Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Exciting New Announcement: iWork '08

I've been using Macs for quite a while now, on and off, and I have noticed that there is just one thing that has made Apple dependent on Microsoft: Excel. Sure, you can install Open Office and use it, but it doesn't have Apple's flare for the dramatic, the sleek, the sexy. Instead, it has been very, very functional (hopefully that has covered both sides of the argument).

I have long thought that the best thing Apple could do is create a rival to Excel that was easy to use. When Office 2007 came out, I noticed that Microsoft had the same idea. So they decided to make a suite that was easy to use, and I still took 2 weeks with a manual to read up on how to use the blasted thing.

Well, with the announcement of the new iMacs (which I have been expecting for some time), Apple also announced a new addition to iWork: Numbers. Yes, Apple finally has their spreadsheet program, and by all accounts it looks and sounds really nice. It's supposed to make manipulating numbers as fun as using iPhoto or iMovie.

I say supposed to, because that's what Keynote and Pages were supposed to do. I've used both, and still use them for design, but as their tools are not familiar to me, I don't use them exclusively. Instead, I use the Microsoft Suite for Powerpoint, and I just started using Google Docs and Spreadsheets for everything else.

Will I try Numbers? You bet! It's something that I have been waiting for since iWork was announced. But will I use it exclusively? That all depends on just how easy it is to use. I'm not, in spite of some accusations from friends, a Mac snob. I'm quite happy to use any other application out there that is useful, or any other platform that meets my needs. After all, I bought Parallels to run Ubuntu and Windows XP. It all comes down to need. But I would rather stick with one platform for simplicity's sake.

Anyway, if you want more information about iWork 2008, there is a press release article here. Also, while you are in the neighborhood, check out the new iMacs. They look really sweet. ^_^

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