Home > Apple > Apple’s Real Worry Isn’t the Loss of IE Apple’s Real Worry Isn’t the Loss of IE Eugenia Loli 2003-06-19 Apple 99 Comments “Who needs Internet Explorer, now that Jobs & Co. has its own browser? The much bigger threat is the growing chance that Microsoft will abandon Office for the Mac.” Read the article at BusinessWeek. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 99 Comments 2003-06-19 1:51 am If MS polled Office for Mac, that would be nice. Maybe Apple would then do an Office suite. Or, better, still, help clean up OpenOffice.Org. Looking to the longer run, Apple should be looking to join forces with the Linux platform as far as applications are concerned. 2003-06-19 1:57 am >If MS polled Office for Mac, that would be nice You obviously don’t understand what you are suggesting. If MS pulls MS Office from Mac, Apple will be in big trouble. No OOo or AppleWorks is able to count for THE standard OFfice suite that can read/write docs and xls flawlessly. The big money for Apple are coming from companies and companies NEED Office. 2003-06-19 1:58 am My guess is that Apple has been preparing for sometime to introduce an Office suite. Considering the release of KeyNote…a very powerful competitor for PowerPoint, Apple may consider KeyNote the first glimpse of an office suite. They also like open source apps. Since OpenOffice has been ported to OS X, Apple could just do what they did with Safari…make use of available open source code (read Open Office) add more bells and whistles, blamo…who needs MS Office? 2003-06-19 2:01 am Why would they want to join forces with linux? Linux is the antithesis of ease of use and pretty interfaces. Apple would most likely just do what they do with Safari; make it look good and clean it up giving back only what is required by the GPL. There is no real teaming up going there as far as I can tell. Most likely there really wont be in the future. Apple makes its money of easy of use – thats what people who buy Apple’s see. They don’t don’t see the back end. So its fine for Apple to embrace using open source software – it will really help with compatabliity. But they are going to help linux all that much more than they are required to by the GPL – i.e. no cool apple designed interfaces for linux. 2003-06-19 2:01 am They’ll never pull Office from Mac. Then people will migrate away from Office. Once .doc, .xls, and .ppt lose their firm hold as semi-universal formats, the MS Office tower begins to crumble and .sxw and .rtf and other open formats will suddenly become relevant as “common formats.” MS’s worst nightmare is someone getting an e-mail “I use a Mac, and can’t open your Word 2005 document. Can you send it in HTML or RTF? Thanks, XXX” Office is here for Mac for awhile yet and you heard it here. 2003-06-19 2:03 am Adam, I think this is a bit naive. 2003-06-19 2:04 am Why would they want to join forces with linux? Linux is the antithesis of ease of use and pretty interfaces When was the last time that you looked at Linux? It is not was it was even 2 years ago. Linux interfaces have improved DRAMATICALLY. 2003-06-19 2:04 am It doesn’t matter if apple can make something or hack up a shinned up version of OOo. Apple needs MS office, not something that does all that MS office does, but the real bonified MS office for Mac. Thats what people want. Trying to sell a computer to people or business and those people ask if it runs MS office and all apple can say is, no but there is office programs that will do all that MS office does, doesn’t cut it. People want MS office plan and simple. Businesses and many people if not most don’t care about the politics of the office suites or formats, or cost. They do care about having what they use, and currently 90+ % of the world lives on MS office. No perfect compatibility will ever change this. MS pulling out would screw apple in the short term for sure. Now it would probably mean either apple or Gobe steps up to the plate and puts something out there. And maybe that would be able to compete, but the blow would be hard for apple to deal with for a good while. 2003-06-19 2:15 am Because Office for Mac is still a profitable product that owns the marketshare. 2003-06-19 2:16 am >> If MS pulls MS Office from Mac, >> Apple will be in big trouble. I’m not so sure. For one thing, Apple could still make reasonably future versions of OS X compatible with existing Office for Mac. So mac users will have enough time to adjust. More importantly though, Apple is one company that writes quality software. They’ve been there before, and if they are really forced to do a good office suite now, they will do it. Such an office suite would be another revenue stream. Especially if do a good product and also make it available for Linux. Or maybe they can just buy wordperfect. 2003-06-19 2:24 am I couldn’t care less if MS Office is available or not – whether it’s on Linux or the Mac. There are plenty of other options. The sweetest thing would be if IBM brought back a version of the Lotus Smartsuite with Ami Pro and Quatro Pro! 2003-06-19 2:38 am There are many office suites in the Windows world as good or sometimes better the MS but they are not standard so businesses won’t use them. MS Office compatability is a major selling point for Apple. 2003-06-19 2:38 am > More importantly though, Apple is one company that writes quality software. Yeah, of course, but how can you expect them to run read and write standard and universal file types (which basically means, MS Office filetypes such as doc, xls, ppt)… No commercial company has to date, been able to write perfect, and even often decent import/export filters for recent versions of Office products (past Office97 or so)… OOo’s are the best out of a lot of bad ones. OOo 1.1b can only open half of my old .xls files. Excel v.X, with a MUCH better interface than OOo on OSX, can open them flawlessly and write it natively. So, if Microsoft stops developing Office for mac, it’s a huge problem for Apple. Remember that Microsoft has been Apple’s biggest software maker for nearly 20 years now– since the introduction of the Macintosh. So, basically, Apple is in big trouble if MS stops developing Office. It’s hard for any OS owner when their biggeet software maker stops 2003-06-19 2:43 am Last time I looked at linux? SuSE 8.2… about oh 6 hours ago. I’ll give you that part about pretty interfaces – SuSE does look nice. Not always consistent, but the first impression is that its better looking than windows. But you are way off in the ease of use department. Sure its come a long way but its not easy to use. In fact from it seems like, thats not really where they are going with it. Most of the distros seem to mistake ease of use for what I call “sandboxing.” Sandboxing is where you pick out things that the user is most likely to do – say wordprocessing. Then you make that as easy as possible to, and give a nice interface. Do that with enough applications and somehow thats supposed to make linux easy to use. Except until you step outside of these third party application sandboxes and want to do something with the OS. OpenOffice can read work with MS Office formats, its got a easy to understand interface, and its pretty well featured. Then you have Evolution, its a great mail client and again very well featured. The general linux thought is if I include these in my distrobution empirically linux will be easy to use. Thats just not true. It means those specific programs are nice to use, not linux. Lets say now that I’ve typed up my document in my easy to use wordprocessing sandbox, I want to share it over my network to my laptop so that I can take it to school and print it. Well, not so easy in linux. In fact setting up Samaba or NFS Exporting is a bit of pain in SuSE 8.2; though much nicer than before. After that I have to setup my NFS client, tell where its sharing, etc. Then there is OSX, it takes me 1 click on a preference pane called Sharing to share the files I want; which will be auto-discovered by the client. Thats the difference between easy of use and sandyboxing. When something is truely easy to use, then its not hard to make it do what you want. Linux isn’t like that, instead it seems to be aiming for the “lets have the users say inside these user friendly programs instead of making the whole OS user friendly”. Which is why when people talk about Linux and the desktop you can bet they’re going to mention: OpenOffice, Evolution and KDE and its integrated apps, because all of those are there own little isolated ease of use enviroments with in Linux. You won’t hear, setting up file sharing, setting up a firewall w/execptions for different services, or installing random programs was easy. 2003-06-19 2:46 am the only chance for Apple is to release their own office-suite. I beleave that the reason for MS to discontinue their mac office is not that they would hurt Apple, I beleave it is the low profit MS makes on mac office. That might make further development unattractive for MS. The only chance for Apple to release an usefull office is 100% MS office file-compatibility. That would mean that they have to licence the MS office file formats. If that happens, I bet Apple is able to make a “better office than office”. Anyway – the future will tell… 2003-06-19 2:47 am We are seeing time and time again that Apple is leading the IT innovation train. With the release of the Keynote presentation software, Apple is more than confident to produce an open standard office environment/suite. Steve Jobs has probably got this sorted out already anyway. He knows not to trust Microsoft. Maybe Apple should release an office suite anyway, thereby pushing Microsoft out of the Mac world entirely. