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Apple’s decision to make iWork free is ‘an attempt to play catch up’ to Microsoft

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Just yesterday, we wrote a piece about how we believe Apple is panicking about Microsoft’s dominance, especially when it comes to the office productivity arena. Apple recently announced that they would be making their office productivity suite, iWork, free in an attempt to compete with Office 365. Microsoft, today, responded to this move.

“So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don’t see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch up,” Microsoft’s Frank Shaw stated in an official blog post. His comments further cemented our belief that Apple will unlikely place a dent in Microsoft’s market, but the move to make iWork free does succeed in making Apple look strangely desperate.

“We literally wrote the book on getting things done.”

Touting the Surface as the most productive tablet you can buy today, Shaw emphasized that while Apple may offer “watered down productivity apps” with their products, 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.”

Shaw also adds that Apple’s decision to make iWork free is hardly that surprising or a significant move. “I think they, like others, are waking up to the fact that we’ve built a better solution for people everywhere, who are getting things done from anywhere, and who don’t have hard lines between their personal and professional lives. People who want a single, simple, affordable device with the power and flexibility to enhance and support their whole day,” Shaw states in reference to Apple.

As we pointed out yesterday, this does make Apple look desperate. Apple, in a recent iPad event, spoke about OSX’s free update as being revolutionary, a radical change in the PC industry. Apple downplayed Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud productivity solution, along with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system and the new Surface devices. 

“We literally wrote the book on getting things done,” Shaw adds. That’s a pretty bold statement for him to make but its not without merit. At the center of this ideology is the company’s new Surface 2 device, which offers work and play without compromise. 

Microsoft released the Surface 2 on October 22nd.

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