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Microsoft exec: iWork 'struggling,' we've built a 'better solution'

updated 08:29 pm EDT, Wed October 23, 2013

Frank Shaw blasts iPad event

Microsoft communications head Frank Shaw has blasted Apple's latest event and first impressions from attendees, claiming the "reality distortion field ... has extended beyond Cupertino." The executive argues that Microsoft's own Surface and Surface 2 devices represent cheaper alternatives to the new iPads, and, thanks to free Office software, are better suited to productivity tasks.

Shaw suggests it's "not surprising" to see Microsoft's competitors adding "watered down" productivity apps and "bolting on aftermarket input devices" in an effort to "convince people that their entertainment devices are really work machines."

"In that spirit, Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their "iWork" suite of apps," Shaw added. "Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it's hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn't change the fact that it's much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking."

The executive further criticizes journalists who have covered Apple's unveiling event, quipping that "perhaps attendees ... were required to work on iOS devices that don't allow them to have two windows open for side-by-side comparisons." He argues that Apple's move to offer iWork apps for free is simply "an attempt to play catch up."

Apple's new iPad Air ships for $499, in contrast to Surface 2's $449 entry point. Aside from the free iLife and iWork offerings, Apple also took a shot at Microsoft by offering the latest significant Mac update, known as OS X Mavericks, as a free download rather than selling it for Mountain Lion's $20 upgrade free, which was already a fraction of the Windows 8 cost.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    Author Fail. Try looking up the word "blast".

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    I've used Word 2010, Word 2013, Pages and OpenOffice Write. I'll take Pages. Write is a close second. Office with the ribbon isn't even in the race. I literally HATE the ribbon.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I think Microsoft has a point: their device is certainly not capable of being entertaining ...

  1. david-dever

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-23-13

    Might that be why the iOS versions of Office continue to be delayed (while MS sorts out its own hardware & software issues on Surface et al)? One would hate to see MS relegated to a mere app vendor, much like the days of the original Macintosh....

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 09-18-99

    remember the 'rounding error comment' way back?

  1. lvavila

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-21-11

    If I want to do "true" work Ill use my Air or Retina Pro. If I want to consume, I'll use my tablet. Microsoft can continue to think 1 OS with a surface can do it all. Meanwhile as a consumer I'll continue to spend my funds on devices that work for me making me money. As a developer I look at the Surface as a future platform for my solutions. As a consumer, I'll never touch one.

    Meanwhile MS offers office for iOS devices while continuing to downplay Apple. What a joke.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Paul...LOL!

    If Office on a mobile tablet is such a game-changer, why are the Surface sales so terrible? Selling a $20 software app for free is not the same as selling a $500 device for $350...lipstick on a pig.

  1. slboett

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 05-13-99

    I see the clowns that will remain after Fester is gone are just as naive. Well, I like competition, but MS ain't it. I also laugh at the magnetic keyboard as it's direct rip of Apple's smart cover. They just don't get it. And that dude that does those Surface commercials? I'd smack him in the chops if I ever saw him.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Wow. Frank Shaw is the next Steve Ballmer for sure!
    Surface (1% market share, probably made up of MS and Nokia employees) is productive tool? LOL.
    Surprisingly Surface 2 was released (quietly) the same day as Apple Event and no one noticing. So sad.

  1. Leatherropes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-02-11

    What else could Microsoft say? But Microsoft IS worried.

  1. KTheory

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-08-07

    Pages and Keynote destroy word and power point, but numbers is still not as good as excel.

  1. Leatherropes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-02-11

    Microsoft is struggling. And irrelevant as usual.

  1. TheGreatButcher

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 06-11-00

    What better solution? We've had iPhones for 6 years, iPads for 3, yet no iOS office. Release something rather than talk about vaporware.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    All I know is, when you're reduced to attacking your competitors to promote your product, you just end up looking scared.

    And of course, if I were an MS exec today, I'd be *terrified*, so that's not much of a surprise.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by TheGreatButcherView Post

    What better solution? We've had iPhones for 6 years, iPads for 3, yet no iOS office. Release something rather than talk about vaporware.



    They can't release Office for iPad after hyping Office as the primary selling point of the Surface.

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    I won't argue wether Microsoft is right or wrong, I simply don't care, but those who think that Pages destroys Word simply don't understand the difference between writing a letter for your grandma and working on a complex text. I'm not saying that Pages is uncapable to do quite a lot of complex work, but there are stil lot of features missing. Point out the good features on Pages, but don't make yourself look like a fool here by bashing Word just for the sake of bashing.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Indeed.

    The only iWork app that truly smashes Microsoft's offering is Keynote.

    Pages is wonderful in that regular people can do WAY more with it than with Microsoft Word (though Word is absolutely much more potent, the interface is arcane and convoluted enough to make one give up on much of the even slightly-more-complex), but Office has workflow tools and scripting that make it virtually peerless for many, well, offices.

    And while I have yet to use the new iWork (can't upgrade my main machine to Mavericks yet), the apparent crippling/removal of AppleScript support and the...simplification...of Numbers do not bode well.

  1. nuke49

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-28-02

    "...those who think that Pages destroys Word simply don't understand the difference between writing a letter for your grandma and working on a complex text."

    We produce large complex documents as part of my work. Word is very poor at this; unfortunately it's the format everybody expects

  1. nuke49

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-28-02

    "...those who think that Pages destroys Word simply don't understand the difference between writing a letter for your grandma and working on a complex text."

    We produce large complex documents as part of my work. Word is very poor at this; unfortunately it's the format everybody expects

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    @nuke49
    Do we really need to go into details now?
    For the start, create a table in the pages document, insert a text into a cell and try to put a footnote on that text.
    I'm not saying that the workflow in ms word is the best one, nor do I say that it handles complex big files in the best way. But it has the most features to do a text relating job. Period.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Just see things like document templates that pull values from a centralized database and enter them automatically based upon what you've input elsewhere.

    This is business bread and butter.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    To me Pages is a cross between MS Word and MS Publisher (Windows only). Windows users use Publisher for page layout (not in Word). Lots of real estate agents uses Publisher. Office is still the standard format but somehow it doesn't help selling Surface that drives them nuts.

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