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Apple's Rumored Office Suite

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-much-else-happening-today dept.

OS X 863

Several anonymous readers noted that the mac rumor mill is churning already with news for the upcoming MacWorld. The current rumor is a new office suite to replace the incredibly dated AppleWorks and incredibly bloated and slow MS Office.

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Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246163)

clit fp

Hmmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246168)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

New name for the Apple Office Suite: Apple Specter?

Anyways, a new office app would be greatly appreciated in the mac environment...

Maybe they'll finally make Mac OS X native That'd be nice.

Re:Hmmm (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246308)


appleworks (3, Insightful)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246171)

Dated? Maybe! Useful for simple word processing? Absolutely.

I cann't fault it's ability to make a simple hand typed document without bloat, and for that I will continue to use it.

Re:appleworks (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246224)

thats true for write.exe, too :)

Re:appleworks (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246377)

except that it totally fucks up formatting. how many times have you tried opening something in write only to be confronted with a total mess? loads!

but then that's MS - anything written in one program, or even version of a program, can only be opened reliably in the exact same program/version. and sometimes not even then.

Man, Slashdot is really getting behind. Sub-$500 (1, Redundant)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246266)

This rumor is a few days old, though still good. What I'm shocked about is that while /. reported this rumor (a good one), they didn't report the BETTER rumor.

Namely, the Sub-$500 Mac. ml

AppleInsider also reports on it, calling it sub-$600 (ThinkSecret has however a near-perfect track record), and saying it has USB 2.0, FireWire, DVI, VGA via a dongle, and TV out.

Looks sweet.

As for this new iWorks, something not mentioned is that its supposed to include Keynote 2. Keynote is amazing from what I've heard, and if this is true, that'd be awesome. Especially if its included with the cheap Mac.

Re:Man, Slashdot is really getting behind. Sub-$50 (4, Informative)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246310)

They reported that on Dec 29th.

Think Secret Predicts Sub-$500 Headless Mac []
Posted by timothy on Wednesday December 29, @07:03AM

Re:Man, Slashdot is really getting behind. Sub-$50 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246312)

You mean this [] one?

What about (4, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246394)

Even less bloat and unlike Appleworks and it comes with all copies of OS X.

Hope it's functional and not overcandied (4, Interesting)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246175)

It's about time for a replacement, but I hope the changes made - if the rumor is indeed true - are solid, needed ones rather than an artsy, candied gloss over the previous offering.

Oh, Please Let It Be So! (5, Interesting)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246180)

The office suite is the lynchpin of practically every single consumer computer setup, with the possible exception of dedicated gaming machines. Apple has been repeatedly demonstrating that they want to give people a computer that "Just Works". The integration between Apple applications and the system is simply amazing.

Who wouldn't welcome a slick, well-integrated, back-to-basics, consumer-grade office suite to come out of Apple?

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (5, Insightful)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246271)

The integration between Apple applications and the system is simply amazing.

It is amazing when its Apple but evil when its Microsoft?

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (-1, Flamebait)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246339)

No, it'll be cool, because it won't fully support the .DOC, .XLS, .PPT, or .MDB formats.

Worthless functionality for a slightly lower price. Oh boy!

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (5, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246370)

You have never used Keynote, I take?

If they can produce Word and Excel equivalents to the level that Keynote demolishes PowerPoint...

People will be begging them for Windows ports.

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (2)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246429)

Keynote and Powerpoint make people dumber. I'm too lazy to look up the coresponding Slashdot article.

The only reason people need flashy presentations is to compensate for lack of content.

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246373) supports .DOC, so I don't think it would be too hard to imagine AppleWorks supporting it as well. If OpenOffice and all the other 'alternative' Office Suits support .DOC and .XLS then it's fairly well documented in some circles.

As for .PPT, that's already supported in Apple's Keynote, which is leaps and bounds better than PowerPoint, in my opinion.

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246356)

Yes; yes it is.

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246388)

i have no love for apple, actually i dont like apple much.

but there is a difference between unfair market dominance and terrible business practices that completely dominate an industry, and a smaller company adding a new product that works well with other things.

