iWork '09

Ed
Eddie
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Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:42 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:Ok, I did some thinking (dangerous, I know).

How much does the non-educator MS-Office suite cost? Say $400. Don't argue with me, I just checked.


Where did you check? A few days ago Amazon had "Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition" for around $160. Current price is $195.

Jaysen wrote:How much does the UPGRADE cost? If you said $239.95 consider your self as accurate as the Microsnot website.


Again, retailers have it cheaper. $154.39 including shipping was the cheapest I found today, just doing a very quick Google search. You could buy iWork with the savings!

Jaysen wrote:So Apple wants me to pay $79 no matter if I am upgrading or not. That means that I can buy the next four iWork versions before I get to the cost of 1 MS Office version. Not sure how I lose there.


I've used iWork since the first version of Keynote became available, before it was called iWork. I stopped purchasing it. The only application that was worth it for me was Keynote. The lack of an upgrade path made it more expensive than Microsoft Office for me. IIRC I paid around $120 for Office 2004 -which offered MUCH more than iWork- and later paid around $115 to upgrade to "Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition." So far $235 has been cheaper than buying iWork with each release. And I'm sure that it will be a couple of years before I need to spend money on Microsoft Office again.

Jaysen wrote:Oh wait, you don't like the fact that I am comparing Windows software (the MS native platform ironically) to OSX software? Right.

So Office standard for OSX costs Let's see what http://store.apple.com says … wait for it … wait for it … $399.95!

We don't want to user office standard (which is the minimum for any business use, check the EULA)? OK, $149 for "Home/Student". Still seems to me that iWork is cheaper.

I guess I am not real sure what all the complaining about price is about. No matter how you stack it Apple's offering saves you money even without a special upgrade price.

What am I missing?


Your reasoning seems to be geared towards justifying an anti-Microsoft / pro-Apple position. If I looked at list prices for Microsoft products I would probably agree with you, but the fact is that they've made Office very affordable. I missed the $32 offer, but I'm still quite happy with their product and their customer support, and prices have been reasonable. I can't say the same about Apple. In terms of price, quality, and support they've been a disappointment. Early iWork versions were nothing more than glorified betas. I've learned to wait until the third release before I buy (or use) an Apple application. Eventually they do get it right, as has been the case with Safari, mail, etc., although I prefer alternative programs.
Office 2008 is far from perfect. I kept my 2004 copy, and will use Word and Excel from that version quite a bit, but I'm glad I got the new version.
At the current $155 price, you could say it's like paying $31 per application:
Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Entourage
Microsoft Expression Media

And getting these as a bonus:
Microsoft Server Exchange Support
Automator Actions for Workflows in Microsoft Office

Out of the aforementioned applications, the only substitution I would use is Keynote instead of PowerPoint. I may start using Quantrix Modeler Professional Edition in addition to Excel. Now that is an expensive program!

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Jaysen
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Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:15 pm Post

My pricing is from the Microsoft site.

I am not sure how one can say that any 3 digit number is less than a 2 digit number. So even if we go to "retail" sites Office products are still more expensive than Microsoft. Last time I checked 150 is still BIGGER than 80.

As to the functional issues with iWork, I have never seen one. It may be that my needs are less sophisticated. If so then i guess I am lucky and iWork gets everything done that I need.

There are actually 3 different lines of reasoning.

One is admittedly anit-Microsoft. I think that is clear to anyone who has ever read any of my posts dealing with their products. I don't like their business practices and I don't like their products. I never have and have been forced to use them until iWork '08 and Leopard.

The second is a simple argument of math that seems pretty clear to me. Apple's product is simply cheaper. Reread your post and explain to me how a "$154.39" upgrade is cheaper than $80. If you want to complain about a lack of "upgrade pricing" then you need to justify the need for it. Based on competitive comparison, even using YOUR numbers, one could purchase 2 full licenses for the cost of ONE MS upgrade. Not sure how the math on this one works, but iWork seems cheaper.

The third argument is that the educational/upgrade pricing schemes is an affront to the "common" folks like me. Why am I expected to subsidize other folks purchases? Apple "levels" the pricing field while STILL keeping the price for educators within $20 of a site license scheme of questionable legality. If you do not have access to the scheme you are still looking at $150 for MS. Take that $150 and go back to the second argument (150 > 79 so iWork is cheaper).

