Apple's new iWork.com service lifts one of the biggest obstacles facing its iWork office productivity suite by making it easier for iWork users to collaborate with others using Windows PC and Microsoft Office. Here's a first look at how the service works and what it does.
What is iWork.com?
Apple's new service is already getting compared to Google Docs, but iWork.com isn't currently a similar offering. Google's online office programs are positioned as a web alternative to using desktop apps (specifically Microsoft Office), much the same way Gmail competes with Microsoft Outlook as an email solution. As a web application, Google's offerings are handicapped by the limitations of the web; given a great desktop email client, nobody would choose to use webmail instead. However, web apps can provide access to documents and messages from any system and any platform, even a public computer. It's often either impractical or impossible to set up standard email from a public terminal, but you can usually always check your email from an online web app such as Gmail.