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (0, Troll)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246417)

>It is amazing when its Apple but evil when its Microsoft?

yes. there's a difference between Apple "integrating" things and Microsoft "just locking everyone else out".

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (1)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246419)

It's amazing when done in an elegant, robust, scalable fashion, as Apple has done in OS X. Where did I say anything about Microsoft?

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246428)

Exactly, because when someone says "integration" with respect to Apple products, they mean there is added functionality with a clean simple interface between apps, generally including non-apple apps, via documented interfaces.

When someone says "integration" with respect to microsoft they mean you can't easily use anything but microsoft apps with this product's special features.

Re:Oh, Please Let It Be So! (2, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246442)

The office suite is the lynchpin of practically every single consumer computer setup

How do you figure?

That may have been the case five years ago, but not now -- the most important applications that runs on a consumer PC today are the web browser and the email client.

bloated office suite? (1, Interesting)

bdigit (132070) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246182)

Isn't that the point of an office suite? To have everything you would need. If you don't want bloated go use vi,vim,joe,nano,pico,or abiword, or and mutt,pine,so forth.

Re:bloated office suite? (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246251)

'And if you don't want slow go use office on windows'
Exactly what microsoft wants to hear. Anyways it's good to hear Mac will have a decent office suite.

Re:bloated office suite? (1)

xv4n (639231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246255)

Or notepad.... Sometimes I joke with colleges about notepad being the most secure web browser ever and everybody should be using it.

Re:bloated office suite? (4, Insightful)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246278)

There are really two classes of users that need ``office'' software.

At the low end, you have most home users and students. Most of this group just needs basic wordprocessing and spreadsheet functionality. The most advanced feature would really need to be spellcheck.

At the high end, you have the business users who use a lot of the advanced features like revision tracking, charting, scheduling, etc.

I'm not really sure one suite can cover both audiences.

Re:bloated office suite? (-1, Offtopic)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246380)

There are really two classes of users that need ``office'' software Most keyboards have a built in double quote. Simply press SHIFT and the ' key. This gives you ". Thank you for complying.

Re:bloated office suite? (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246366)

I could just see explaining vi to the non-initiated, "it just works", Apple target market.

Re:bloated office suite? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246371)

Isn't that the point of an office suite? To have everything you would need. If you don't want bloated go use vi,vim,joe,nano,pico,or abiword, or and mutt,pine,so forth

Yup. Here's my view of, say, MS Word compared to other word processors: it has a couple of features that are much much better than anything the others have, and has a zillion useless things that I could do without.

The thing is, even though most people would agree with me on that...they would pick a different "couple of features" as the ones that it does better than everything else.

Having extra things that I can ignore is not a deal breaker, whereas not having those two or three things I find great is a deal breaker.

Re:bloated office suite? (4, Funny)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246387)

hahaha. Ever since being forced to learn vi, I wonder how any non nerd could ever hope to use it. I was lucky to have 50 of berkeley's finest nerds around to ask questions to (how do I do a global search and replace, how do I form regular expressions, etc). For everyone else, working at non tech companies it was a struggle going from WP to Office in the mid 90's. Even now most people's knowledge of word is pretty rudimentary. I attempted to learn GNU Emacs in the 90's and found that it was colliding with my vi knowledge and soon I would be able to use neither. Emacs seemed even more convoluted than vi was (vi made a wierd sort of sense to me, i could easily remember dl, dw, dd and other such commands since they stood for something.

I forced myself to learn vi so I could edit my usenet kill files. At one point I had a 600 line kill file for Ahh the joy of instantly killing depeche mode discographies and spandau ballet discussions was intoxicating. I think I got more joy watching my kill file at work than reading what was left.

Re:bloated office suite? (1)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246425)

Or for that matter any simple text editor, though I don't understand what kind of word processing that would be!!!

Wonder what code base (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246183)

The interesting thing is, they already have a simple Word replacement - TextEdit. It case read and write Word files. The only thing it's really missing is table support, which is supposed to be coming in Tiger. With that it can completely replace Word for me.

So I wonder if a full-blown word processor would be a souped-up TextEdit, or base off something else - just like they used KHTML instead of Mozilla as a base for Safari.

