Limpag: Office apps on the go-A A +A
Sunday, September 15, 2013
APPLE announced during its unveiling of iOS 7 and new iPhone models last week that iWork, its suite of office applications, will come free with new iPhones and iPads.
The office suite comprises presentation software Keynote, word processing and page layout application Pages, spreadsheet app Numbers, iPhoto and movie editing app iMovie.
The move is a direct challenge to Microsoft, where Office still serves as one of its strongest revenue foundation.
The challenge comes at a tricky time for the once dominant software behemoth - when it is slowly bringing people away from locally installed Office that you buy and pay for one-time and use for as long as you want, to the Web-based Office 365 that you rent and pay for monthly.
The value of the free iWork apps adds up to close to $40, based on App store prices.
The amount is substantial but Apple will likely be getting more in the bargain – more people will be using its Office suite and some would pay for upgrades in iCloud storage.
The move is also a response to Google’s online office suite Google Drive, which is offered for free, but with paid upgrades, with a Google account and comes with an excellent mobile application for Android and iOS.
Google Drive is a full office software suite with Documents, Presentation, Forms, Spreadsheet and Drawing components. Unlike Office and iWork, Google Drive is a purely online suite that you use and access using a Web browser. You do not need to install software to write documents or prepare slideshow presentations.
Unlike the desktop versions of Office and iWork, Google Drive files are hosted in your account and are accessible from anywhere and at anytime. There’s no more need to save and keep track of files whether in your company network, your disk drives or even in portable USB devices - the documents, presentations and spreadsheets are immediately accessible as you open your Google Drive account.
The recent developments are manifestations of the current trend in computing, which is going mobile and in the “cloud,” a term to describe utility computing and storage done over the Internet.
It used to be that you needed to be on a desktop or a laptop with Office software like Microsoft Office or LibreOffice to work on documents and presentations. With today’s devices, connectivity and applications, you can do it even on your phone or tablet from anywhere with an Internet signal.
You can start working on a document on your desktop in the office and then finish it on a tablet in a coffee shop or even on a bed at home. It frees people from having to work on an office desk and empowers them on the field. That trend will speed up with the free availability of apps like iWork and Google Drive. That will have far-reaching implications on productivity and office processes. (www.twitter.com/maxlimpag)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 16, 2013.