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen ;-). 2003-06-19 2:48 am Seriously, Mac users losing MS Office would be a good thing for the whole alternative OS world. I’m tired of receiving emails with .Doc and .Pps attachments. Apple still has #2 user base, and if their market share cannot view .DOC, .PPS, .XLS documents, that will force the rest of the world to move to more standard based documents if they wish to share them with the world. With open standards, other companies can offer solutions which are compatible with the rest of the world, hence we lose another MS monopoly. Anything which weakens MS stranglehold on the computing scene is a good thing. This makes life for alternative OS’s much easier, since now we can use any OS and still share data with the rest of the world. 2003-06-19 2:52 am Also, I seriously doubt that Web developers will pay any less attention to Apple now. Or, more accurately, I doubt that they’ll build sites that work exclusively for Windows machines running IE. For that, Steve Jobs can thank Linux. Long maligned as a desktop nonstarter, Linux should pass Apple in market share for desktop operating systems on computers sold in the coming year. That means from 7% to 10% of all PCs shipped won’t bear the Windows icon. Yes, that’s lovely? Your source please? Your source, sir? Oh, I see that you don’t have one… 2003-06-19 2:54 am and that was any more intelligent than what he said?? 2003-06-19 2:55 am Apple has to, if they havn’t already done so prepare for life without Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office more than likely will not be around on the Mac platform in two years time. Apple should move on, Upgrade Appleworks. In addition on the Mac platform OmniGaffle Pro, OmniOutliner, Keynote, Nisus Writer Express, BB Edit, InDesign 2.0 provide excellent word handling abilities for 99% of the people out there. 2003-06-19 3:02 am SuSE 8.2…hmm well I was enamored with it briefly, but I really has many charactersitics that are just a pain in the ass…Samba being one of them. As far as Linux goes, I really like Red Hat 9 with Ximian’s XD 2. I have found the UI very consistent and intuitive. If you choose this route, set it up through Ximian Red Carpet…the command line based instll at the XD2 site just is crappy. I do understand and agree with you to an extent…there is a LOT of UI work that needs to go into Linux…RH 9/XD 2 is a BIG step in the right direction. If SuSE 8.2 is your most recent taste of Linux and you are not terribly familiar with Linux, then SuSE CAN leave a bad taste in your mouth. What I was trying to get at though in my first comment toward you was the issue of the interface being ugly. This is really a dated idea. Linux has gobs of eye-candy. It is not the gray, drab crap that it once was. The ease of use is there if the Linux install is set up ahead of time to promote ease of use…this is the weak area. Linux distros should have more to aid the newbie in setting web servers and Samba throught wizards and the like. Those who are more experienced and know what to edit in a config file can be like experienced Windows users…go after the config files and edit them directly much like some Windows users create registry tweaks and rewrite the log-in screens. Back to the original topic…Apple will not need Office if they can create a full featured fully compatible office suite. Many Mac users are also zealots about their Macs…I don’t think Apple will lose users if they don’t have Office anymore IF they can provide a replacement suite with FULL compatibility. Sorry if I am rambling now…its getting late where I am and I have a splitting headache. 2003-06-19 3:06 am Apple has demonstrated the capability to write good applications so I am sure that Apple has thought of the implications of Office no longer being on the Mac some time in the future. With that in mind I think that they might have an ace up their sleeve like they did with Keynote. When MS discontinued IE for the Mac the reason that was cited was that working on a Mac browser was redundant because of Safari so if Apple ever releases a full Office competitor you can bet MS will kill Office for Mac. MS loves to make money but they are not afraid to lose it either in order to gain a competitive advantage to for the Windows platform. I would love to see Apple come out with an Office application. As far as Apple fearful of losing Office I think they are wary but not fearful. They can see what is coming. 2003-06-19 3:09 am That’s the problem with most people. Just because Microsoft is dominant doesn’t mean it is utterly impossible for any other company a fair chance in the market. Mac users normally don’t use Office as PC (office) users does, meaning that their use is limited. It serves as a interesting possibly easy market to begin with. Look at Asia (and maybe Europe). In countries where there is huge amounts of pressure to crack down of piracy (Malaysia, Taiwan, etc.), you can see more and more small businesses moving to altenatives especially StarOfice and OpenOffice.org. And remember, small businesses make up the bulk of businesses here (as it should be in the West too). Why? Don’t they need interconnectivity with Office? One office I been too had a rather smart idea of using Microsoft’s Office file viewers and StarOffice – using the prior when StarOffice just can’t open files properly. And with the exception of Access, Powerpoint and documents with macros, I still haven’t come accross any documents that can’t be opened within OpenOffice.org. 2003-06-19 3:11 am However, lets first of all look at the facts: 1) When Steve Jobs took over as iCEO of Apple and created the “unholy alliance” with Microsoft, how much of Apples recovery can be squarely put on the sholders of this deal? it seems that a large number of people think that if it weren’t for Microsoft, Apple would have gone belly up. Need they be reminded what Apple did to get their products more intune to what the market demanded. 2) Microsoft hasn’t made a profit off their Mac business. They have failed to meet sales targets over and over again hence the reason why its existance is now called into question. If their Mac business is eventually killed off, it will be done on the basis of a business decision, NOT political. Microsoft don’t see the Mac as a threat because the first sumbling block is that the user has to buy a whole new computer. Linux is more of a threat because it can immediately replace Windows on the desktop without any hardware changes. 3) How do we know Apple hasn’t been told something different? we have Safari being released just on the heals of IE for Apple being killed off. For all we know Apple and Microsoft could have got together and decided that to cut the losses of the Mac Business Unit, that they cut of the freebie software such as Internet Explorer. Wait for the next couple of months when Media Player will be cut off and Apple will license the WMA/ASF/WMV CODECS of Microsoft and incorporate them into Quicktime. It is a gradual move to get apple to look after their platform and for Microsoft to concerntrate on the money making side. 2003-06-19 3:11 am Yes, I agree…. I mean there is just so many Mac users out there. And I mean many, that Office would just crumble without it. Yeap, I have to agree with Eugenia that you are indeed a wee bit too naive. 