As to a $32 offer I (a person who manages a multi-million dollar budget with a significant amount of that going to Redmond) have NEVER had access to anything like that. And yes i get lots of "special" offers from them.

As to the support, we have apparently had different experiences. I make an appointment at the apple store, show up and I et my questions answered. For free. I call MS and unless I have an enterprise contract I get to give them my CC number. Oh and to date I have never had a MS issue resolved in 15 minutes. Apple always gets it in 15 or less.

As to your $31/app I am again confused as to how this is better than Apple's pricing. Lets break it down per app. There are three apps so all the apps in the bundle cost $26.66 (I know I am old, but 27 should still be less than 31).
Pages $27
Numbers $27
Notes $27
Mail FREE
iCal FREE
iChat FREE

As to media manager unless you bought after market Mac you have iLife. So MS gives me something i don't need. Fine. One freebee.

As to exchange integration you DO have that out of the box with Leopard. Could it use improvement? yes. Then again entourage, the actual MS product, has the EXACT SAME ISSUES with exchange.

Maybe I am just a narrow minded fool. Maybe I am blinded by a serious dislike of all things microsoft. It is possible. But in full disclosure let me point out that I willingly use Messenger 7 for mac because it works better with the folks I need to communicate with. So maybe not.

Again I may be lucky that I have not experienced any of the issues that "power" users of Pages have. But until someone can explain how $150 is less than $80 (your numbers, not mine) I will not give any credit to the cost argument.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Siren
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Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:39 pm Post

I downloaded a trial of iWork 09 last week, and I'm playing with Numbers. It has been an enjoyable experiment, and Numbers is really good for my (admittedly small) spreadsheets. I love the layout capabilities, and the template set is actually useful for a change. I am almost tempted to buy it after the trial period. I say almost, because I have no excuse whatsoever for using Keynote, and I need yet another word processor like I need a hole in the head. I know they have bundled the three apps together to emulate an Office solution set, but I really only want Numbers. Which makes it rather pricy.
Literature & Latte support team

Ed
Eddie
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Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:02 am Post

Jaysen wrote:My pricing is from the Microsoft site.


There's a big difference between MSRP, MAP, and actual price. Reminds me of the time I purchased a Gibson Les Paul guitar for $1000. List price was around $3500. Usual sale price was around $2300. Quite a bit of the price of those guitars has to do with branding. At $1000 I'm sure they still made a very nice profit. I don't think anyone would pay $3500 for that guitar.

Jaysen wrote:I am not sure how one can say that any 3 digit number is less than a 2 digit number. So even if we go to "retail" sites Office products are still more expensive than Microsoft. Last time I checked 150 is still BIGGER than 80.


It has to do with perspective, and I just offered mine. I'm not saying that a 2 digit number is greater than a three digit number. And you're right, I just Googled 150 vs. 80 and indeed 150 is bigger as of 01/17/2009 :wink:
When my parents wanted a water filter they asked me for advise. I recommended a unit that cost a few hundred dollars. They ended up buying a PUR filter for $30 or $40. They also argued that it was cheaper. But after a few years of use the expensive model turns out to be cheaper since it requires virtually no maintenance or frequent filter replacement, filtering was more efficient, and the cost per gallon of water was significantly smaller. $30 or $40 is definitely lower than $200 or $300. From my perspective, considering the use of a filter for a few years, the TOTAL investment is higher with the "cheaper" alternative. If I only wanted a couple of glasses of water, the $30 is probably a better option. It's a matter of perspective. I could use Numbers to create a comparison and show that after a certain point, the expensive alternative becomes cheaper than the initially cheap alternative. :)

Jaysen wrote:As to the functional issues with iWork, I have never seen one. It may be that my needs are less sophisticated. If so then i guess I am lucky and iWork gets everything done that I need.


Sure. And it's not necessarily about being lucky. We all have different needs. If iWork works for you then it becomes a good choice for you. For others -myself included- iWork fails to fulfill certain needs. I would actually recommend iWork to many people I know. It's easy to use, has a very nice interface, and it has evolved quite nicely. Still no database. People who love Apple can use Bento or FileMaker. Others may prefer ProVUE's Panorama or 4D.

Jaysen wrote:There are actually 3 different lines of reasoning.

