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Microsoft's Frank Shaw Slams Apple's Free iWork Software

By - Source: Microsoft | B 35 comments

VP of communications sounds off about Apple's decision to make iWork free and insists it's not a big (or very good) deal.

At Tuesday's Apple event, CEO Tim Cook announced that the newest iteration of OS X, Mavericks, would be free. Not only that, but the new versions of iLife and iWork would be free as well. There was a couple of little snipes about competitors charging big bucks for OS upgrades and Apple's new software pricing turning the industry on its ear. At one point, a copy of Windows 8 Pro and its $199 price tag flashed up on screen and Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering, declared: "The days of spending hundreds of dollars to get the most out of your computer are gone." Now, you didn't expect Microsoft to just let that go, did you?

Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft, published a blog post this week titled 'Apples and Oranges.' In it, he expresses the need to 'clear some things up' regarding Apple's event. The short version of his post is that the Surface and Surface 2 both include Office and both cost less than the iPad 2 and iPad Air. This he says, means Apple's decision to "build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal." Ouch. He goes on to wax lyrical about the Surface and its ability to cover both elements of the user's life, seamlessly blending work and play in one device.

Shaw later adds that the Surface and Surface 2 offer more storage than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively and come with full versions of Office 2013 as opposed to 'non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can't share docs with the rest of the world.' What's more, the surface allows you to open multiple windows, and comes with additional support for USB, SD cards, and that all important kickstand. Bottom line: Shaw believes Apple's decision to make iWork free is an attempt to catch up to Microsoft and the Surface's productivity prowess than anything else, and no one does productivity better than Microsoft.

While Shaw does have a point in saying Office is the 'gold standard' for productivity (his words, not ours), there's no better price than free if you're looking to boost your userbase. It's also not exactly fair to paint the iPad as a machine that is incapable of both work and play, especially since more and more people are using their iPads for work on the go. The fact is, the tablet industry is still new, particularly in the context of mobile productivity, which means its also ripe for some fresh competition.

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  • 2 Hide
    dameon51 , October 24, 2013 5:59 PM
    He might be right, but that's not going to prevent people from drinking Apples kool-aid.
  • 2 Hide
    stevejnb , October 24, 2013 6:18 PM
    Edit: Tsk tsk, changed your post Smokey ;) 

    Smokey, while there are *tons* of Microsoft users, I don't see all that many people who actually have the level of fanaticism that Apple fans have. Most people use MS because it's there and it's the standard and they don't know any better whereas a *lot* of Apple users use their products like they are a defining part of their lives that constitute a significant part of their personal identity. You never see someone talking about an MS product as a fashion accessory like a purse or the cool thing they brag to their friends about in school... Apple? All the bloody time.

    Also, as for the "cannot think for themselves at all." Us tech people are kinda snobby about this sort of thing but we don't realize that there are people in other venues that look at us the exact same way. I know foodies who laugh at us regular folks as nincompoops for buying crappy olive oil and thinking it's good, for eating inferior quality burgers at this or that place, for buying this or that cut of meat and thinking it's quality. I know car people who laugh their heads off as we get bent over by mechanics to do simple fixes on their vehicles. I work with construction guys who shake their heads and call regular people idiots when they need to pay someone $30 an hour to put up a sheet of dry wall, slap on a layer of mud and paint it.