2003-06-19 3:17 am Ralf., you just thought of something very few, including me, thought of – licensing from Microsoft! That way Apple bears all of the R&D cost, Microsoft makes a few bucks without spending on anything (Apple can pay for the lawyers fee if Microsoft is so stingy), and the end product wouldn’t be something in direct competition with Microsoft (with licensing, Microsoft can prevent Apple from releasing a Windows version). In addition to that this can be used as a antitrust shield – preventing Apple from suing Microsoft, plus Microsoft using it as a bargaining chip for licensing Apple’s patents and IP. 2003-06-19 3:29 am 1) When Steve Jobs took over as iCEO of Apple and created the “unholy alliance” with Microsoft, how much of Apples recovery can be squarely put on the sholders of this deal? it seems that a large number of people think that if it weren’t for Microsoft, Apple would have gone belly up. Need they be reminded what Apple did to get their products more intune to what the market demanded. While Apple did get more intune with what the market wants, you can’t take away all Microsoft’s credit from Apple recovery. The “unholy alliance” has more to do with confidence than just plain economics – investors are more confident with Apple because Microsoft is behind it, consumers (bulk ones) are more confident with Apple because Microsoft is behind it, etc. Plus the fact that it removes Apple from being a direct competitor to Microsoft. Can’t be meassured, but I doubt Apple would be close to where it is at without Microsoft. 2) Microsoft hasn’t made a profit off their Mac business. They have failed to meet sales targets over and over again hence the reason why its existance is now called into question. Microsoft has actually made a lot of profit from their Mac business. It was only the latest Office that didn’t match their expectations because of the small market share of Mac OS X users – Microsoft made a big mistake by making it OS X only. But still they made a profit. Office 98 made (IIRC) twice the amount of profit that was expected, and Office 2001 farred better. Wait for the next couple of months when Media Player will be cut off and Apple will license the WMA/ASF/WMV CODECS of Microsoft and incorporate them into Quicktime. Unlikely. WMP for Mac is a very very simple program, I doubt it took much R&D, in comparison with IE which in the begining recieved a lot of R&D to woo Netscape users. WMP for Mac is just for compatiblity, nothing more. And I doubt Apple would license a competing set of codecs when they a pushing for another. 2003-06-19 3:32 am I think the likely outcome for document trading if Office for Macintosh was pulled would be that sending people PDF’s would become more popular. Sure it isn’t the same as sending them the actual document but most of the time when a document is sent it is really sent to be read, not edited. Ironically this would probably strengthen Adobe as a leader in electronic text formats. 2003-06-19 3:33 am And to fit within your theory is the fact that the next version of Office (IIRC) can export to PDF without Acrobat. 2003-06-19 3:37 am MS dropping future development of IE for Mac really is no big deal. I switched to Mozilla ages ago (I truly don’t remember when) and then switched to Safari almost full-time since it’s been out. In a manner of speaking, MS has actually dropped future IE development for Windows too. Host: Brian (Microsoft) Q: when / will there be the next version of IE? A: As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation. Host: Brian (Microsoft) Q: Why is this? the anti-trust? (no further standalone) A: Although this is off topic, I will answer briefly: Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS. See http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/… From May 7, 2003 The “but …” part is that losing MS Office would be a major blow to Apple. I don’t think MS will pull the plug anytime soon. Apple should be preparing for this, however, if it does happen. I personally stopped using Office a while back, but not everyone would be satisfied with the currently available Open Source replacements — KDE Office, OpenOffice, AbiWord, Gnumeric, etc. I usually use emacs for text and lyx for documents meant to be printed, and various conversion tools for other formats. 2003-06-19 3:39 am If Apple could make the Mac 100% Microsoft free, it would a selling point. The analogy is GMO free food. Even when Apple offers their own in-house office suite, it’ll still be food, just 100% organic Apple food 🙂 Apple’s word processor is doing well, Keynote is 1.1, and Filemaker Pro is still solid. That leaves only a spreadsheet and then Apple will be free of all the Microsoft GMOware. Let us only hope Apple gets rid of MS Office ASAP. 2003-06-19 3:45 am It could be Apple is preparing an office suite in case Microsoft pulls out…that would be a wise thing to do. But, I don’t think that’s what’s going on. Microsoft is stopping development of a free product, Internet Explorer, as Apple has come out with Safari. Previously, they did the same with another free product by not developing Outlook Express, because OS X had Mail already. Microsoft, just recently, released MSN for Mac. That doesn’t sound like a company pulling out. And it’s not free either. And my wife uses it, so I know the UI interface is a hell of a lot more attractive and organized than AOL. It’s a solid product. I think as long as Microsoft can profit from software for Macs they will continue to produce it. 2003-06-19 3:55 am One of Microsofts defences was that it provided software for alternative platforms (including the Mac). If they pull Office for OSX this could spark off a whole new round of anti-competitive lawsuits. 2003-06-19 4:07 am like some others were saying…apple should take OO and develop better filters for it. surely, development of filters and cleaning up the interface would be cheaper than building a new ground up suite. someone made the comment ealier that linux interfaces have been made easier lately…..while that may be true, it’s not just the point and click thing. It’s dependency hell, and the whole ball of was that make you not be able to install progrmas with with click. .bin files confuse the heck out of new users….and telling a newbie to chmod it to make it executable is just silly. KDE and Gnome both need to do a better job creating admin tools that can tweak every aspect of the system….eliminate the need for konsole use for those that don’t want it, while leaving it in for the power user. it’s also important for apple to embrace linux more. together they are stronger, and more likely to reduce the monopoly power that ms will have for the forseable future. 2003-06-19 4:10 am I think Apple would make a better Office suite than most would think. The 1.0 would be lacking in features compared to MSOffice probably, but by the time 2.0 rolls around, it will be like comparing Safari to IE. I trust Apple to make filters that can transform .doc into other formats. Look how well Keynote can import and export PowerPoint format. I think porting OpenOffice.org over is the wrong direction. I think Apple would be much better off starting from scratch and leveraging the power of Cocoa. The basic tools like spellcheck and alignment and spacing are already all there, and Keynote proves how well they know how to insert tables and graphs into documents 2003-06-19 4:12 am Adam is correct; Microsoft would be foolish to discontinue Office for Mac at this point. It’s an entirely different decision than IE, which was fast becoming irrelevant. Advantages for MS: – save money on development and marketing (redeploy 150-200 people) – Office team can be more focused, can lose whatever “platform independent” layer they’re using and perhaps a fair amount of code bloat – Office can be rewritten using .NET (though I don’t think this will happen for performance reasons) – might gain *even more* desktop share at the expense of the Mac, increasing from 92% to let’s say 93% Disadvantages for MS: – no longer able to tout Office file formats as cross-platform de facto standards (as Adam points out) – no longer able to tout Office as a cross-platform application suite – leaves gaping market hole for an office suite on the Mac which someone will eventually fill, possibly a small software company that could grow into a major player – Microsoft looks increasingly isolationist to customers, might have ramifications even on not-directly-related technologies like .NET. Competitors will spread FUD that Microsoft lacks commitment to non-MS platforms – they’ll lose a strong point of leverage on Steve Jobs – Microsoft will appear to be a less interesting place to work (Windows only); they may lose drawing power for external stars – they lose Mac as effective proving ground for new UI and feature ideas, as well as valuable cross-fertilization from Apple’s UI designers (you might remember a certain look and feel change between the Win2K and XP shells…) – the Office team loses discipline in writing platform independent code – if Apple collapses partly as a result of this, a new antitrust action might be brought against MS – they’ll still have to allocate some resources to supporting existing versions of the software (bugfixes and tech support) 2003-06-19 4:28 am OpenOffice is not 100% compatible! Try opening a document containing Japanese characters from Office 2000 and see what happens. I’ve even seen some text actually get removed in OOo. I’m not dissing the product as it is quite good but if I cannot print up a document as the author intended it I have to go back to him/her and ask: “what text was in these areas?” (I’ve done this about 5x before going back to M$ Office full-time. Sucks but I have no option at this point. 