A new player in the field of online collaboration

7 בינואר 2009

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Yesterday, Apple has announced a new web based service called iWork.com aimed for online collaboration.

If you wann'a skip directly to the bottom line, I personally don't think it will be a great success, and wouldn't be using it myself.

iWork is a software suite for mac that has been around for a few years. It includes a word processing software called Pages, a spreadsheet software called Numbers, and a presentation software called Keynote.

Today Apple has announced iWork 09 and with it, a new web based service called iWork.com. 

With iWork.com you can share and publish your works for anyone to see and review. Your docs are uploaded to the web, and each user is given a unique URL to access the document. Users can then review and comment about your document. It has support Microsoft Office formats as well, and PDF, so that PC users can use it as well.


Here is a video demo that shows how it looks and works:

I haven't had a chance to use it, but from what I saw and read so far here is my impression:

  • As expected, the GUI looks very nice and refined, and also very user friendly.
  • I particularly liked the notes feature that allows you to comment on specific parts of a document very easily.
  • I hate the face that you have to use iWork for publishing you docs, and iWork is mac only…
  • I also missed stuff like workflow features or some kind of process management solution for tracking the ongoing work on the document.
  • Also, the service is commercial, and as soon as it leaves it's beta stage, will be a paid service.


I was interested to see Apple jumps into the field of online collaboration, which is dominated mainly be Google and Microsoft who are tow massive players, and offer great products.

With products like Google Docs, and Microsoft Office Live Workspace, I can't see apple fit in with a mac only, commercial product, that isn't offering much more.

Eventually I wouldn't have used iWork even if I could (I'm a PC user).


— My name is Itay Shakury and I'm a SharePoint Consultant —

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