The reason Microsoft delayed the release of the next version of Office? Apple probably showed it’s new iWork spreadsheet program called “Numbers” to the Microsoft Apple Business Unit (“MacBU) crew a week or so ago as a courtesy, and the MacBU folks realized they had a lot of work to do if they want to look decent next to Apple’s new iWork lineup.
Besides being a very convenient piece of software, Numbers strikes at the heart of Microsoft’s core customer base on the Mac: small businesses. One of the Apple marketing guys told me today that the main reason someone would need Office for the Mac now, is to collaborate with Windows users. Most Office files import fine into the Mac. But, files from iWork, with their unique layout styles, won’t always work too well in Office.
Look for the MacBU to put out their best effort for Mac: Office 2008 and then the next version of iWork will crush it. The Apple development team knows that Microsoft takes years to develop meaningful software updates.
Peace to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork