Mavericks was only the one part of the big updates Apple announced today. The other was with iWork and iLife. iWork is Apple’s version of Microsoft Office with apps like Pages (Apple’s version of Word), Numbers (Excel) and Keynote (PowerPoint while iLife is Apple’s famous suite of creative apps like Garage Band, iMovie and iPhoto. All are solid apps but ones that haven’t been updated in a while. With the release of OS X Mavericks Apple finally updated these apps giving them some nice redesigns and new features like the ability to have everything your working on synced in iCloud so you can use it on any device (iOS, Mac or in the case of iWork, even Windows using iCloud.com). But most importantly Apple did something completely unexpected– they made iWork for OS X free with the purchase of any new Mac and iWork for iOS free with the purchase of any new iOS device.
Apple already made iWork, iPhoto and iMovie free for new iOS devices back at the new iPhone launch last month. Making iWork free for OS X is big for anyone looking to get a new MacBook Air or Pro. With iWork available as a free download you can be ready for work right when you get your new Mac for no extra cost. When you consider that the new Office 365 costs $79 a year (for 4 years with student discount, $99 a year after), iWork being free is all the more important. Apple has lowered the price gap between getting a Mac and getting a Windows PC. Whether you were getting a Mac or PC you were probably going to get Office too but the new iWork for many will be a more the suitable replacement at no extra cost compared to paying a minimum of $320 extra for Office over 4 years with a new PC.
The new iWork and iLife apps are available to download from the Mac and iOS App Stores.
Curious to try out Microsoft’s new Office 365? Just got a new PC or Mac and want a demo version of Office to use so you don’t need to buy it right away? Well you’re in luck as Microsoft just announced a new deal for students that you are going to want to check out.
Usually Microsoft lets people download demo versions of Office for just one month, but starting today Microsoft will allow college students and teachers to get 3 free months of Office 365 and an extra 20 GB of Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud storage (giving you 27 GB of free storage in the cloud. Skydrive is Microsoft’s version of iCloud/Google Drive/Dropbox and allows you to easily access any files you store on there from anywhere you have internet access). All you have to do to get this deal is go to the Office for Students site and sign up using your .edu email address. That’s it and it will get you the free 3 months of Microsoft’s latest and greatest version of Office, including full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint (if you’re on Windows or Mac) and OneNote (Windows-only). And if you share the offer on Facebook you will get yourself an additional 3 months of free Office.
Office 365 University usually costs $79.99 a year for students (for up to 4 years, after that it is the usual $99.99 a year non-students pay), but with this you can make that deal for cheaper Office last an extra semester longer.
More info: Microsoft
A lot (if not pretty much all) of us have relied on Microsoft’s Office software for our lives over the years, whether for notes, school papers, or creating fliers. Every couple of years Microsoft introduces a major revision to the Office line, and 2010 is another one of those years. And while the basics of PowerPoint, Word, OneNote and all the other Office programs have stayed the same, there have been some pretty solid improvements that while may not be “must haves,” are without question appreciated and make Office even better and easier to use.
I’ve been testing out the beta (i.e. testing, not final) version of Office 2010 as my main Office suite for the past couple of months– using it to write papers, take notes, manage email, and create presentations; and I got to say– I really like it better than the older Office 2007. I’m not gonna go into a full out review of the new Office yet (partly because not everything is finalized in the beta I’m using), but here are a few thoughts.