Microsoft mouthpiece Frank Shaw penned a blog post Wednesday about Apple's new iPad, which for the first time comes with free iWork and iLife software. Shaw's post is titled "Apple and oranges," but it appears to also include some sour grapes.
"Since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it's hardly that surprising or significant a move," Shaw wrote. "And it doesn't change the fact that it's much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking."
Apple unveiled its newand an on Tuesday, announcing that the tablets would come with a new version of iWork. The idea is for the tablets to serve as both work and entertainment devices -- much like what Microsoft aims for with its Surface tablets. Apple's new iWork and share and work on files in the Pages, Keynote, and Numbers apps.
This new iWork suite has been to such services as Google Docs and Microsoft's Office 365. The fact that for buyers of new Macs or iOS devices appears to be a dig specifically intended against
"Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world's most popular, most powerful productivity software, for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively," Shaw wrote. "Making 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."
There's no question that Microsoft is a venerable tech leader in the productivity-software category. These productivity tools are the company's biggest revenue stream after Windows. And it's most likely no coincidence that Apple timed its new iWork launch as Microsoft is. Maybe this is some of the reason for Shaw's sour grapes.
"When I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don't see a shot across our bow," he wrote, "I see an attempt to play catch up."