2003-06-19 4:33 am OpenOffice is not 100% compatible! I don’t recall anyone saying that it is. But it is at least a very good start toward 100% compatibility. Open Office could evolve into (and likely will) a better product…and Apple could make use of Open Office to create its own Office suite. 2003-06-19 4:39 am Agreed– I have about three dozen older excel documents that I wanted to open up with OOo recently.. it butchered them pretty badly. Keep in mind that I’m not using a old version of it — I’m using 1.1b1 (for 1.0.2 didn’t work either..) I ended up using Office V.x to open them. OOo from my experience, also doesn’t have great PowerPoint support either. Usually it can import presentations fine, but it messes up a lot of small details and I have to spend quite a while to revert it to the shape of the same document in Office. Usually, I don’t even bother. Lastly, I haven’t gotten OOo to open Word docs that have columns (no– not same thing has tables…) I read that this is supposed to be supported, but it’s never worked for me. It’s especially bad because OOo doesn’t even seem to at least revover the text within the colums (even if the formatting is gone) 2003-06-19 4:55 am The real reason MS stops making IE for MAC is not because of Safari but because they claimed IE will be tightly integrated with Windows. No more stand-alone IE. More importantly, if MS were able to release a stand-alone IE for MAC, they would contradict the claim they made and would get themselves into trouble with law for abusing the monopoly power. Citing that building IE for MAC would be redundant because of Safari is just an excuse. They did not think that way in the day when Netscape was the favorite, did they? 2003-06-19 5:20 am Apple if they do know that MS will be dropping off Office development will do what have always been doing – continue licensing the Office formats for Apple Works and just put more effort into making it a full featured Office Suite. They really don’t have a reason to use OO.o, they are not a small company – paying license fees for the Real Thing? is not a problem for them and they already have a good base to work from. 2003-06-19 5:31 am #Perhaps if Apple were to use OOo, or even KWord or AbiWord and KSpread as the basis of a cheap non-integrated office suite ( Apple Works Pro ? ) they could sweep up the market that doesn’t need Office’s features and leave the high end to Microsoft IF, over time, it became clear more people on the mac were using Apples suite than Microsofts that would send a message to users to be more careful with sending proprietary document formats to people My view is that with Governments adopting OOo widely and growing use in libraries and voluntary sector, we are getting to a point where Microsoft’s power will fade ijn this respect anyway – Apple should hang onto this to ride it out. 2003-06-19 5:41 am True they don’t have to use Oo.o but it would make sense to take the available source code from Oo.o and build their own office suite with that code. All they would have to do is clean up the user-interface and add some handy dandy features here and there and bam they got a nice office suite. Just look at what they did with KHTML and how they built Safari with it. Same could be done with Oo.o and all they would have to do is just feed back patches and fixes to the Oo.o team on parts they use in their own office suite. In the end we all know that Apple is a hardware company first and software company second. Also Apple is not a big mover and shaker in the office desktop area to begin with when compared to MS so this is not as earth shattering as most people think. P.S. ….and yes I do agree that they will probably pay for the liscense for Office formats. That is unless MS denies them that abilty. 2003-06-19 6:08 am How about that if Apple port the Safari to Windows? If Safari’s performance is actually better than IE on Windows and download for free, Safari will get its positive situation for the customers! 2003-06-19 6:09 am My guess is that Microsoft wants the Mac community to run the MS Office suite and IE on Virtual PC from Connetix(MS). In this way the can sell three licenses instead of one. Just a guess… I hope it wont happen because VPC is a bit slow on my G3 iBook /D 2003-06-19 6:49 am Appleworks is a nice piece of software but it would require a lot of redesigning and rewriting to make it compete with Office. OpenOffice on the other hand is already able to do this. It just isn’t commercially acceptable on Mac yet. All it needs is Aqua. As soon as the OO.org UI can use carbon widgets, Apple will have their replacement for Office. Who knows, maybe they could help lower memory usage, reduce startup time and just make it… sexier 2003-06-19 7:00 am First off, Safari on windows? No. Apple has no reason to port Safari windows. Windows has Opera, IE, Phoenix, Mozilla, etc. Safari is a good browser, but its there to be the default browser for Apple its not a selling feature per say, as much as it an OS requirement these days. Therefore Safari is equavlent to IE on windows; its the basic (although better than IE) browser that comes with the OS. If Safari was ported it would have to compete in the windows third party browser arena – and there, the made by Apple label wouldn’t help it gain in popularity to generate a worthwhile ROI. Microsoft and VirtualPC, I think the reason everyone keeps making outlandish claims about VPC is because no one knows really MS bought it. The prospects range from forcing Apple users to buy 3 licenses to, allowing Longhorn users to run legacy applications, to incorperation in 2003 for clustering. I really doubt Microsoft is betting on the “mac users will have to buy 3 licenses” scheme. There really hasn’t been much thats changed in Office between 2001 and V.x. So there isn’t anything to force Apple users to stop using Office V.x if they were to stop releasing new versions short of completely dropping the old file format in all new Office products. 2003-06-19 7:48 am I think it’s a mistake to think that your OS is doomed if it doesn’t support MS Office format files. As far as I can see most ‘consumers’ don’t really care, after all it’s not cheap, far from it. Why would I waste money on a Word Processor if I am only interested in web and mail? Why would I waste money on an expensive word processor when anyone using Word can read a file I write using RTF ? If someone sends me a Word file and I can open it in OpenOffice who cares that the formatting is not 100% the same as on that other OS, as long as I can read it .. right? There is far too much ground given to the idea that MS Office is in some way important, it’s not. It’s a tool, and when it wears out people will replace it with a new one. Apple did the right thing by creating Keynote .. let’s hope they have an office suite in the works for those that really need/want them. 2003-06-19 7:53 am I get really annoyed when people send me .doc, .ppt and all that sort of nonsense. First of all, in my line of work, the M$ Office delivers piss poor document quality compared to LaTeX based documents. It is amazing that people still accept text processors over text typesetters. Yes Adam, I do send replies like “Please attach a PDF version.” Hopefully Apple changes its attitude towards M$ nonsense: Make your own fork of OpenOffice and do not shed a tear for IE! 2003-06-19 8:06 am There’s no way MS would walk away from Office on Mac. Think about it. The article states that 10% of Mac users have downloaded Safari…all 2 million of them. If 2 million is 10% then if only 10% of Mac users buy Office for Mac at $499.00 a pop, then Microsoft has sold $998,000,000 worth of product! Remember, that’s at only 10% of Mac users. I suspect more than that have bought a license for Office. To suggest that they’d just let that market go is ludicrous. It is M$ after all…. 