One is admittedly anit-Microsoft. I think that is clear to anyone who has ever read any of my posts dealing with their products. I don't like their business practices and I don't like their products. I never have and have been forced to use them until iWork '08 and Leopard.


I'm not in favor or against either company. There are things that I like and dislike about both companies (Apple and Microsoft). Based on my experience of the past 10 years, I tend to like Microsoft a bit more than Apple. But Microsoft's products have worked better for my needs than Apple's.

Jaysen wrote:The second is a simple argument of math that seems pretty clear to me. Apple's product is simply cheaper. Reread your post and explain to me how a "$154.39" upgrade is cheaper than $80. If you want to complain about a lack of "upgrade pricing" then you need to justify the need for it. Based on competitive comparison, even using YOUR numbers, one could purchase 2 full licenses for the cost of ONE MS upgrade. Not sure how the math on this one works, but iWork seems cheaper.


Why limit yourself at 2 purchases?
I agree with you regarding the "need" to upgrade. Please feel free to correct the prices if they're inaccurate, since I don't recall iWork's past price.
I started with Keynote. I don't remember if I paid for it. I think that I got it for free, so let's leave it at $0.
iWork '05 ($79). Added Pages, and Keynote 2 was a considerable improvement over the previous version. Pages was pretty bad.
iWork '06 ($79). Added many features, and of course bug fixes which were not available for people keeping iWork '05.
iWork '08 ($79). Introduced Numbers, as well as enhancements to Pages and Keynote. I did like both Pages and Keynote in this version. Just as was the case with Keynote 1 and Pages 1, Numbers left a lot to be desired.
iWork '09 ($79). I think that Numbers is significantly better, but have not tried this version. Support for iWork.com

If I relied on iWork for actual work, each upgrade was definitely desirable. $316 total. I don't recall, but I'm pretty sure that shipping and tax are not included.

Microsoft Office 2004 has worked from 2004 and I think that the most recent update is from last December. Total price from 2004 to 2008 was the initial $120 or so that I spent. Even though I have the 2008 version, I'll keep on using the 2004 version as well. Still works wonderfully, and with the exception of Keynote, I prefer these applications to their Apple counterparts. It included:
Word 2004
Excel 2004
Entourage 2004
PowerPoint 2004

In Apple's defense, Mail is finally a decent email application. I still use Entourage, but Mail, iCal, and Address book are quite decent now. From what I understand, some bugs still persist regarding synchronization though. But now, in 2009, people can certainly choose iWork '09 and Apple's free applications and they're getting some very good programs.

Jaysen wrote:The third argument is that the educational/upgrade pricing schemes is an affront to the "common" folks like me. Why am I expected to subsidize other folks purchases? Apple "levels" the pricing field while STILL keeping the price for educators within $20 of a site license scheme of questionable legality. If you do not have access to the scheme you are still looking at $150 for MS. Take that $150 and go back to the second argument (150 > 79 so iWork is cheaper).


Why is upgrade pricing an affront? You're not subsidizing anything, and companies can reward customer loyalty. And "common" folks have been able to purchase Office at very low prices, which I thought was a nice gesture.
I do agree that $150 is more expensive than $79. Again, in my case, $120 has been cheaper than $316. Even buying Office 2008, $120+$150=$270. Cheaper than $316.

Jaysen wrote:As to a $32 offer I (a person who manages a multi-million dollar budget with a significant amount of that going to Redmond) have NEVER had access to anything like that. And yes i get lots of "special" offers from them.


Well, many people had access to that. I missed it, but I'm happy for the ones who took advantage of it, as well as their other promos.

Jaysen wrote:As to the support, we have apparently had different experiences. I make an appointment at the apple store, show up and I et my questions answered. For free. I call MS and unless I have an enterprise contract I get to give them my CC number. Oh and to date I have never had a MS issue resolved in 15 minutes. Apple always gets it in 15 or less.