Re:Wonder what code base (2, Informative)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246194)

I'm sure you mean instead of gecko, the mozilla core, rather than basing it on mozilla itself.

Sorry, yes (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246250)

A bit off the cuff - I did mean Gecko (the rendering engine), just couldn't think of the term.

Re:Wonder what code base (0)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246335)

No, Safari is indeed based on KHTML rather than Gecko.

Re:Wonder what code base (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246267)

They could do worse than base it off Kword.

That's one I was wondering about (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246347)

Given that they liked Khtml, I was wonderign about KWord - does it also read and write Word files? I guess they could use code from TextEdit for that.

Open Office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246185)

What? Is it chopped liver? There's a MacOS [] version.

Re:Open Office? (5, Informative)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246323)

The MacOS version requires XFree86 to run and work has slowed on the Aqua and Quartz tracks [] .

I'm quite certain that should this rumored office suite actually come to market that it will not require XF86 to run. This should please the average Mac user that finds the current OOo interface terrible looking, not to mention very interesting to use.

Don't get me wrong, I use OOo and am happy for it. I hope to help the porting along as much as I can. Right now, it's still scary for most (Mac) people.

Slashdot's Apple section: Rumors for Nerds. Speculation that matters.

Re:Open Office? (2, Insightful)

biggyfries (622846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246342)

Open Office would be a good program, but if you are looking for Aqua/Cocoa integration, then you will need to turn to MS Office, for the near future. OOo runs in X11 on the Mac, and that's it. On their FAQ, they dont plan on having Aqua integration until after OOo 2.0 comes out. It would be nice to have a office suite that worked prefectly with AppleScript (MS Office does, but is very primitive).

AppleWorks isn't dated (2, Interesting)

krog (25663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246186)

It sucked from the get-go, or at least the Mac version did. The Apple ][ version was elite.

I hope Apple writes a winner, I'd love to avoid MS Office in the future.

Re:AppleWorks isn't dated (5, Informative)

Bob Hearn (61879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246294)

If by "from the get-go" you mean when it was still called ClarisWorks, I have to take offense (given that I wrote a lot of it). All the reviewers of the early versions, and millions of users, would disagree with you. In fact there are still lots of things you can do with AppleWorks that you can do with no other single program out there.

That said, by the time the name was changed to AppleWorks, the ball had clearly been dropped, and essentially nothing has been done for the past few years. So, dated - yes. Sucked from the get-go - I think (hope) you have a minority opinion there.

Details on ClarisWorks/AppleWorks history here: []

Bob Hearn

left out one adjective (4, Insightful)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246188) replaced the incredibly dated Apple Works and incredibly expensive,bloated and slow MS Office.

Re:left out one adjective (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246297)

Expensive maybe, slow? I dont find Word or Excel to be slow on my iBook (1.2ghz, 12" 512mb ram). I also dont find it to be slow on the B&W G3 350mhz I bought off of ebay also with 512mb ram. Its certainly as quick as Appleworks. Bloated? Maybe, but the bloat doesnt get in the way of the things I *do* use, so why complain about something you dont use now, but you may use lateron?

Not According to Microsoft (2, Interesting)

grennis (344262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246360)

According to this post [] from MS themselves, Office 2003 is actually quite cheap.

Re:left out one adjective (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246385)


Cars are expensive, but if they do what you need them to do, they are worth the price.

VideoCards are expensive -- but that doesn't stop geeks from spending $300 on a card that is solely there to play videogames (especially when an entire playstation is only $200).

And bloated? No one ever uses all the features -- but if you need the feature they are there. For instance, as a researcher, I use the revision feature a lot. Makes it easy to see who has done what and when. Nice when you have a doc being sent to half a dozen people. Other features I don't need. But if they weren't there, but if I want interdoc compatibility -- the app better be able to understand them.

Bloat is only a bad thing if you never plan on sharing a document or ar just writting up grocery lists.

M$ Office is one of the few apps I can't live without on my Mac. Maybe this will change with Apple's software, but then again, I like Office for OSX. I hate Windows but love office -- if thats all M$ made, I'd be happy.

