iWork Is Apple’s Thermonuclear Bomb

On September 26, 2007, I posted this: Apple To Rewrite Computing Again

My timing was waaaaay off because Apple wanted to do lots more work than I had ever anticipated (just as they did with iLife and iWork ’07).

Plus, this being the tech world, as a project is being worked on, the entire tech world around it changes — making just about every project a near-Sisyphean task. You start out with a blueprint for one screen resolution and then BAM! there are competitors suddenly out there offering crap devices at low-ball prices, ruining your projected positioning and cachet. So you start again and up the ante.


I said that when Apple’s device would appear, it’d bring

the revelation of a customized version of the iWork suite for it.

Italics emphasis in the original.

I even posted this picture with this caption:

Apple’s Thermonuclear Bomb Of Mobile Applications

In another post where my timing was off — July 22, 2008: And So The iPod Air Is Coming After All! — I wrote this:

4) This device will cannibalize sales from low-end MacBooks because it will be Functional Enough — with its iWorks suite — to replace one yet much more portable. With its touchscreen, it will also be much, much fun to use. This will be the first true Cloud Computing device in that people will use it to interact with the Internet more than they currently desire to do with existing notebooks and even Asus EeePC-like “netbooks.”

Italics emphasis in the original.

Notice again I mentioned iWork!

I laid the groundwork for the eCrap of ePub for eBooks in this post on April 5, 2009: Is Adobe Hindering eBooks? where I wrote:

Do you really think a company like Apple — which helped to pioneer desktop publishing, which brought design sensibilities both to dull metal boxes and to operating systems — would rally around the current state of eBooks?

Apple already has a software tool that can be expanded to create a writer-friendly eBook creation tool: Pages.

If you haven’t seen Pages, don’t own a Mac, go to an Apple Store and play with it. It’s filled with template after template so that even near-blind design illiterates can produce a flyer or booklet or resume without revealing their suckiness at design.

It’s not too big of a stretch to see Pages extended to encompass eBook publishing — but eBook publishing based on an Apple standard that won’t throw away several hundred years of design progress.

Italics emphasis in the original.

As I learned more, on November 2, 2009 I posted: Apple Will Break Open The Digital Book Floodgates and stated:

Let me spell out what this means.

You will not need a developer to create a digital book.

Then on December 25th, 2009 in iSlate Trademark Hints At Full OS X! I stated that a portion of the Goods & Services section revealed:

That is a description of iWork!

Italics emphasis in the original.

Finally, on December 30th, 2009 I posted 2010 In Review and stated:

June: iWork went on sale, allowing anyone to create digital books just like a Vook. The RIAA and MPAA suddenly had thousands of new Copyright criminals on their hands as people embedded songs and movie clips into their digital books.

Since 2007 I have been telling all of you that iWork is coming for Apple’s next product and just how critical iWork is to Apple’s plans.

So what do I see today — in 2010 — after all that drum-banging I’ve been doing?

This revelation in The New York Times:

Another former Apple designer said a team at the company had “spent the past couple of years working on a multitouch version of iWork,” Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s Office software suite. This could indicate that Apple wants the tablet to be a fully functional computer, rather than a more passive device for reading books and watching movies. That could help justify a higher price.

Boldfaced and red emphasis added by me.

OK, are you finally — after three damned years! — getting the idea I know what the hell I’m talking about?

17 Responses to iWork Is Apple’s Thermonuclear Bomb

  1. jean-paul says:

    Yeah you’re good, you really iWozzed us on that one! :-)

  2. Gerry says:

    Captain Obvious. You need to stop patting yourself on the back for such obvious predictions.

    You predicted Apple will make revolutionary devices and software. Great. Join the club.

    You predicted Apple will use its own cool and evolving software on its own cool and evolving devices. Great. You’re a damn oracle. How do you do it?

    Here’s my prediction. Apple will continue to innovate the Mac OS UI. It will get better not worse. And it will be featured on future Apple devices. Those future Apple devices will be way better than those from other companies.

    I predict I will be proven right. What do I win?