And it's perfectly valid to have different experiences :)
-My G4 is the "Yikes" model. It's actually more a G3 than a G4.
-Shortly after the G4 came out, Apple tried to take away features while charging the same price. Users complained and (fortunately) Apple listened.
-When OS X first became available, many of us who had external FireWire drives lost all of our data. It turns out that many drives were incompatible with OS X. In my case, EZQuest repaired my drive free of charge, but the data was lost. Even though the problem was mentioned quite a bit, I don't think Apple did anything about it.
-About a year after I got my G5, my Apple (Maxtor) internal hard drive stopped working. I still had a warranty, but after spending a long time on the phone with support, they finally said that my warranty was void in this case, since I had added other hard drives to the G5. It didn't matter that both things were totally unrelated. The "geniuses" I spoke to said that there was nothing to do, and that the drive was beyond repair. I'm definitely no genius, and I recovered my data using Data Rescue II. DiskWarrior was also an option, but it didn't work.
-My former boss wanted an upgrade to his daughter's laptop so that she could transfer MP3s between her Mac and a phone she used. The Apple "geniuses" told our computer tech that this was impossible. That to accomplish this they needed to upgrade to Tiger, but that Tiger could not be installed in that laptop. He said that they should purchase a new laptop.
Our tech person was not too familiar with Macs, so he asked for my opinion. I think that we spent 20 minutes upgrading the OS to Tiger, and everything worked perfectly.

I've contacted Microsoft probably 3 or 4 times in the past decade, and each time it has been a great experience. I did contact them many years ago regarding a Word issue, and the tech had no idea what I was talking about. That was a bad one.

Jaysen wrote:As to your $31/app I am again confused as to how this is better than Apple's pricing. Lets break it down per app. There are three apps so all the apps in the bundle cost $26.66 (I know I am old, but 27 should still be less than 31).
Pages $27
Numbers $27
Notes $27
Mail FREE
iCal FREE
iChat FREE


It's not "better" as long as you're happy with what you're getting from Apple. You are, I'm not :)
If I could buy just Keynote, I would.
For me $27 or $31 or $50 is quite reasonable for many of these applications. I remember when just a spreadsheet was around $400. Or Quantrix at over $1000.
For my needs, Excel is immensely superior to Numbers, and for my word-processing needs I always choose Word over Pages. I use Entourage instead of Mail, and preferred to spend money on Daylite and Contactizer Pro instead of using Apple's free mail and Address Book (which you forgot to add as FREE). I haven't used iChat in years. Sometimes I use Adium. Again, Apple's applications have evolved nicely and they're not as bad as they were in the past. Some are even quite good.

Jaysen wrote:As to media manager unless you bought after market Mac you have iLife. So MS gives me something i don't need. Fine. One freebee.


I don't use it too much, but have used it a few times already and I like it. I did not have to buy it for $199, and I did not have to pay for the $99 upgrade to version 2. For my limited use of cataloging pictures and fonts, previewing multiple files, watching segmented videos, etc., it has worked wonderfully.
As a side note, I used iView when it was first available as a $30 shareware program, before the absurd price increases. The increases took place before Microsoft acquired it.

Jaysen wrote:As to exchange integration you DO have that out of the box with Leopard. Could it use improvement? yes. Then again entourage, the actual MS product, has the EXACT SAME ISSUES with exchange.

Maybe I am just a narrow minded fool. Maybe I am blinded by a serious dislike of all things microsoft. It is possible. But in full disclosure let me point out that I willingly use Messenger 7 for mac because it works better with the folks I need to communicate with. So maybe not.

Again I may be lucky that I have not experienced any of the issues that "power" users of Pages have. But until someone can explain how $150 is less than $80 (your numbers, not mine) I will not give any credit to the cost argument.


There's always room for improvement. I hated the lack of VBA support, even though it was announced well in advance. I wish there was a "light" version of Word for the many times when I don't need all of its features.

Regarding your attitude towards Microsoft, Steve Jobs often reminds me of the things people criticize about gates and Microsoft. We've gone from a highly individualized Mac user experience to a highly homogenized one. These days, particularly with so many switchers, I find people using Safari, Mail, iCal, iWork, iLife, iTunes, etc. And it's hard to compete with a free product that is included along with the computer :mrgreen:
iTunes is horrible. I've used it since it was SoundJam and I still wish that Apple would have gone with Audion which I also used back then.
QuickTime is maybe as bad as Windows Media Player. Fortunately there's still Perian and VLC and other alternatives.
And then there's the Apple stories regarding Watson, Konfabulator, and probably others. Or the time when Steve Wozniak intervened on behalf of a kid who was going to be sued by Apple. I remember reading about many "cease and desist" letters back then, many aimed at Mac supporters and enthusiasts!



$150 will always be greater than $80 (I just Googled it again :) ). but price only tells part of the story.