Re:left out one adjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246437)

Well, to be fair, Microsoft sells a student/teacher edition of Office for $149.00 and allows you to install it on THREE computers in a household. As a teacher and parent, I found that to be VERY reasonably priced.

typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246191)

replaced or replace?

just my two cents.

Bloatedly slow? (4, Insightful)

kaleco (801384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246192)

I think the submitter has an axe to grind. I have been quite impressed with Word on OSX, and indeed the rest of the available Office suite. I would prefer to use OpenOffice, but I feel it has a little longer to mature on OSX.

Re:Bloatedly slow? (1)

krog (25663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246235)

I like Word on OS X, but only after I spend an hour turning off all the blinky shit that Microsoft throws in to "help" the user. It costs way too much though -- I would care about that if I'd ever paid for it.

Re:Bloatedly slow? (2, Interesting)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246274)

Ever hear of the uncanny valley [] ? There's something like that going on with Office for Mac. At a glance, it appears to look and behave just like a Mac program should, but somehow... well, it's hard to point to anything specific, but there's something a little off. Popup menus are drawn with custom routines instead of Cocoa. The inline spellchecker doesn't antialias the underline squiggle properly. And so on and so forth. It just makes one queasy.

I'd welcome a productivity suite from Apple.

No offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246318)

"It just makes one queasy"

You're either lying or weird. No offense.

I've used some pretty crappy programs in my time (since 1979): (a) none of them left me feeling queasy (b) MS Office is a nice program. I just bought it for my new Mac, and I genuinely like the whole thing.

In fact Entourage is one of the best email programs out there for anything.

Re:Bloatedly slow? (1)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246287)

I have to agree - I haven't used MS Office much under OSX, but I can't say i've noticed any speed problems yet.

Same with the Windows version (except for Outlook - even on my wife's 2.4 P4 machine it still crawls on startup), though I assume the submitter wasn't concerned with that.

Re:Bloatedly slow? (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246306)

Then can I please trade you my 600 mHz iBook for whatever computer you are using to run Word on OS X?

Re:Bloatedly slow? (2, Informative)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246412)

OpenOffice=Bloated. Microsoft Office on OSX is pretty good IMHO. I don't know where the submitter got the idea that it's bloated. I run it on a 1 GHz Powerbook and it runs fine. The BIGGEST item I have to bitch about with Apple is that OS X runs best with at least 512MB and can take all you can give it (more you have, less you have to swap). Increase ram and OS X and everything else including Office will run faster.

VIM baby VIM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246204)

vi, vim, nedit, openoffice, emacs!!!! oh my!

Not again... (2, Informative)

Speed Whiplash (823450) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246209)

This rumor comes up every year. Look at textEdit with its simple interface and MS Word compatibility. Apple could do it, yes, but would they want to?

The name is free (5, Interesting)

browse (557685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246210)

I noticed a piece of Mac shareware just released a new version today. The reason? They are dropping their old "iWork" name for a new one. Veddy interestink.

(Note, the piece of shareware is now titled "iBiz" [] .)

Re:The name is free (3, Interesting)

krog (25663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246336)

haha, that reminds me of a project a couple of friends had a few years ago. it was a simple infrared device, which was designed to cheaply communicate fixed information with a PDA; for example, placed next to a museum painting it could beam your PDA information about the painting and artist.

they called the prototype the "iPod".

why not do... (4, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246213)

... a better port of OpenOffice? Last I checked (admittedly about a year) there was a working port, but it required installing X11 and a few other "non-Macish" actions before it would work. Could they be better off just "fixing" it ?

Re:why not do... (4, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246351)

Probably already posted, but there's NeoOffice/J [] , which does a much better job of integrating into Mac OS X. Ignore the Windows-style widgets in the user interface - properly important things like styled copy-and-paste, printing, system fonts and so on work brilliantly, unlike with the X11-based port.

Also, it's very much in active development, and keeps on improving. They've been working on the low-level stuff first, getting that to work nicely, and they're now starting on making it much more Mac-like. Aqua menus are just one recent addition... :-)

Why build when (2, Interesting)

syntap (242090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246215)

a perfectly good office suite (free) already exists? has an OSX version.

Re:Why build when (1, Informative)

JJahn (657100) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246261)

No, is not a worthy contender (yet). It requires X11, has no integration with Mac OS, looks ugly, etc. These are things that Mac users don't tolerate.

