Microsoft: Apple’s free iWork is ‘watered down’, iPad ‘entertainment device’

Microsoft’s senior executive fires back at Apple on the company’s official blog

Microsoft-Apples-free-iWork-is-watered-down-iPad-entertainment-device

“Our competition is different. They’re confused. They chased after netbooks, now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows that they’ll do next? I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that we’re focused,” said Tim Cook during Apple’s iPad media event on Tuesday.

 

Apple’s assault on Microsoft didn’t go unnoticed. In a post on the official Microsoft blog, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of communications, Frank Shaw has posted his response to Apple’s free iWork suite of applications as well as the new iPads.

 

While Apple CEO Tim Cook might argue that hybrid devices like the Surface are a sign that its competitors are confused, Shaw says the hybrid approach was because Microsoft knew exactly what people wanted in tablets and was responding to that.

 

Shaw writes, “That’s what Surface is. A single, simple, affordable device that helps you both lean in and kick back. Let’s be clear – helping folks kill time on a tablet is relatively easy. Give them books, music, videos and games, and they’ll figure out the rest. Pretty much all tablets do that,” and adds that “But helping people be productive on a tablet is a little trickier. It takes an understanding of how people actually work, how they get things done, and how to best support the way they do things already.

 

In other words, the Surface is meant to be for work and for play and argues that the same can’t be said for Apple’s iPad.

 

“Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world’s most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively,” said Shaw. “Making Apple’s decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal.”

 

During Apple’s media event on Tuesday, the company announced that the new operating system, OS X Mavericks will be offered for free, and the iWorks suite will be pre-installed on all new iOS and Mac devices, while owners who purchased the apps through the App Store can upgrade without any fee.

 

Let’s be clear on the above, Shaw’s argument that the iPad is not a productivity device might overlook the fact that, for many people, it is a productivity device. Microsoft Office might have better design than Apple’s iWork but the company has a lot of catching up to do before the Surface sees sales figures anywhere near the iPad.


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