2003-06-19 8:44 am – Office can be rewritten using .NET (though I don’t think this will happen for performance reasons) Office on Windows can go towards .NET anytime it likes. Office for Mac have a different codebase and uses a different API. Besides, I doubt Microsoft would rewrite Office in any release, full stop. It won many markets from competitors busy rewriting their flagship products to know better. – might gain *even more* desktop share at the expense of the Mac, increasing from 92% to let’s say 93% How exactly that would be an advantage? More antitrust problems without a tame yet legitimate competitor… Besides, I doubt so many of Mac users depend so much on office that they would move to Windows en masse. – no longer able to tout Office file formats as cross-platform de facto standards (as Adam points out) IIRC, they never touted that in their advertising department. Heck, two of the most used apps among Office customers, Access and Outlook, aren’t available on the Mac (Entourage don’t count). – leaves gaping market hole for an office suite on the Mac which someone will eventually fill, possibly a small software company that could grow into a major player The player that is likely to fill the void is Apple. And I doubt Apple is all that excited on writing software for Windows, and I doubt Windows users are that excited for Apple software (look at Quicktime on Windows, it sucks). – Microsoft looks increasingly isolationist to customers, might have ramifications even on not-directly-related technologies like .NET. Competitors will spread FUD that Microsoft lacks commitment to non-MS platforms Their competitors already spread FUD about Microsoft anyway… Besides, most of Microsoft Office customers are Windows users, not Mac users. I don’t see how this would be isolationist to customers. If they decide those who are millionaire, white and male can own a license of Office, that’s isolationist. – Microsoft will appear to be a less interesting place to work (Windows only); they may lose drawing power for external stars Those working on the Windows version of Office (or any other Microsoft app for all that matters) work solely on Windows, those working on Mac (or UNIX) versions work on Mac and Windows to port. – they lose Mac as effective proving ground for new UI and feature ideas, as well as valuable cross-fertilization from Apple’s UI designers (you might remember a certain look and feel change between the Win2K and XP shells…) They don’t need to fund a multi-million dollar department porting software to the Mac to copy UI ideas from the Mac to the PC. And besides, those working in Mac BU – they don’t work in the Windows department either. – the Office team loses discipline in writing platform independent code Their code ain’t [/i]platform independent[/i]. Like I said, Windows’ version has its own codebase, while the Mac version ports it to the Mac using a combination of junk, Carbon and Cocoa. – if Apple collapses partly as a result of this, a new antitrust action might be brought against MS If Apple collapse after this, all my recogniction on Apple’s business model would go into the drain. I would say Apple is in grave trouble if Adobe, Macromedia and Quark abandons it, but not Microsoft. – they’ll still have to allocate some resources to supporting existing versions of the software (bugfixes and tech support) They would still save a lot of money from making new versions of Office for Mac. 2003-06-19 8:52 am A port of OpenOffice.org to Mac is rather stupid, IMHO. The way it is written, in the long run, Apple is better off writing something up from scratch. Just changing the widgets from Windows-like to Aqua would be completely hard, if not impossible without some kind of code overhaul. If Apple does port it, they would deserve a huge kudos. And if you see Keynote – it is proof Apple wouldn’t go the OpenOffice.org way. It would be almost impossible to integrate Keynote into OpenOffice.org minus Impress. And besides, if you see the amount of work that went into Keynote, while still lacking some features, it is suprisingly complete and is much more MS-compatible. If Apple can do that for a Word, Excel and maybe Frontpage replacement, they are again much better off than with OpenOffice.org 2003-06-19 10:19 am Even if Apple doesn’t come up with a 100% compatible office suite there is a work around available for Word docs. If you have a document and you want to share it and are not sure what someone else has you could just “Save as” RTF (Rich Text Format). Blamo…the file is saved with all of the formatting intact…and it isn’t proprietary like the Word document format is. 2003-06-19 10:24 am All it needs is Aqua and better document format support. OOo is NOT 100% compatible with Office yet. Yes they can very easily create a word document with text and some formatting that will work in both OOo and MS Office…but when you do something like column layouts as pointed out elsewhere, it just doesn’t work correctly. 2003-06-19 10:31 am If Apple can do that for a Word, Excel and maybe Frontpage replacement, they are again much better off than with OpenOffice.org Don’t forget about Access and possibly Publisher though InDesign is a MUCH better solution. As far as Frontpage goes…I don’t think they would want to reproduce Frontpage when they have a deal with Macromedia. Frontpage is just crappy compared to Dreamweaver MX. 2003-06-19 10:34 am I really enjoy the criticisms of OOo for not being able to import documents perfectly. Even MS office doesn’t do this: I typed up a small doc (~28k) in Word 97 on NT4 (yeah it’s an old combination, but it is *still very much in use today*), sent it to a friend (also using NT4 and Word 97), and the formatting has screwed up. A while ago, I made another document for an experiment: I saved it, came back to it a few days later, and every time I tried to open it, Word crashed (nb – no error messages whatsoever). I opened it in an older version of OOo – which worked almost perfectly btw – saved it, and only then would Word 97 open it. Anyway, I cannot see that Windows with MS Office is a viable office alternative when it can’t open MS Office formats. I don’t care about zealotry or formats or the politics, I just want to get my work done. And actually, I’m more than happy with OOo (especially the new beta with the simplest pdf export possible – 2 clicks for everything!). 2003-06-19 11:39 am I think the Office 97 document standard is different than 2000-2002/XP. I too had LOTS of problems with 97 and lower. However 2000+ has been very consistent. I think the 97 document format and Office 97 just were VERY buggy and that resulted in lots of consistency problems. Unfortunately you are correct…lots of folks are still using the NT + Office 97 combo. I personally don’t have anything against NT (we have a few data acquisition stations at the centrifuge I work with that are on NT) but Office 97 is dreadful. 2000 was a radical improvement and 2002/XP has been even better. 2003-06-19 12:12 pm without office on mac os x, microsoft won’t be able to make inroads on the apple market, people will switch completely to apple because there are alternatives–just look at the wwdc summary, it seems that apple will be releasing its own office suite which includes but is not limited to safari and keynote. That just leaves something like word, excel and perhaps access which has a nice alternative, filemaker pro. so all apple needs is word and excel, that isn’t too difficult given the great nextstep developing environment. microsoft would be dumb to discontinue, it’s not a device that they can use to manipulate apple if that’s what 99% of you are thinking. rather, they must continue in order to stay alive in that market. appleworks is the equivalent of ms works, it’s just a cheap alternative, just you wait till next week to see the real office suite for mac. think different. 