    You probably fit into one of those categories, and many, many more. So, do you feel like a complete incompetent idiot - a "drone" if you will - because you don't care to learn enough about these areas to make really informed decisions? Or like everyone else, do you simply pursue what you like and what you have to and learn about those things, and ignore the rest, even if it means you aren't *always* making the optimal choice?
  • 1 Hide
    rishiswaz , October 24, 2013 6:54 PM
    My main gripe with apple is, what about the users that had purchased the iWork apps for the iPad? I bought Pages and Keynote for the iPad when those apps first came out on the iPad 1, but now my reward for being an early adopter is not only do I not get OS updates I am out 30 dollars on apps that are now free. I used to love Apple mobile products (phones and tablets) but I eventually understood that they honestly don't care about customers using older products and would rather milk you 300+ dollars for a new device rather than fix your old one. Microsoft's legacy support is very good, even though it is going away in 2014 there is still support for Windows XP as of now. Windows XP support: 12 years (2001- 2014), iPad 1 support: 2 years (2010-2012)
  • 8 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 24, 2013 6:57 PM
    ...and us LibreOffice and Google Docs users just sit back and wonder what all the fuss is about.
  • -2 Hide
    smokeybravo , October 24, 2013 7:25 PM
    Quote:
    Edit: Tsk tsk, changed your post Smokey ;) 

    Smokey, while there are *tons* of Microsoft users, I don't see all that many people who actually have the level of fanaticism that Apple fans have. Most people use MS because it's there and it's the standard and they don't know any better whereas a *lot* of Apple users use their products like they are a defining part of their lives that constitute a significant part of their personal identity. You never see someone talking about an MS product as a fashion accessory like a purse or the cool thing they brag to their friends about in school... Apple? All the bloody time.

    Also, as for the "cannot think for themselves at all." Us tech people are kinda snobby about this sort of thing but we don't realize that there are people in other venues that look at us the exact same way. I know foodies who laugh at us regular folks as nincompoops for buying crappy olive oil and thinking it's good, for eating inferior quality burgers at this or that place, for buying this or that cut of meat and thinking it's quality. I know car people who laugh their heads off as we get bent over by mechanics to do simple fixes on their vehicles. I work with construction guys who shake their heads and call regular people idiots when they need to pay someone $30 an hour to put up a sheet of dry wall, slap on a layer of mud and paint it.

    You probably fit into one of those categories, and many, many more. So, do you feel like a complete incompetent idiot - a "drone" if you will - because you don't care to learn enough about these areas to make really informed decisions? Or like everyone else, do you simply pursue what you like and what you have to and learn about those things, and ignore the rest, even if it means you aren't *always* making the optimal choice?


    You're a drone not because you use Windows, but because you are so vehemently opposed to Apple for no good reason other than "it doesn't suit my tastes or needs". More people in the professional programming sector use MacBook Pros than Windows based laptops. I understand that you don't have much experience in IT or computer science, but that isn't a reason to hate something. If you took home a MacBook Air for a week and still had the same opinion, maybe you'd seem less foolish.

  • 2 Hide
    stevejnb , October 24, 2013 7:34 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Edit: Tsk tsk, changed your post Smokey ;) 

    Smokey, while there are *tons* of Microsoft users, I don't see all that many people who actually have the level of fanaticism that Apple fans have. Most people use MS because it's there and it's the standard and they don't know any better whereas a *lot* of Apple users use their products like they are a defining part of their lives that constitute a significant part of their personal identity. You never see someone talking about an MS product as a fashion accessory like a purse or the cool thing they brag to their friends about in school... Apple? All the bloody time.

    Also, as for the "cannot think for themselves at all." Us tech people are kinda snobby about this sort of thing but we don't realize that there are people in other venues that look at us the exact same way. I know foodies who laugh at us regular folks as nincompoops for buying crappy olive oil and thinking it's good, for eating inferior quality burgers at this or that place, for buying this or that cut of meat and thinking it's quality. I know car people who laugh their heads off as we get bent over by mechanics to do simple fixes on their vehicles. I work with construction guys who shake their heads and call regular people idiots when they need to pay someone $30 an hour to put up a sheet of dry wall, slap on a layer of mud and paint it.

    You probably fit into one of those categories, and many, many more. So, do you feel like a complete incompetent idiot - a "drone" if you will - because you don't care to learn enough about these areas to make really informed decisions? Or like everyone else, do you simply pursue what you like and what you have to and learn about those things, and ignore the rest, even if it means you aren't *always* making the optimal choice?