  3. Snafu says:

    Having a touchscreen UI-aware home/office application set is important, but I see it more as reassurance for the guy that can’t decide between a fully-realized laptop and a tablet. Doing casual Office work in a laptop is unconfortable enough without a mouse driving an unobtrusive cursor and possibly an extra keyboard and monitor: without a mechanical keyboard it must be hell to touchtype a multiple page document.

    • mikecane says:

      There’s two parts to document creation: the creating and then the editing. You’d use a desktop or notebook for the first and then thank Jobs the iSlate exists for the second. Also, all of this can be synced to the Cloud (iwork.com), so you wouldn’t even have to (ideally!) copy the document to the iSlate — just grab it wirelessly from the Cloud while on the run or even while resting on the sofa. Many people still do printouts of their writing just for editing — I used to be one of them — something like the iSlate will put an end to that. I can’t wait.

      • MikeMc says:

        Can’t you already do all of that with, hardware agnostic, Google Docs and Office Live? If you want the gadget buy the gadget, there’s no need to justify the purchase by pretending it will let you do something you couldn’t do before. This isn’t revolutionary, cool maybe, revolutionary no.

  4. stefn says:

    I do think you are on the beam with this.

    Isn’t the bigger question that one that you pose repeatedly: How do these ebook get sold and read in a way that gets the money to the writer?

    Are you saying that a writer will sell a book as an app? Fine. But that leaves the Kindle quandry: Why buy a book I cannot read except on one device and that I cannot lend to a friend?

    Here’s the last pegging in the great game: iPod Touches and iPod Tablets must become cheap enough that we have 3 or 4 lying around the house and 1 to lend to a friend.

    Amazon has led the way toward this approach: Make the Kindle relatively cheap and include free 3G solely for the purpose of purchasing from Amazon.

    What if Apple did the same? Touches for $100; Tablets for $300 tops, including free 3G and wifi. They would be purchasing monsters: music, video, books, apps, games.

    Look out below, Amazon!

    • mikecane says:

      >>>iPod Tablets must become cheap enough that we have 3 or 4 lying around the house and 1 to lend to a friend.

      That is absolutely correct. Prices do drop and I’d like to see a $99 iPod Touch replacing all of the other models — Nano, etc.

      And the digital book might not be an app after all. This stuff is still in flux. We’ll all have to wait to see what arrives on the 27th (if not later …. it might all be later).

  5. Sean says:

    I was telling a friend the other day Apple would port iWork to the new tablet, it just seemed logical to do so. But I hadn’t thought of home-publishing until now. That alone is very huge, it completely creates a whole new industry and social networking scenario.

    I work in the Advertising field and everyone I talk too is very excited about Apple’s iSlate and the new frontier it offers.

    In the same breath, all of my friends thought Microsoft’s presentation at CES was very lame considering it didn’t really offer anything new for our industry. Is Microsoft really that clueless?

    • mikecane says:

      >>>Is Microsoft really that clueless?

      Yes. The original Origami project was a hint of that and everything since has been nothing but a confirmation.

  6. Dan says:

    Dear Sir
    Thanks for all the latest & greatest information…
    Dan Devine/Hawaii

  7. Bill Burkholder says:

    What do you get when you cross the best of a notebook computer with the best of the iPhone/iPod Touch experience?

    That’s what I think Apple will release this year. The result should be powerful in new and enabling ways we’ve not seen before, and may spark a new revolution in computing, communications, education, and entertainment.

    I would love to have a multipurpose tool that bridges that gap between the powerful, sort of portable, but inconvenient device, and the marginally powered, very portable, very convenient device. There are times when such a device would do it all for me.

  8. mikhailovitch says:

    Talking about document creation, Apple does a very good line in compact wireless keyboards. It would make a great optional supplement to the touch screen keyboard. Anyone care to bet that this won’t work on the tablet?

  9. […] iWork Is Apple’s Thermonuclear Bomb On September 26, 2007, I posted this: Apple To Rewrite Computing Again My timing was waaaaay off because Apple wanted […] […]

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