2003-06-19 12:15 pm “I think it’s a mistake to think that your OS is doomed if it doesn’t support MS Office format files.” People recive documents in MS formats all the time. Most businesses only accept documents in MS formats. 2003-06-19 12:17 pm People are making it sound like Apple will die if Microsoft pulls Office. Thats crazy. In fact, I work for a city gov’t and we are recommending Open Office to all users that don’t actually “need” Office. It saves us money and lets face, Open Office does 90% of Office and most people never come close to using all the features. 2003-06-19 12:32 pm I don’t know what’s going to happen, if anything. The thing I keep thinking is that Apple may be in the process of a Cocoa re-write of AppleWorks. That would be something. AppleWorks with advanced features perhaps? After all, it even has a decent database module. The thing is, most people don’t know what you can do with AppleWorks as it is. There’s a world wide AppleWorks user group that has hundreds of templates for everything you can think of. 2003-06-19 12:32 pm just wait a new mac edition release per 10 years 2003-06-19 12:36 pm I have to agree. It is a common occurance to get .doc’s that can not be opened. Or else they look like a two year old set them up. Many of the offices around here are still using 95/98 machines. NT is very common, as a matter of fact I just realised I have yet to see an XP machine in the local workplace. I really have more compatability issues between different versions of Office then with OOo and office. 2003-06-19 1:06 pm If MS pulls office for MAC then it will MS that is in trouble. That move will instantly validate alternatives to office such as staroffice. it will call into question MS’s monopoly position, which will be trouble because GW bush will lose the whitehouse in 2004. The attempt to isolate apple won’t work here in 2003 or later because alternatives to windows and office are gaining traction and a lot more mindshare. It will reinforce and add credibility to a movement that is already taking place. That is what this article is forgetting. The writer seems to think it is 1997. it is not. 2003-06-19 1:19 pm I think the Office 97 document standard is different than 2000-2002/XP. The format itself was pretty much the same, the incompatibilities were caused by formating features 2000 has but 97 doesn’t. Office 97 itself can be pretty much the Windows Me of the Office world in its sense of stability. It was pretty much an overhaul in comparison with Office 95 – the format for example is very very different. I think the 97 document format and Office 97 just were VERY buggy and that resulted in lots of consistency problems. The later is very true. Heck, I like Anonymous moved to Linux and StarOffice (yes, at that time, it sounded better than Office 97). Now Office XP with Windows XP. Unfortunately you are correct…lots of folks are still using the NT + Office 97 combo. Actually, in relative to other versions of Windows after Windows 95, even Windows ME has more users (workstation) than Windows NT 4.0 2000 was a radical improvement and 2002/XP has been even better. 2000 is indeed an improvement, and XP is a refinement of that, IMHO. 2003-06-19 1:22 pm From employees (and free lancers, companies they hire), most business that use Office require Office because they need to edit, etc. Other than that, if it opens, I don’t see what’s so wrong – and most companies don’t either. Besides sending a document to a company requiring Office is easy with OpenOffice.org – the export filters are rather good, and recieving – just download MS’ file viewers if you recieve a document that can’t open properly. Intercompany, macros is rarely used (the big problem with third party filters)… 2003-06-19 1:56 pm “And to fit within your theory is the fact that the next version of Office (IIRC) can export to PDF without Acrobat.” BTW rajan – OS X can print to PDF natively – so this means nothing as far as advantage. Our office sends as many PDFs as Office docs, because they don’t need to be edited by end users – but more importantly, we can put Acrobat Reader on any of the utility-purpose Windows machines that we install, and the docs can be read locally rather than having to find a machine with Office on it. I also think that a large number of people don’t use 90% of the “features” of Office in creating their documents, and it could all be done with alternatives. Weigh the cost of AppleWorks at about $80 against Office at $499, and it starts to look attractive – especially if you have to buy, say, 10 licenses for a small office? Never say never. 2003-06-19 1:57 pm I am not denying that OOo is satisfactory for many users _ iahve used it myself in both Windows and Linux versions. What I am saying that the inability to send and recieve MS formats is is a huge problem. Another problem is lack of awareness of non MS alternatives to Office. 2003-06-19 2:09 pm A port of KOffice to MacOSX is in progress ( http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=3818 ). Apple could help KOffice by improving MS-Office filters and make it using OOo file formats by default. 2003-06-19 2:16 pm Isn’t it possible to write an import/export filter to use open-office files in ms-office? If that isn’t a possibility now, maybe it will with the next office release, which is going to use a (microsoft-flavour of) xml. Then, openoffice file formats will take off. PDF is fine for some purposes, but files tend to be rather big. Openoffice files are often one tenth in size compared to ms-office! 2003-06-19 2:22 pm I wonder if Microsoft would ever open up the file standards to Apple, allowing Apple to create its own office suite using MS standard files, without MS having to write the software themselves… 2003-06-19 2:41 pm There’s no such thing as 1st party 100% Office-compatible suite either. Try opening a document containing Japanese characters from Office 2000 and see what happens. Try opening a document containing Cryillic characters from Office 2000 in Office v.X and see what happens. What happens is that the characters show up as garbage. If I open that document (RTF for instance) in TextEdit (or any other OS X editor I have tried) it displays fine. This problem also happens when you take a Word document (that isn’t displaying properly) from Office v.X and cut-and-paste the text into another program like TextEdit. There is a well known problem with Office v.X and Unicode support. 2003-06-19 2:41 pm I wonder if Microsoft would ever open up the file standards to Apple, allowing Apple to create its own office suite using MS standard files, without MS having to write the software themselves… FAT CHANCE!!! The MS Office monopoly is actually more valuable to MS than Windows is. (Considerably higher markup/lower development costs.) I read somewhere that office accounts for 60% of MS revenue…I don’t know if that’s still accurate today, but it sounds about right to me. 2003-06-19 3:12 pm a few people have mentioned that Stevo might already have this worked out. nah, da ya think? enter trolltec. anyone notice that koffice can be compiled to run on OS X without X11 now? and just before WWDC to. wonder why that is? some people doubt apple will take an OSS app for such a job. yeah. like safari. oops. wait. does apple need office? no. they need what office does. many, many mac users want nothing more than to be running an MS free machine. here comes the chance. apple is back boys, and 5-6 years from now microsoft will still be wonder (between apple and linux) just what the hell hit them……… 2003-06-19 3:14 pm Koffice has a nice interface and all (much better than OOo 1.1’s), but it’s MS format compatablity totally sucks, which makes it worthless for anything other than reading rtf files. 2003-06-19 3:41 pm This is probably OT (but you can never tell with Apple), but thinksecret.com has all kinds of interesting dope today. 