    You're a drone not because you use Windows, but because you are so vehemently opposed to Apple for no good reason other than "it doesn't suit my tastes or needs". More people in the professional programming sector use MacBook Pros than Windows based laptops. I understand that you don't have much experience in IT or computer science, but that isn't a reason to hate something. If you took home a MacBook Air for a week and still had the same opinion, maybe you'd seem less foolish.



    Yikes... So, without knowing the first thing about me, what kind of computer experience I have, and what I do for a living, your response to that post pretty much boils down to "Well, you obviously just haven't experienced the greatness that is Mac - you'd realize how great it was and change your tune."

    You know how I was talking about Apple snobs? Yep, that's most likely you based on that condescending "Well I'M so clever" response. If you don't consider "it doesn't suit my tastes and needs" a good reason to not invest in a product, I suspect I could talk at you all day and you'd sit there telling me I'm just not quite experience/smart/computer savvy enough to understand the greatness that is Mac.

    Have a nice day.
  • -2 Hide
    smokeybravo , October 24, 2013 7:45 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Edit: Tsk tsk, changed your post Smokey ;) 

    Smokey, while there are *tons* of Microsoft users, I don't see all that many people who actually have the level of fanaticism that Apple fans have. Most people use MS because it's there and it's the standard and they don't know any better whereas a *lot* of Apple users use their products like they are a defining part of their lives that constitute a significant part of their personal identity. You never see someone talking about an MS product as a fashion accessory like a purse or the cool thing they brag to their friends about in school... Apple? All the bloody time.

    Also, as for the "cannot think for themselves at all." Us tech people are kinda snobby about this sort of thing but we don't realize that there are people in other venues that look at us the exact same way. I know foodies who laugh at us regular folks as nincompoops for buying crappy olive oil and thinking it's good, for eating inferior quality burgers at this or that place, for buying this or that cut of meat and thinking it's quality. I know car people who laugh their heads off as we get bent over by mechanics to do simple fixes on their vehicles. I work with construction guys who shake their heads and call regular people idiots when they need to pay someone $30 an hour to put up a sheet of dry wall, slap on a layer of mud and paint it.

    You probably fit into one of those categories, and many, many more. So, do you feel like a complete incompetent idiot - a "drone" if you will - because you don't care to learn enough about these areas to make really informed decisions? Or like everyone else, do you simply pursue what you like and what you have to and learn about those things, and ignore the rest, even if it means you aren't *always* making the optimal choice?


    You're a drone not because you use Windows, but because you are so vehemently opposed to Apple for no good reason other than "it doesn't suit my tastes or needs". More people in the professional programming sector use MacBook Pros than Windows based laptops. I understand that you don't have much experience in IT or computer science, but that isn't a reason to hate something. If you took home a MacBook Air for a week and still had the same opinion, maybe you'd seem less foolish.



    Yikes... So, without knowing the first thing about me, what kind of computer experience I have, and what I do for a living, your response to that post pretty much boils down to "Well, you obviously just haven't experienced the greatness that is Mac - you'd realize how great it was and change your tune."

    You know how I was talking about Apple snobs? Yep, that's most likely you based on that condescending "Well I'M so clever" response. If you don't consider "it doesn't suit my tastes and needs" a good reason to not invest in a product, I suspect I could talk at you all day and you'd sit there telling me I'm just not quite experience/smart/computer savvy enough to understand the greatness that is Mac.

    Have a nice day.


    "It doesn't suit my tastes and needs" is a perfectly good reason to not buy something. But it's not a good reason to go on a tangent about how bad it is when you obviously have no experience with it. As much as I'd love to sit here and host a preschool logic session, I don't have the time.
  • 2 Hide
    falchard , October 24, 2013 7:50 PM
    OMG I found it, someone who thinks Macs are good on a tech site.