Re:Why build when (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246383)

Like functionality over pretty pictures?

Re:Why build when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246432)

Last I heard, Apple wasn't helping with the Mac port at all. I know the they are begging for help, but don't seem to be getting any.

I am not a Mac user, but if you want to help, light a fire under Apple, or go to: and lend a hand.

Re:Why build when (4, Interesting)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246276)

It is a prefectly free office suite, but not perfectly good. The X version of requires the use of Apple's implementation of XFree86, not ideal from Apple's perspective. There is a version (NeoOffice/J) that I use and does not require X, but is mostly a copy of Microsoft Office and doesn't do a lot to really give the user a better experience. Yes, has tended to behave better than MS Office, but the interface is still filed will too many menus, and worse, too many badly placed menus and menu options. The big problem with office suites is that you have so many options and no one really stopped to think how to organize them, they just threw more and more stuff on the Tools and Format and Edit menus until you couldn't find a damn think you were looking for.

Simple (3, Insightful)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246281)

Because normal people don't run X11.

When/if they come out with an Aqua-ized version of OO.o, the reason will change to "because Apple believes they can do it better". And I'd give them every chance to try, too.

Re:Why build when (1)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246282)

Well, kind of. It uses Apple's X Server, so it doesn't use Carbon or Cocoa, which means it doesn't have the look and feel of a Mac. It's also pretty slow (of course, that's just OO.o, it's slow on most platforms).

And, because it uses X instead of native interfaces, you don't get nifty font handling, file browsing, or any other built-in feature from the OS.

To sell it with Macs to ease the pain. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246289)

It's a big hangup for people coming from Windows, they need some sort of Office compatability to convince them to come over. Sure, Office is available for $400, but it's quite pricey. If new people considering Macs find out a similar suite comes with the system for free, that can handle most Office docs, this might just be the sugar coating they need. It's a good move, but I wouldn't expect them to actually go head to head with Office, just something to give people a "leg up" with.

Re:Why build when (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246349)

a perfectly good office suite (free) already exists? has an OSX version.

That runs under X11 on OS X is enough reason not to use it for 98% of the people out there. It can't even use native menus and widgets, for Pete's sake.

I love that I can run The GIMP and friends through X11 on my Mac, but there's no way in hell I'd call it "perfectly good". X11 on Mac is adequate--enough to get the job done, but little more than that. I'll take native apps over X11 any day of the week.

Re:Why build when (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246374)

Uhm, no. The blurb says its an alternative to the bloated and slow MS Office, whereas is both of those. standard is slow, requires X to run, and looks horrible, whereas Neooffice, the OSX aqua port, is horrendously slow, and I have suffered complete freezes of the application from time to time, while its doing something behind the scenes.

Not very well (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246386)

The closest thing there is to OpenOffice on OS X is NeoOfficeJ - a Java front end for OpenOffice. While it works, it doesn't integrate with the rest of the system all that well.

That said even though I own a legit copy of Office X, I do still use NeoOfficeJ whenever possible.

A $499 Mac? How terribly crass (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246218)

Oh no, here come the proles. The tasteless rabble. The masses who see nothing past the price tag. Of course you can't blame them if their trust funds aren't large enough to provide them with life's very finest--they wouldn't appreciate it anyways--but surely Apple should know better than to serve the poor peasants la crème de la vie on the discount rack at Sears.

There was a time, not long ago, when you could tell everything that mattered about a person by his or her choice of operating system. You would notice a man at the local bistro with his titanium PowerBook and a deep garnet Merlot, and you instinctively knew: here is a man with a certain flair, a je ne sais quoi that makes his company worth your while. You'd wonder if the dark-clad woman striding down the street was your type; then you'd notice tucked under her arm a Duo 2300c, so retro and so delicously delicate, and you'd be smitten, simply devastated. You'd go for coffee along Bedford and the two of you would talk about the next East Village gallery opening, or the latest collection from Philippe Starck, or how Frank Lloyd Wright had ruined American architecture.

