iWork '09

iWork '09

Long-time Mac users will remember AppleWorks, the venerable office suite first released for the Apple II way back in 1984, which gave the best-selling Lotus programs a good run for its money. While AppleWorks is no longer available, there is a modern successor in iWork, Apple's answer to Microsoft Office.

What's included?
It would be much easier for everyone to understand the component programs of iWork in terms of their Microsoft Office equivalents.

Here's the table:

Microsoft Word
Numbers Microsoft Excel
Keynote Microsoft PowerPoint

For SGD138, you get a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation program. Some will scoff at the missing database, but who uses Microsoft Access these days? (For folks who have such needs, a good database program for OS X would be FileMaker, published by FileMaker Inc., an Apple subsidiary.)

Everything is sealed in a sleek, eco-friendly package. It doesn't provide much of the fabled Apple "unboxing" experience... but at least it's easier to open than the newer Microsoft plastic cases.

While not as easy as a drag-and-drop into the Applications folder, the installation process is simple and uncomplicated. What's surprising here is Apple's decision to do away with serial numbers altogether - iWork will never ask for that indecipherable string of letters and numbers, before and after installation. Whether that will affect sales is anyone's guess, but kudos to Apple for making life easier for their honest customers.

Hardly a dent

A quick Get Info through the Finder shows iWork '09 weighting in at approximately 660 megabytes, which is slightly more than half of what is stated in the official requirements (1.2 gigabytes), and nothing a modern hard drive can't handle.

So how much productivity punch is packed in those 660 megabytes? Flip (or rather click) to the next page.


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