    C'mon if you have any sense in technology, you would know macs are outdated piles of garbage that tout around 1 piece of technology they got released on their platform first while the rest of their platform is years behind. Just look at the new Mac Pro's, 2 BRAND NEW video cards that combined still don't match a single 2 year old professional grade GPU they are based on.
    I'm really getting tired of people talking about how awesome Apple is when almost everything they make is done better by someone else.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , October 24, 2013 7:54 PM
    You may not have the time for a preschool logic session Smokey, but boy could you use one. I don't know if my post set off your inner Steve Jobs or something, but you somehow have managed to miss the subtle but rather important point that I never even implied that Apple products were bad... And on top of that, I've got a fair bit of experience with them.

    Reread my original post and, prior to going into "GRRR enemy of Apple JOBS SMASH!!!" mode, try thinking to see if I actually said anything remotely bad about Apple - because you *really* seem hung up on something I never so much as hinted at.
  • 4 Hide
    DRosencraft , October 24, 2013 8:03 PM
    Why do we have to go through this every single time? It's the same old story over and over. Everyone knows, or should know, that few things if anything at all in this world are actually free. Is MS Office or Windows overpriced? Hard to tell when it has no direct competition. Linux is free, but you have to search out and or code many drivers and the like yourself. iOS is the only OS you can get on a Mac period. As for Office, for most people something like Libre or Google Docs is good enough. But both tend to have terrible spell check, and for complex and large spreadsheets, word processing documents, or presentations, MS Office has a lot of stuff the others don't. And again, if you're on Mac you may not pay for iWork separately but the cost is part of the device cost, so you might as well use it if you've got. Comparing Mac to Windows is like comparing oranges to tangerines; similar but very different.
  • 2 Hide
    sean1357 , October 24, 2013 8:06 PM
    This is so simple.

    Apple makes software iOS and hardware. They can give out software OS for free...but they will make money in the hardware side.

    Microsoft ONLY makes software (Windows). So they HAVE to charge money to pay for developers... Developers don't work for FREE....

  • -3 Hide
    smokeybravo , October 24, 2013 8:25 PM
    Quote:
    you *really* seem hung up on something I never so much as hinted at.


    Not only do you need a logic lesson, you need a reading comprehension one as well.

  • 0 Hide
    rishiswaz , October 24, 2013 8:25 PM
    Oh God, here we go again.
    To be honest Macs are some of the best looking and well designed products on the market (with the exception of the new Mac Pro and lets not forget our dear departed friend the Xserve), in terms of design innovation Apple takes the cake, but OS X is really not an OS that I have heard any major corporation doing a full scale roll out of, and the: "More people in the professional programming sector use MacBook Pros than Windows based laptops." is something I would want to see statistics for because I do not belive a word of it, I can not imagine an IT department handing out Mac Books because that is something I would never do, and even if I had to I would set it up with Windows.

    Once where I work an employee asked for a MBP instead of the IBMs that were standard, and we said "sure if you think you can be productive on it", 3 weeks later when he returned it and asked for one of the IBMs not only did we see that he had Windows running on it through bootcamp, but through records of the things he was doing there was a significantly larger amount of time spent browsing non-work related things (Social networking, youtube, random news, IMs, personal email, etc.). Macs don't even have TPM so I would shudder at the thought of putting any sensitive information or in-progress projects on a Mac, even the Surface Pro 2 has a TPM module so there is no excuse for a MBP to not come with that stock.

    Windows is not perfect and I am not saying it is, but for actually doing work, especially programming, Windows is the king and will be for the forseeable future in my opinion. Things like Windows Server (most large companies and corporations use Linux but Windows server is easy to use for small/medium businesses), Lync and other Windows only Office products, Visual Studio (probably the biggest thing for programmers), legacy support,hardware options, and support from both OEMs and Microsoft. However viruses (even though if you are not careless you won't get one but every once in a while it happens), OEM bulkware, OS maintenance (re-installs, driver sweeps, registry cleaning, etc.), and that damn paperclip from Windows XP are some big negative points that are really what is leading to the migration of low to the lower end of the medium level users to OS X.
  • 0 Hide
    pezonator , October 24, 2013 8:47 PM
    The good old debate...