2003-06-19 3:47 pm I seriously doubt that Microsoft will actually drop support for the Mac. After all, Microsoft’s loss would be OpenOffice’s gain. And I’m sure Microsoft wouldn’t want to give the evil open source office suite any marketshare. Besidees, OpenOffice is likely to provide serious competition for MS Office anyway. It’s free, very capable, and has nearly perfect MS Office support. I can write documents in OpenOffice writer that require advanced MS Word features such as revision tracking, and I an share those documents with colleages. The revision tracking works perfectly. My colleages can’t even tell that I am not using MS Word. Microsoft can’t afford to drop Mac support. That’s a snowball waiting to happen. Drop Mac support, so mixed platform businesses switch their Macs to OpenOffice, find out how great it is, and then, for better compatibility, switch all their PCs to OpenOffice as well? 2003-06-19 3:49 pm I think that people are missing the boat. MS Office is THE standard for the time being, especially in the United States. However, it does not automatically mean that this will always be the case. There is a whole world out there people, and we need to discard our xenophobic views. There is a very powerful trend that has developed in moving over to desktop Linux in many developing nations. Price is a big factor, but control is another. Think about it. If some Chinese company says to Boeing, “we need your documents in rtf format, not the doc format”, what does Boeing do if they want the business? There will be an inexorable move to open formats. Make no mistake. It is a matter of time, but it will absolutely happen. Why else is Microsoft attempting to destroy Linux? They can see the trends and those trends spell big trouble. For now, Apple would have a problem without Office. Apple would survive, but would have some big problems to overcome. There is coming a time, however, when this won’t any longer be the case. 2003-06-19 3:59 pm Well there is rumors of an Apple developement of iWorks and there is Appleworks, Apples own office program. Or move to Open Office for the mac. Heck MS Office is one of the very few programs that mac people complained about that crashed OS X. So I really don’t think Apple would worry to much about MS leaving Apple. Apple has been trying to get away from MS these past few years anyways. With the developement of their own web browser and the fact that Appleworks handles Word Docs. Its not a worry to me really, I use Appleworks and mostly use my mac for Final Cut Pro and photoshop. 2003-06-19 4:14 pm I’m not that familier with OpenOffice, but it would be cool if Apple could take the code(if was free,,beats me)and make it into an Apple app like their browser. But maybe its better not to change a good thing if it works fine already. I will have to just download it myself and use it. 2003-06-19 4:25 pm In my opinion, MS office has been getting worse and worse for bloat and cpu usage over time. It has gotten to the point where I dont even like to use it due to the cluttered look etc… and whoe needs a little paperclip bugging them about something petty. At the moment i use 602 Text, its not the best, but at least it isnt a nuisance. 2003-06-19 4:36 pm We are all forgetting that MS has purchased Virtual PC. If they can further the development of the product to run so seemlessly on the Mac OS that you don’t even realize any difference, then Mac users don’t need their own software. They could run Windows versions of MS apps (or any app for that matter)on the Mac. 2003-06-19 4:36 pm This is really starting to bug me, why do people keap saying apple could do to OOo as they did to KHTML, people act like all apple did was take a browser and tweak it some and boom they got safari. Apple use one peice of KHTML, or rather KHTML is a small peice of Konqurer. And built the rest of the browsers around that. To do the same with OOo would be like apple taking some of the file opening bits and building everything else. Using KHTML saved apple a lot of work in that it was a portable core peice to work from. You don’t have that with OOo. To get OOo to where apple would need it to be would take a crazy amount of work. They would just start over. Or they would look to a company like Gobe to do one heck of a retrofit on Gobe Productive and provide an office suite. OOo is no where near the level of MS office in usability, looks etc, to get it to an Apple level would take yet another massive leap of work from and MS office level. Apple probably does have a plan in the works, but they would only use it if they had to. 2003-06-19 5:31 pm “We are all forgetting that MS has purchased Virtual PC. If they can further the development of the product to run so seemlessly on the Mac OS that you don’t even realize any difference, then Mac users don’t need their own software.” exactly why did MS purchase that? My assumption, based on MS’s past activities, would be that they purchased it to end its existence. No doubt i could be wrong. 2003-06-19 5:39 pm They could just get together with the StarOffice guys & have them do a OS X version, why not? 2003-06-19 5:44 pm Just remember that Office is the MS main money maker. Yes, that’s right. Microsoft makes the majority of their money from Office. $400+ for just MS Word? Gimmie a break. For a few more bucks I can just buy the entire Office application….tada!! New sucker born! Yes, if MS were to cease production of Office for the Mac, it would devastate the Mac platform. Make no mistake about it. There are far weaker arguments that people I know have used not to buy a Mac. Believe it. Secondly, this does not necessarily mean the end of the Mac though. They have ran through just as hard times as this and came out ahead. If anything, the notion that it may unseat MS as THE office app remains a possibility. Lately, many Wintel users are getting more, and more vocal against MS. People are not liking them generally. This does lead to people leaving them. I’m by no means a LINUX guy, but the simple fact that a underground OS such as this can proliferate at the rate it is doing, proves people can easily live without MS. It is even more true because the majority of servers run Apache/LINUX and more and more “BIG” businesses are investing millions in it. If you want to run with the big boys…don’t run MS. This will only prove to be more true as the dipsticks at MS slit their own throats with .NET. 2003-06-19 5:44 pm Don’t be so quick to downplay an “alliance” of sorts with Linux. Linux is beginning to get a foothold on the desktop (outside of the U.S. – see the recent Munich defection). If Apple took Open Office, cleaned it up, made it a program on par with Keynote and released the changes back to the community (well, they would have to) it would improve the viability of moving off the Windows platform substantially where corporations were concerned. It’s already happening fairly dramatically in the server room. 2003-06-19 6:03 pm Have none of you heard Roz Ho’s proclamation this week that not only is the MBU working on the next Office for Mac, but also the one after that? Adam was partly right and Eugenia was totally wrong for calling him naive. Office IS Microsoft’s second most important franchise and their only profitable product except Windows itself. ANYTHING that erodes that position is very threatening to MS. While losing a couple points of market share by cancelling Mac Office wouldn’t hurt them per se, I think they’d be well advised to worry more about Apple’s response. Let’s face it: Office didn’t get where it is because it’s so damn good. Forget Open Office, if you don’t think Apple couldn’t turn out an office suite that was actually superior to MS Office AND potentially release it for both platforms, then you’re the one who is naive. Besides, as others have pointed out, there are significant compatibility issues between successive versions of the office formats for Windows. The need to keep users of older Windows versions in the loop limits MS’s ability to protect their ecosystem by rapidly changing file formats, so in the worst case scenario the Open Office folks will have plenty of time to improve their compatibility. Incidentally I am an MS Office for Mac user from its inception and have bought and used every single release since then including 98, 2001 and X. At first it was a vital tool for functioning in what used to be a 100% MS environment. These days my colleagues are as likely to be running Linux as Windows and the Mac’s own compatibility has been enhanced immeasureably. Does the prospect of losing Office for Mac concern me? Not one little bit. 2003-06-19 6:04 pm I think ceasing MS Office production for Mac does give OpenOffice a very good chance. I use OpenOffice on Windows and FreeBSD and it runs very nicely, and it provides an easy way to share the same document without trouble on many platforms and work the same way everywhere. Plus, I think it’s the alternative office suite with the best support for MS formats so far, so it would be a very probable solution… 2003-06-19 6:13 pm OpenOffice is here, All Apple needs to do is help enhance it. My office is IE – MS Office freeand we manage just fine. I can switch documents with any client that uses MS Office. I can do presentations and they work fine in PowerPoint. The only thing holding Apple back is Apple. Safari does a bang up job on the web, it works great. 