iWork '11 to Launch Alongside Mac App Store in Early 2011?

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AppleInsider reports that the next version of Apple's productivity suite, iWork '11, is ready for launch but will likely debut alongside the company's Mac App Store very early in 2011.

People familiar with the matter say development of iWork '11 wrapped up this fall and the software was initially slated for an introduction alongside iLife '11 last month, but was held back at the last minute for undisclosed reasons.

Apple's revised plans currently call for the company to launch the new productivity suite alongside the forthcoming Mac App Store, these same people say. The applications included in the bundle -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- will be available for purchase individually when the Mac App Store debuts.

According to the report, Apple is still deciding whether to offer a retail box version of iWork '11 or if it will be available exclusively through the Mac App Store.

Promotional materials for the Mac App Store have shown the three iWork applications, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, available on an individual basis for $19.99 each, below Apple's current $79 price for the complete retail box suite.

Apple announced at its "Back to the Mac" media event on October 20th that the Mac App Store would launch within 90 days, meaning that the store would have to debut by January 18th, 2011 in order to reach Apple's stated timetable. The company last week began accepting submissions from developers seeking to have their applications included in the Mac App Store.

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