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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Microsoft Says Apple's iWork Is 'Lightweight'

Microsoft on Wednesday commented on Apple's move to give away its software, claiming the iWork productivity suite from its rival was "lightweight" and "has never gotten much traction."

Apple has unveiled its new line of iPads and announced much of its software and upgrades would be free, including iWork, which competes with Microsoft's Office suite.

According to Microsoft corporate vice president Frank Shaw, Apple is trying to convince people that their entertainment devices are "really work machines."

"Since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it's hardly that surprising or significant a move. 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," Shaw said.

He added that Microsoft's Surface and Surface 2 tablets are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud. Thay come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, and "not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can't share docs with the rest of the world." He also underlined Surface's native productivity enhancing capabilities like kickstands, USB ports, SD card slots and multiple keyboard options, along with interfaces for opening multiple windows, either side by side or layered to fit the way people work.

"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," Shaw concluded.

In the meantime, Microsoft is trying to clear inventory for the first generation Surface tablets. The company cut the price of the Surface Pro by another $100 in order to do so. The original Surface Pro is now available for $699 for the base 64-gigabyte model.

This is the second time that Microsoft cut the price of the original Surface Pro by $100.

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