2003-06-19 6:20 pm OpenOffice for Mac would have to be Carbonized at least. X11 just doesn’t cut it. 2003-06-19 7:54 pm A lot of people on this board have advocated that Apple should take an open source office product enhance it, and turn it back out to the open source community. Why ?? There are only two considerations Apple should use in deciding to build an advanced office product. 1. They feel they can build a product that is superior to current offering on the market 2. They can make a profit publishing such a product. All other arguments centered on religion, or politics are secondary. If using an existing open source product as the base of product can satisfy both criteria above, Apple should consider doing it. If it doesn’t they shouldn’t be expected to. 2003-06-19 8:11 pm OO.o would not be a good idea for Apple. It doesn’t easily integrate with Keynote. What do suggest they do? Drop Keynote so then work on OO.o instead of working on AppleWorks? 2003-06-19 8:19 pm The chances that linux would recieve many enhancements to OO.o’s interface are pretty much nil. If, they decided that an OO.o based product would be easier than enhancing AppleWorks, they would probably do what they did with Safari – take the parts they need, and then build an application around it. Thus the open source community would get the “borrowed” parts enhancements and clean ups – but they wouldn’t get anything cool like the interface or any features Apple decided to throw in. Take a look at safari, KHTML didn’t get Trackback, it didn’t get Safari’s Bookmark Management system, the XBLT support Hyatt put in Safari is not in KHTML. These are things Apple added – which they don’t have to turn over to the community because they are not parts of KHTML. So I don’t see why everyone is getting so hyped up over “Apple should use OO.o so that it will get cleaned up and actually look nice for linux.” Its not going to happen. 2003-06-19 8:39 pm The easiest way to get someone to watch/listen to your channel or read your magazine/website is to overreact. People get scared and tend to watch/read the “news” to make sure the world hasn’t come to its end. Remember, Apple was supposed to fold or be bought out every third day back in ’96. Business week needs to sell magazines and to fill pages. Keep that in mind. Microsoft may eventually pull Office:Mac, but it will be some time before they do. Right now, it is the market leader on the Mac side. Although this is a good reason to continue shipping the suite, there’s another more important reason to keep shipping Office; to keep from appearing as though they are abusing their market dominance to crush their competitors. When Apple releases their office suite, Microsoft will be in a better position to back away from the Mac market. Mac users hate Microsoft, they will want to the Apple product. Apple knows the only way to get businesses to adopt its suite is to create a package that is both cheaper and fully compatible with Office:Mac. Microsoft left the Mac Browser market simply because it couldn’t afford another anti-trust trial just to take over a tiny market. MS was afraid that the web browser would be the OS of the future. This is why it took on Netscape with such a vengance. Microsoft left the market, but made an interesting statement. They said they couldn’t compete because Apple had access to the OS that MS didn’t. This left them unable to create a browser with all the features that Apple’s browser had. This was the complaint everyone else had with MS in the anti-trust trial. That statement was planted for a reason.. 2003-06-19 8:52 pm I switched to Star Office on my PC when my Office 97 disk refused to install no matter what. $40 was a fair price to pay. I nearly prolapsed when I saw that Office 2000 was $300. Star Office 5.2 has been okay and I’m satisfied enough with it to not switch. I switched to OS X when I took one look at Win XP’s “activation scheme” and outrageous price. I refuse to buy any more Microsoft products. I’m still looking for a GOOD word processor. 1) Appleworks blows chunks in the sense that I must save it as an appleworks file until I’ve finished the final draft an only then can I save it as an .rtf. Also, when you finally open up that .rtf on a PC the ‘ becomes this wierd ~O thing. 2) Think Free Office is seriously processor intensive. The cursor appears and dissapears w/out warning, and if you copy and paste something from an email or message board window in to it (which I do a lot of), you’re damned when it comes to spell checking and editing. 90% of the edit functions simply will not work. It also has a fair amount of MS like autoformatting crap that you can’t turn off. GRRRRRR. 3) Open Office has a crippling problem in that it wants me to save in the NATIVE .sdw format and won’t let me save in .rtf or .doc. I can import and edit .rtfs and .docs just fine. I can’t CREATE them to send to another computer. (I got my copy of Open Office off of a disk called Office Applications for the Mac put out by BSD Mall.) 4) Abi Word is a wonderfully pleasing, easy to work in, and pleasant to look at program. It’s snappy. It launches quickly. It’s menus are well organized. I can save in .rtf or .doc right off the bat. This would be the perfect wordprocessor for the Mac if only BSD Mall’s utility to let you copy and paste between Aqua and X windows ACTUALLY WORKED. And in typical *nix fashion I find that there is not a help menu for this program and no instructions for it at all. Lovely. If there is an OS X native wordprocessor not made by MS, that lets me save in .doc or .rtf right off the bat, and isn’t horribly confused by text copied and pasted in from an email, please email me and let me know. Or, if you know how to get that stupid BSDMall program that’s supposed to let you copy and paste from Aqua to X and vice versa to actually work, drop me a line. 2003-06-19 9:42 pm Microsoft’s pulling out of any new IE-development doesn’t affect the users, that choose the Apple-platform in the first place, namely the the graphics & audio parts of the computer users world. Quite frankly, the current plans of Apple with OS X for these user-segments looks much more promising without Microsoft than with. Apple also seems to be more interested in filling the hole of SGI multimedia created vacuum, than attempting to fill the business world vacuum, which they never had in the first place. 2003-06-19 10:22 pm Also, I seriously doubt that Web developers will pay any less attention to Apple now. Or, more accurately, I doubt that they’ll build sites that work exclusively for Windows machines running IE. They will if they’re using ASP.NET which requires IE6 as a client. microsoft are slowly moving to .NET – the integration of IE into future windows releases is a further locking in mechanism. OK, so the vast majority of publically accessable websites will remain just that – publically accessable usable by almost any browser but there is an awful lot of money being spent and won in developing commercial applications which have web interfaces – generally for business to customer or business to business use. At the moment, the tool of choice for building these clients is Macromedia Dreamweaver which is, of course, wildly popular on the mac platform. If companies are slowly coerced into using .NET and ASP.NET then they’re also forced to use the Wintel platform not only for development, but also for use of their web apps. IE continuing on the mac could have strengthend Apples position in this regard. Similar story with Office. MS on Apple gives commercial people a reason to keep on buying apple. Ultimately, it’s a case of how far do Apple want to go on their own and how risky is it to do so. 2003-06-20 2:06 am Really, Apple has a few options if they make an office alternative. They could improve AppleWorks, extend an open source offering, or cut a deal with IBM (Lotus) or Corel (WordPerfect). They could come up with an interesting offering. If Apple really does compete with Office – I guess MS’s reaction would have to depend on how good (and thus competitive) the product is… a catch-22 problem. Also, would Apple release something truly competitive across other platforms (like a deal with IBM for an Apple SmartSuite across Windows/Linux/Mac?) – that’s bound to get Microsoft’s back up.