Free iWork on iPad: Microsoft Fires Back
A war of words erupts after Apple ribs Microsoft and makes iWorks a no-cost perk for new Mac and iOS device buyers.In typical Apple fashion, the Cupertino, Calif.-based device maker dominated headlines this week with its new MacBook Pros, cylindrical Mac Pro desktop and its next-generation tablets, including the svelte and powerful full-sized iPad Air and the pixel-packed iPad Mini with Retina display. In addition, Apple announced some major freebies. OS X Mavericks, which breaks away from the big cat naming scheme of its predecessor desktop operating systems by taking its name from the popular Californian surfing spot, also makes a major departure in the price department. In a surprising turn—and with a swipe at rival Microsoft—the company announced that the operating system would essentially be free. And joining the free (as in beer) software club is iWorks, the Apple productivity software suite, which now can be had at no cost with the purchase of new iOS and Mac hardware. Obviously taking aim at Microsoft, its tablet-enabled Windows 8 OS and its Surface slate, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during his company's Oct. 22 San Francisco event that "our competition is different; they're confused." He added, "They chased after netbooks. Now they're trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next."
During the event, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, took to the stage to showcase some of Mavericks' many optimizations, including memory compression, dynamic graphics memory allocation and OpenCL support. As he wrapped up his presentation, he said, "Today, we're going to revolutionize pricing."