to Office. Its current version iWork 08 finally brings it up to competing with Office in the major areas of word processing, presentations and now spreadsheets.

Unlike Office, iWork is a universal binary which can take advantage of the native performance of the Intel processors. This translates to a much faster set of applications.

iWork is not as robust as Office in terms of functions but it has most functions that regular users need. Add to that the simplicity of its user interface makes it a great alternative to Office.

At $79 dollars, iWork looks like a steal.

So, which one do you prefer? Do you still think Office is a must have and can’t live without it or are you part of the growing number of people who think that iWork is a worthy alternative?

I for one think that for consumers, iWork is a great tool. Cheaper, faster and easier to use. For office or corporate use, I still think Office has the upper hand.

Office 2008 is on the way but I’ll reserve my comments until I give it a go.

So, share your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

POSTED IN: Juan's Posts, Software, Commentaries

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