Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Apple's iWork '08[TM] Scores Rave Reviews

Since Apple[R] unveiled its amazing iWork '08[TM] two weeks ago, the productivity suite has already won fans. Just today, CNET editor Elsa Wenzel wrote that it "offers attractive and intuitive interfaces; solid new features for image editing, page layout and printing; applications integrate well with each other... Apple iWork '08 is a strong Mac productivity package and a pleasure to use." While she rated it 7.3 out of 10 ["very good"], two out of three users weighed in with 10 out of 10 ["perfect"].

iWork '08 is a significant upgrade to Apple's productivity software suite, featuring new versions of Pages[R] and Keynote[R] word processing and presentation applications, and introducing an innovative new spreadsheet application called "Numbers."

Numbers introduces the concept of intelligent tables on a flexible canvas -- a new approach that makes it easy to organize information, create calculations, analyze results, and make spreadsheets look as great as they work. Pages '08 now features distinct modes for streamlined word processing and flexible page layout, a new contextual format bar, and change tracking. Keynote '08 now includes text effects, transitions and themes that help users easily compose spectacular presentations, and Smart Builds with easy-to-set-up, A-to-B animations that make impressive animations easy for anyone to create.

"Pages and Keynote make it incredibly easy, and even fun, for anyone to create stylish documents and presentations very quickly," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Numbers rounds out the iWork suite, which is far more intuitive and easy to use than anything else out there."

Numbers '08
Numbers '08 is a new approach to spreadsheets, which allows people to organize their information, interact with their data and calculations, and make their spreadsheets easy to understand and print. With multiple intelligent tables on a flexible graphics canvas, users can rearrange information, resize and add columns -- all without breaking their spreadsheet.

Each table is a full-blown spreadsheet with automatic header and footer rows, easy sorting and filtering, and automatic cell naming, so creating, reading and maintaining formulas is easy. Common functions can be dragged to any cell, and a total of 150 functions are available, spanning a wide range of calculations -- including numeric, date and time, financial and statistical. Interactive checkboxes and sliders let users change cell values easily to explore different scenarios and see their results instantly.

Users can also create stunning 2D and 3D charts that are automatically updated as data changes, and then complement them with rich graphics, photos and text labels. Interactive printing makes it easy to fit a document on a single page or rearrange and resize tables and objects across multiple pages.

Pages '08
Pages '08 now has two distinct modes: streamlined word processing that makes it easy to create stunning documents in seconds; and flexible page layout, which gives users complete control over the position of objects on the page.

Pages includes 140 Apple-designed templates that let users easily create letters, reports, newsletters and brochures. A new contextual format bar gives users the exact set of tools they need at their fingertips whether they're editing text, creating a table or adjusting an image. Change tracking lets users collaborate with others on a document by displaying each person's edits in different colors, then accept or reject each proposed change.

Keynote '08
Keynote '08, Apple's industry-leading application for creating cinema-quality presentations, introduces new Smart Builds to make it easy for anyone to create spectacular animations by simply dropping graphics onto a slide. More advanced users can control every aspect of their animations with new A-to-B animations to define movement, rotation, scaling and opacity.

Keynote's new Instant Alpha feature makes it easy to remove unwanted backgrounds from photos and graphics, without needing a graphics department. Users can record their presentations along with a voice-over, then deliver them to audiences in person or over the Internet via podcasting or YouTube. The new Keynote also includes a collection of new text effects, transitions and themes.

iWork '08 can import Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and AppleWorks(R) word processing, presentation and spreadsheet files, and can export documents in Microsoft Office file formats or PDFs for easy sharing.

Pricing & Availability
iWork '08 is now available through the Apple Store[R], Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $79 [US]. A 30-day iWork '08 trial will be available on new hardware and with copies of iLife[R] '08 sold at retail. After 30 days, the trial becomes an iWork '08 player.

System Requirements
iWork '08 requires Mac OS[R] X version 10.4.10 or later, a Macintosh[R] computer with a 500 MHz or faster PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5 or Intel processor, 512MB of RAM [1GB recommended], 32MB of video RAM, QuickTime[R] 7.2 or later, and 1GB of available disk space. iLife '08 is recommended.

About Apple
GoodBiz113 ad partner Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II, and then reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications.

Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players, and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

Sources: Apple Inc., CNET

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