back to article Apple seeks techies, designers to revive iWork office suite

Apple looks set to refresh its answer to Microsoft's office: the neglected iWork software suite, which hasn't received a significant update since 2009. Listings on its jobs page, some of which date back a few months, the fruity firm says it is looking for nine people to help develop the office software collection. Could this …


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  1. JDX Gold badge

    there have been few major changes since 2009

    A bit like MS Office then...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: there have been few major changes since 2009

      With office, I now have integration into cloud services (should I want them) and the ability to hook excel up to a HPC cluster. They're pretty major changes.

      1. Chad H.

        Re: there have been few major changes since 2009

        So the only one of those that the home user cares about was a catchup to iWork...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: there have been few major changes since 2009

      The difference is that Office was already good in 2009.

      2010 was a lot better than 2007, though, imho - but it was a lot of tweaks that made the difference.

    3. LarsG


      I like the simplicity of iWorks, suits me sir.

      Office has its plus points but it is so big and bloated, can anyone really say they need so many features?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simplicity

        I very much doubt anyone needs all of the features in Office, but I bet there are people who use lots of them and that those people who use lots of them use different lots of them, especially within companies.

  2. Katz

    What took them so long?

    I can't believe Apple weren't on this a year or two ago. A nice wireless keyboard for the ipad, compatibility with the Mac and PC to move documents to and fro QUICKLY and EASILY and a killer deal on an Office compatible software package(oh, sorry, App), all together, makes an ipad seriously interesting.

    I'm also blown away that Microsoft didn't use their position in the business market and offer up the Office package on Windows tablets more wisely. Some years ago with the release of MS's first Xbox, they were willing to take quite a hit on each unit in order to get them out there. They were determined to do battle with Sony and did rather well too. I just haven't seen this same vigor and aggressiveness against the iPad. MS needed to release a good (not even 'great') tablet, perhaps bundled with Office 'Lite' or something to give people a start, to be prepared to muscle into the market and take a hit on each unit and eventually bringing production costs down. They didn't do any of that and on top of that, with sheer arrogance and in panic, they've now got themselves into a bit of a pickle. To put it mildly.

    1. jason 7

      Re: What took them so long?

      Indeed with the tablets and the new Win8 phones I was expecting a 50% discount at least to help build up customers and ecosystem. You know when you have next to no market share in a dominated market you really have to give consumers a very good reason to consider your offering.

      When I saw what they were asking I immediately looked elsewhere.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: What took them so long?

        For sure, knocking 50% off the price would aid adoption, but I don't think MS would be able to rely upon future revenue as they could with the XBOX- with sales of games, peripherals and XBOX Live subscriptions.

        If MS tablets were sold that cheaply, there would definitely be a concerted effort to get Android and Linux running on them, so many of the cheap units would go to penguins- and that wouldn't help MS at all.

        Many of the people who bought the HP Touchpad during the firesale did so knowing that they would be happy to just use its built in features (browser, media playback) and wouldn't be buying software for it in future.

    2. Joe Gurman

      Re: What took them so long?

      I have a nice wireless keypad for my iPad, but I hardly ever use it. I'm going to assume it's a personal preferences/clumsiness thing (I'm clumsy enough with any keyboard that a good keyboard doesn't help much). I don't know about PCs, but is trivial to access iCloud docs on Macs as well as the iPad. Walled garden indeed, but if it's your garden, it works for you.

      Even on my desktop Mac (yes, I still use one of those things; it has something to do with 27-inch displays), I use Pages to read Word docs and Numbers to generate spreadsheets --- admittedly, nowhere near as complex as Excel ones can be. Keynote is still miles above Powerpoint in reliability and portability of output. All Apple really need to do is update the apps so they can export to the Office 2010 formats (.docx, .pptx, &c.), instead of just the old ones.

  3. AndrewG

    Few Major Changes

    I should have thought that was a selling point, no new ribbons, no addition of fringe rubbish just because the company wants to sell a new version every year,

  4. John Robson Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Hopefully they'll bring many of the missing features to the iOS versions -they're good, but they're a touch limited compared with the desktop versions...

  5. Ivan Headache


    There are one or two minor things I would like to see - like a button for entering the alignment section in Keynote. But more importantly, they need to introduce a DB module that can open and use existing Appleworks/Clarisworks DBs. The current way is an absolute fudge and means that the DB has to be completely recreated in Filemaker or something else in order to make it work. For a small business that has DBs going back many years that is generally a cost too far.

    Also, it would be nice (but not essential) if they could make it possible to open AW Drawing files so that they can still be used. I know there are apps out there that can open AW drawings, they don't have the integration that AW has. (I say has rather than had because I have many clients who are hanging on to older macs just so that they can continue to use years-old files in AW.)

  6. an it guy

    "This position requires a self-motivated individual with strong problem solving skills who can contribute in a dynamic team environment."

    Hmmm. Am I the only one who thought that read like pretty much every job description I've seen recently?

    1. adam.c

      A wave of cynicism washed over me..

      .. and I had the same thought also.

      Be nice occasionally to see an honest job advert - "would suit unambitious mid level dev who requires some direction but generally won't break anything or be too fancy with their designs"

      I'm sure Dominic will pop along to tell us why recruiters feel the need to push every job as once in a lifetime, top gun challenge.

    2. chekri

      Ninja? Is this some subtle way of saying that non-Japanese need not apply?

      Or are we expecting a Beverly Hills Ninja sort of person; tubby white guys with a malformed ego?

      I don't see how either of the above lends itself to creating an office suite.

  7. qzdave

    they don't get it

    As has already been said on El Reg, they don't get it. iWork / iCloud only stores Apple docs to my knowledge. Connecting anything non-apple to iCloud for mail is a nightmare. Christ, when I got my first Ipad, you couldn't add an attachment... can you now?

    On an unrelated note, I'm moving off mac. I had everything they sold, but they broke samba, Apple server is a mess, they haven't done anything useful with the OS in years, and when my macbook pro wouldn't connect to a run-of-the-mill bluetooth keyboard (that everything else in the house including a PS3 connected to) I gave up.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: they don't get it

      You can't add attachments other than photos and videos from the mail app, but you from pages, numbers and presumably keynote, I don't have keynote, there is an option to send the file by email.

  8. David Kelly 2


    I have a 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon Mac Pro 8GB and iWork is slow.

    It has problems mapping fonts from one machine to the next. Complains when opening a document about all sorts of things and when you tell it to "just fix it", it doesn't.

    Can't even open a document and view it without getting a message when closing, "This document has changed ..."

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Slow


      "This document has changed ..."

      Much like MS Office then.

  9. tempemeaty

    I was wondering about Apples own Mac software support lately. I'm going to watch this one. If they are going to get back on the ball with it and make me feel Apple hasn't lost interest in their Mac (OSX) product line I'll switch.

    I need the kind of OS that lets me re-install the special and expensive software I use without me having to get a new version of my software every time the OS is updated. Only Windows and OSX can served me in that capacity. Trouble is that Windows and I are having a falling out. Windows(XP, Vista, Win7) has, far to often, over the years gotten hung up on simple daily file management tasks giving me the stupid Windows Explorer is Not Responding message while it thinks about it for 2 to 3 minutes.

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