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No Serial Number Required for iWork '09 Retail Box

Apple recently posted a support document revealing that retail boxes of the new iWork '09 suite do not require users to input serial numbers to activate the product. Users who download the iWork '09 30-day trial from Apple's site, however, will still have to input serial numbers upon purchasing the full version online in order to unlock the applications.

The lack of a serial number is not unique to iWork, as other software offerings from Apple, most notably iLife and Mac OS X itself, have long been free of this requirement. These offerings, however, come standard on all Macs, greatly reducing the market for pirated versions. The reasons for the policy shift for iWork are unclear, although it appears that Apple has decided that convenience for the end-user outweighs concerns about software piracy at this time.

Also announced along with iWork '09 at Macworld was iWork.com, Apple's new site for online collaboration. While the site is launching as a free beta version, Apple ultimately plans to make iWork.com a fee-based service. The addition of this revenue stream may also have swayed Apple to streamline the iWork installation experience as much as possible in order to appeal to a wider potential customer base.