And it wasn't just about being able to identify like-minded individuals. As a Mac user yourself, you belonged to an exclusive club of discriminating individuals and creative geniuses. Artists like Picasso. Activists like Teresa Heinz. Revolutionaries like Václav Havel. Writers like Dave Eggers. Actresses like Chloë Sevigny. I remember at a cocktail party in SoHo once--it must have been in the mid-'90s--Susan Sontag, Haruki Murakami and I spent hours debating the merits of Mac OS 8's new "Platinum" theme. Those were fine times, indeed.

But ever since the introduction of the mass-produced iMac and iBook, it's been getting harder to distinguish the aesthetically conscious literati from the unwashed masses. It started with the yuppies, and now it's moving on to state-school students and former Dell buyers. On Bedford Avenue, L Café is gone, replaced by a Baby Gap. Soon it will be smelly Linux enthusiasts (ugh!) popping their pimples over translucent keyboards and lickable widgets.

We Mac users were willing to forgive Apple the iPod's popularity, but this... if this rumor is true, then this is going too far. Mon Dieu! Apple, why do you want to sell to these poor peasants? These people don't appreciate beauty and elegance. They don't understand it. They probably even voted for Bush--all four times.

Mr. Jobs, please establish eligibility requirements for the purchase of a new Mac. A good start would be to disqualify anyone who listens to Ashanti or anything they play on K-Rock. You could also disqualify people who think digital watches are cool, as well as all objectivists. In America, don't even bother selling to the lower Midwest. Don't accept applications postmarked from trailer parks. Ban the entire Hilton family.

One way or another, something must be done to preserve the Macintosh community. Anguished but unified, we cry out with one voice. Dam the river, close the gates, pull up the portcullis, keep out the tasteless proles. Please, Mr. Jobs, don't wait until it's too late.

MACS ARE FOR FAGS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246311)

Die faggot.

Funny stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246393)

This is good stuff.

Re:A $499 Mac? How terribly crass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246422)

Haha very nice. I especially liked the part about objectivists. Being one myself.

Makes Sense (4, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246225)

This rumor seems to make a lot of sense. If Apple were building a new office suite from the ground up it would take a while to do and would explain why AppleWorks say there and played dead for years. Most of the AppleWorks team has probably been working on writing the new office suite and a few people left working on AppleWorks updates and fixes. Also I can see this suite taking a while as Apple would want it to work very intuitively, something that Office frequently fails at and AppleWorks rarely shines at. There are so many formatting options and other tools that to build a really good word processor a complete re-think needs to be done on how the interface is organized. Right now its a nearly endless array of menus and sub-menus. Let's hope Apple does a good job of cleaning up the mess.

Re:Makes Sense (5, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246303)


Hopefully Apple will take a look at projects like LyX ( ), the ``What You See Is What You Mean'' document processor.

For those who're wondering why Microsoft Office or Open Office aren't ideal --- contrast them with which:

- is a Cocoa application
- supports all Mac OS X input methods,
- fonts (incl. AAT fonts like Zapfino)
- Unicode
- Services

That last is one of the under-appreciated advantages of Mac OS X. In _any_ Cocoa application (or Carbon app written to support Services) I can:

- Convert case (ALL CAPS to Initial Caps &c.)
- have autocompletion from a user-defined list
- complete a Citation (using Bibdesk)
- typeset a TeX equation and get an in-place .pdf
- sort
- &c.


Minimize political commentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246228)

Please keep the snide political remarks to a minimum, especially when it is offbase and inaccurate. "Incredibly bloated and slow" may well apply to OpenOffice, but not at all to MS Office which starts and runs very fast on my mediocre hardware.

There are plenty of legitimate things to criticize Microsoft about, and you only diminish the argument when you assert unreasonable claims to an audience that knows better, even if its a willing one.

Re:Minimize political commentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246402)

Hi!! You must be new here! Welcome to Slashdot!!

plug Mellel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246234)

At [] there is a pretty good word processor written in cocoa and is pretty quick. I am evaluating it now, and it looks good for school oriented stuff too. $29 on sale...

Beating MS Office != Trivial (5, Insightful)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246239)

People need to realize that making a successful Office competitor doesn't equate to making it less "bloated and slow", or adding any sort of all-important feature set.