    I work in IT support at a school and I create the images for both Windows and Macs and then deploy them. I setup the programs for each, printers, network drives and so on. I have done this since OS X 10.5 and Windows XP.

    So based on my experience, I can comfortably say, Microsoft does it better, end of story. Apple is rubbish to manage. Windows is just so easy with Group Policy, storage servers, firewalls and it all connects into each other and it works.

    Even if iWork is free, you still pay way too much for inferior hardware in Apple products. OS X is useless in education and the workplace. Most IT techs will agree with this. There is a reason OS X is only at 8% worldwide and Windows over 80%.
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , October 24, 2013 9:01 PM
    Quote:
    ...and us LibreOffice and Google Docs users just sit back and wonder what all the fuss is about.


    This.

    All this talk about offering free OS upgrades and office suites like it's something innovative. Linux and Google have been doing it for a very long time.

    Come to think of it, when exactly was the last time Failsoft or Crapple innovated anything?

  • 1 Hide
    Fierce Guppy , October 24, 2013 9:10 PM
    Neat-oooo! The OS is FREE! If only I had more money than brains to afford the overpriced hardware to run it on!
  • 1 Hide
    okibrian , October 24, 2013 9:37 PM
    At one point, a copy of Windows 8 Pro and its $199 price tag flashed up on screen and Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering, declared: "The days of spending hundreds of dollars to get the most out of your computer are gone."

    Now I do own Apple products as well as run Windows too, but even I have to say that this is not a fair remark. Apple makes money on hardware where as Windows, with the exception of Surface, is mostly software based. The company would make zero dollars if it did not charge for software. It would be like Apple giving away free Macs and iPhones to all. Is Apple going to do that? I think not.
  • -2 Hide
    rishiswaz , October 24, 2013 10:18 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    ...and us LibreOffice and Google Docs users just sit back and wonder what all the fuss is about.


    This.

    All this talk about offering free OS upgrades and office suites like it's something innovative. Linux and Google have been doing it for a very long time.

    Come to think of it, when exactly was the last time Failsoft or Crapple innovated anything?



    Not to be blunt but that is really really wrong. More recently Apple has slowed down innovation in performance and has really been focusing on design of the products and UI but that is still innovation. Also if you didn't know Visual Studio constantly gets huge updates, I mean sorry that you are stuck on code blocks but Visual Studio sets the standard for IDEs. Good luck trying to get it to run on Wine, the dependency trees and system integration makes it hard enough to install it on a secondary drive inside your computer and impossible on an external hard drive so unless you want to run VMs loaded up with "Failsoft" goodies you are out of luck on that. Microsoft also recently stepped up in security by putting hardware drive encryption via TPM modules required for Windows PCs soon. Microsoft and Apple took Xerox's idea for a GUI that they had worked up in their PARC facility and refined it then made it huge with the consumer market. If you really want to seperate yourself from "Failsoft and Crapple" stop using your Linux distro's GUI and either stick with CLI and let me know when you finish typing your response in VIM through an email via Alpine or Elm, or operate from a Xereox 8010 (which by the way was not UNIX based). For all the technical knowledge Linux/Open Source fanboys claim to have they fail to see that Linux and open source extra features and bells and whistles such as GUIs are borrowed technology.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 24, 2013 11:27 PM
    I work in the IT dept, our most time consuming task is supporting execs that have bought iPads and expect to be able to use MS Office. Just because people can use iWork, it isn't a defacto program and the other problems associated with the iPad make it more trouble than it is worth to support, not least IT ignorant execs that only got it to look cool.
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