When I buy cereal, I look at the price per gram (?). A $5 box may be a better value than a $3.50 box.
When my mom buys stff that says "30% less fat" or "only 100 calories" I try to tell her to read the whole label. 30% less fat may still have a lot of fat. A 100-calories granola bar may be 100 calories because it's too small, or it may have a small print saying that one bar equals 2.5 servings.

$150 and $80 only tell part of the story.

Value = Attributes / Price

To me, Office has been a better value. I consider attributes to include programs, features, support, upgrade path, quality, etc. You may have your own set of attributes that are important to you, and iWork may represent a great value to you.
Price is the actual price we pay. $150 vs. $79. Chances are that when iWork '10 or '11 comes out it will be $79, and will include an additional application. I'm pretty sure that Microsoft will not ask me for more money for at least a year or two. i certainly hope that if/when VBA support is added it will be free of charge.

For a person just buying iWork '09, it may be a great deal. If they don't have the need to upgrade once a new version comes out, it may even be an amazing deal. By now many bugs and fixes have already taken place.
Just offering my perspective :)

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Jaysen
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Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:35 pm Post

Eddie,

All valid arguments. I think the primary differences in all arguments of this nature really come down to opinions on value. Thanks for sharing your views and thinking.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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sp
spinningdoc
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:02 pm Post

Eddie

Reminds me of the time I purchased a Gibson Les Paul guitar for $1000.


Get a Strat. You know it makes sense.

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Jaysen
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Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:01 pm Post

spinningdoc wrote:Eddie

Reminds me of the time I purchased a Gibson Les Paul guitar for $1000.


Get a Strat. You know it makes sense.

Strat? Eww… My personal favorite is the Parker Fly (would love an artist, but my delux does fine for me).
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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sp
spinningdoc
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Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:27 pm Post

You and your humbuckers and tiny weeny neck and a body with the density of plutonium. The guitar's, not yours....

Ed
Eddie
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Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:29 am Post

Sorry for the late reply. I just sold a Melancon and have a new G&L for sale. Both are Strat-style guitars, but much better than Fender Strats in a similar price-range.
I also preferred a Hamer Monaco Elite, and sold my Gibsons.
I love single coils, humbuckers, and whatever makes beautiful noises :D
Unfortunately I haven't played in months due to a herniated disc. For years I played every single day, even if it was just for a few minutes, so I really miss it. My goal is to play again by March. I will miss some of the gear I've sold, but I need to pay medical bills so the guitars had to go.

Now that you mention the Parker, from what I remember those are very light. That's a good option for my back.
Best wishes.

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Jaysen
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Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:42 pm Post

My '91 Delux is all of 5.5lb. It weighs less than my martin acoustic.

On the single/double/humbucker, my favorite mod is to tap the doubles to get dual singles and feed as separate signals. Tough to do as a performance unit, but for studio work …

I am down to the last 2 stringed toys (the fly and a Martin GTE16x) and the idea of selling them is not pleasant. Hope you get on your feet again soon.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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sp
spinningdoc
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Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:21 pm Post

I love single coils, humbuckers, and whatever makes beautiful noises


Oh me too, it's just they'd take away my strat licence if I let Les Paul owners off entirely scot free. :D

I'm just jealous really, my combined Tele, Strat, 335 clones, and acoustic come in at about £1000 all together. They're good guitars and I love playing them (the 80s MIJ Squier Strat particularly - it's nearly indistinguishable from a decent MIJ Fender) but they're not quite up there with the label instruments.

Ed
Eddie
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Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:03 am Post

Thanks for the wishes Jaysen. I had a Martin DC16 GTE (IIRC). Beautiful sounds, but had to sell it. I can see why you're happy with your guitars. Hold on to them!

spinningdoc, I've been lucky to have had the chance to play some great instruments, but often price tag does not mean much.
I still have a Squier Strat that I love. Actually my nephew has it now :) I believe it was around $150 in the late 80s or early 90s.
I also had a Yamaha AES720 that now belongs to a friend. I paid around $320 brand new about a year ago thanks to a blowout sale, and liked it better than instruments costing over $1000. My only complaint is that the strings felt too "tight" but I'm amazed by the quality of today's instruments and their low prices. I sometimes use more expensive gear to compensate for my lack of talent, but it doesn't seem to work :mrgreen:

Happy playing!