The only way any product in this space is going to go places is if it works just like Office, acts just like Office, feels just like Office, etc. Office is the standard, and for 99% of people that use it, it's flawless. Any deviation from this standard suite, even if it's an improvement, is nothing but a nuisance to the average user.

A common user seeing one single glitch (glitch defined as something different from how it works in Office) will run (not walk) to their standard MS Office icons.

How do I know this is true? Simple. There are tons of people who are actually into the OSS movement, love Slashdot, run Linux servers, run OS X, etc. that *still* run MS Office when they can run OpenOffice instead? Why is that? It's because even the most open-minded of us are creatures of habit. And if *these* people are resistant, imagine how the masses are.

Re:Beating MS Office != Trivial (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246353)

A common user seeing one single glitch (glitch defined as something different from how it works in Office)

Not that "Works like Office" is exactly a great thing. I had a document open and minimized and was going through a set of emails in Outlook looking for a matching document. Every time I opened a document, Office thought that it should re-maximize the background document, raise it to the top, then open the new document on top of that, meaning that every time I'd have to close the document, then re-minimize the background document so I could open the next document in office. This is "how it should work?"

I agree that if it doesn't open documents exactly like Office, and doesn't support the same features as Office I'm not going to use it.

Re:Beating MS Office != Trivial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246378)

People who love slashdot, run Linux _on servers_ and run pirated games on MSWin are pretty much the same as "the masses" regarding application use (well, maybe even worse, since they don't pay for anything)

I wish I could use MSOffice (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246404)

and I don't even have a machine that can run it, while I do have OpenOffice installed. Why? Because, frankly, OpenOffice sucks. I was trying to make a chart out of a spreadsheet the other day and a) they hid the menu option to do this and b) when I eventually found it it didn't do jack. I couldn't define axes, couldn't label anything, couldn't put two charts together. WTF.

Re:Beating MS Office != Trivial (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246435)

and for 99% of people that use it, it's flawless

From my experience this doesn't seem to be the case. Just about all the MS Office users I know have many gripes with the software. They hate autocomplete and don't know it can be turned off. They know what they want the software to do, and know it can do it, but have to spend so much time wading through menus and help to find the option that more often than not they do things "manually", aka: a whole lot of typing, copying and pasting, spaces and tabs instead of margins, etc.

Most people who use office only use word. Excel would be the second most used program, but more often than not it is used wrongly when access should be used. Then users have trouble when it doesn't do the things access does.

The problem is that Microsoft Word and Word Processor have become synonymous. I myself barely use office-type programs. Firefox, thunderbird and gaim take up most of my computing time. The only time I use a word processor is to write papers for school, hello abiword.

And given that I have a 100% success rate of people I've gotten to try abiword/openoffice to people who stop using MS office. People don't realize what's bad until they use what's good.

Great Move (4, Insightful)

Richard5mith (209559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246248)

It's not a new office suite, it's an application called Pages that will be bundled in with Keynote to make a new suite of applications called iWork (to complement iLife). There's no word of a spreadsheet application for example.

If the rumour is true (and Think Secret have been very accurate over the past couple of years) then bundling all this software along with the $500 Mac is a great move for them. 1.25Ghz G4 might not sound like much, but it's faster than the last generation iMac I have, and it's already fast enough for the majority of computer users (those who surf, do email, write some letters and take pictures from their digital cameras). Combined with all the software these users are likely to need, it's a great price.

Pricing... (2, Interesting)

aoasus (786460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246262)

The rumors are abounding about new apple hardware and software with deep pricing discounts (offering Motion for so cheap) that it makes me believe that this could realistically be a $99 buy which would make it a steal.

If they price it at $199 (the next Apple-logic price point) and a newly rumored $499 PC i'd almost have to go with the PC just to get the software! I'll likely wait untill Tiger either way as there's also a possibility (in my mind) of a package deal with the whole ball of wax.

I hate to say this... (5, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246270)

...But Office v.X for the Mac is actually quite nice. I've yet to experience document incompatability problems with MS Office for Windows. For simple documents like research papers and personal writing it does the job reasonably well. Now I haven't written a large thesis with piles of footnotes, or a large book with a huge integrated outline... so it could blow for serious work and I wouldn't know. But the fact is that I need to submit my work in MS word format and it does the job.

