Microsoft Bashes Apple's iWork Software, New iPads
Microsoft's corporate vice president of communications, Frank Shaw, today took to the Official Microsoft Blog to denounce both Apple's revamped iWork software and the company's well-received decision to distribute it as a free upgrade for existing users.
"Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino," writes Shaw, before launching into a long-winded rant that positions the Surface and the Surface 2 as better productivity devices, insinuating that Apple doesn't understand productivity.
That’s what Surface is. A single, simple, affordable device that helps you both lean in and kick back. Let’s be clear – helping folks kill time on a tablet is relatively easy. Give them books, music, videos and games, and they’ll figure out the rest. Pretty much all tablets do that.
But helping people be productive on a tablet is a little trickier. It takes an understanding of how people actually work, how they get things done, and how to best support the way they do things already.
The good news is that Microsoft understands how people work better than anyone else on the planet.
Shaw goes on to suggest that since iWork has never "gotten much traction", Apple's decision to provide both free upgrades and free software to new users was insignificant as it was "already priced like an afterthought" and it's difficult to work on a device that "lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking." He also offers several bullet points that highlight the iPad's shortcomings, following up with a statement that Microsoft has "built a better solution for people everywhere."
- The Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud.
- … come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can’t share docs with the rest of the world.
- … offer additional native productivity enhancing capabilities like kickstands, USB ports, SD card slots and multiple keyboard options.
- … include interfaces for opening multiple windows, either side by side or layered to fit the way most people actually work.
Shaw's anti-iWork comments follow Apple's own jabs at Microsoft, where Tim Cook took to the stage to question Apple's competitors.
"Our competition is different. They're confused. They chased after netbooks, now they're trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows that they'll do next? I can't answer that question, but I can tell you that we're focused."
Over the course of 2013, Microsoft has unsuccessfully attempted to position its Surface tablets as ideal productivity tools, continually highlighting the iPad's inability to run multiple apps at once, its lack of accessories, its high price, and of course, its less popular productivity software.
Following a series of price cuts, Microsoft revealed that its Surface lineup had earned just $853 million for the company, less than the $900 million writedown the company took for the Surface RT. Nevertheless, Microsoft forged ahead to release a second Surface tablet, announcing the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro in September.