Apple may come out with a quality office suite. But if MS Word/Windows users run into even minor incompatability problems with its output, it will fail. I assume the real reason Apple is doing this is because MS may stop supporting MS Office for the Mac. Which would be a real shame. I'm not saying the government should force them to continue supporting the product, but I strongly doubt it's an unprofitable product line. I would certainly buy the next release. Shouldn't shareholders have some say in this? --M

Rumors of planned bundle in systems... (2, Funny)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246272)

I sure hope their market share increases, so we can start suing them for monopolistic practices! :)

Please, please displace Microsoft Orifice (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246275)

I just upgraded from Office 98 to Office 2004. What a complete waste of money. Aside from OS X code and antialiased fonts, the new version is less stable, slower, crankier, and festooned even more Microsoft User Interface Atrocities than ever. Six years and 3 versions later, Office has failed to fix most (any?) of the annoyances from the 1998 version. I guess near-100% market share means the company does not have to do anything to charge money for its double-speak "upgrades".

Sorry for the rant.

maybe bloated but not slow (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246280)

As a pc and ibook owner I have office on both. Kinda hard to compare as system speeds are dramatically different, but I would not call office slow on my PC. Bloated? probably.

Personally I don't see much point in Apple putting a lot of effort in an office suite. MS Office is the defacto standard. My friends who do a lot of excel for work refuse to use open office as a) the slight differences in command formats and b) nagging compatability issues and fears. For the casual/home user with no need for the MS product, whats the point of making an ever more sophisticated alternative?

Better to put the resources into something new and imaginative than retreading the old wheel.

Word compatible (4, Insightful)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246285)

If this iWorks isn't 100%--and I mean 100%--compatible with Office, forget it. And is Apple making the right strategic move, here? One of the reasons that folks even contemplate moving from Windows to OS X, instead of, say, Linux, is that you can buy Microsoft Office for OS X.

If MS feels threatened by iWorks, they'll just kill Office for OS X. And then Apple has lost one of their best marketing reasons to go Mac instead of Linux.

Not that Keynote really caused any problems--but iWord is a different story. Maybe this is just so Apple can have a "professional grade" office suite to put on the their pro line, and if you need Office compatibility (like 95% of the world) you buy Office for the Mac? But it would save that other 5% $500.

I guess I don't see the wisdom of this.

Some Notes (2, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246298)

This rumor circulates before every MacWorld. Think it can happen? Stebe had Microsoft people demo the new Microsoft Office at a very recent MacWorld, during the keynote. It seemed Apple was trying hard to keep Microsoft happy - Apple desperately needs continued Office development to declare themselves a viable alternative to Windows desktops. No Office compatability, no dice.

Apple's walking a tightrope with Microsoft.

Unless it runs on something OTHER than MacOS (3, Insightful)

macz (797860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246304)

Too Bad.

Now if the interface is an absolute paradigm shift that is an order of magnitude more efficient than the mah jhong tiles that define the top of applications in GUI's today AND it runs on Linux?

Then watch out.

Otherwise, people will put up with Office because it is what their company buys, and they don't want to learn 2 word processors/spreadsheet/groupware applications. IE: They will not want to use one application for 99% of what they do every day, and the other one for the Holiday Christmas letter.

Spell Check (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11246321)

All I know is, everyone that posts here could use a f**king spell checker, or at least READ what you type before you hit submit.

New Features and Competition (3, Interesting)

bhadreshl (841411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246361)

I would like to see what new features this includes when compared to MS Office or OpenOffice.

Hopefully this will create more competition between these office suites and bring about new features to Office market.

Hopefully Apple will try to use some open standards

Well, why not? (2, Insightful)

jayloden (806185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11246395)

I think it would be great to see, even if it was only a first go around. Look at what a great job Keynote does of being a simple, slick program for its intended purpose.

I'd love to see Office come from Apple, and I don't even have a Mac (at least not yet). They make good products and solid software, at least in the realm of OS X (can't speak for any other versions of the OS) and I say, why not? But I won't hold my breath over a rumor...

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