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Apple Looking to Expand Cloud-Based iWork Experience?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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TechCrunch reports on a new Apple job posting that appeared last week that seems to reveal plans for an expanded online "cloud" experience for the company's iWork productivity suite. While Apple has offered an iWork.com beta site for document collaboration since soon after the launch of iWork '09 in January, the job posting hints at a new ground-up project in the works.The Productivity team (i.e. iWork) is seeking an energetic, highly motivated software engineer in building a scalable rich internet application. The person will be part of the core development team and engage in an area from design to development of the software system.Apple's desired qualifications for the position include experience with JavaScript and browser technologies, computer graphics, scalable rich internet applications, and productivity application development.

Although the job posting provides no details on project specifics, the mention of the position's involvement in "design to development" stages suggests that Apple is looking to undertake a new project of grander scale rather than simply continuing to tweak and build on its existing iWork.com offerings.

From the outset, Apple noted that iWork.com was planned to be a fee-based service, although it remains free for users of iWork '09 while in a pre-release beta version.

Article Link: Apple Looking to Expand Cloud-Based iWork Experience?
 

paulpet

macrumors member
Sep 7, 2006
59
9
Perfect match for the tablet

A cloud based iWork sounds like a perfect match for a tablet device that's running iPhone OS with a mobile processor.
 
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spyderracer393

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2006
137
0
I've been waiting for some Apple competition to Google Docs. Let's hope it brings the whole suite to the web!
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,296
15,342
Central U.S.
Call me an old fart (I'm 24), but I'm not really looking forward to this "cloud computing revolution." MobileMe is enough. I really would rather own my own apps and store things locally. Now if this is just going to be a companion to their software offerings, then fine. But when it becomes more than that and completely in the sky--that's when I get concerned. I read somewhere like a week ago that Windows 7 would be the final version of Windows and that Microsoft is moving everything into the cloud with subscription services. No thanks!! I hate that idea, and hopefully Apple doesn't follow.
 
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alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
Call me an old fart (I'm 24), but I'm not really looking forward to this "cloud computing revolution." MobileMe is enough. I really would rather own my own apps and store things locally. Now if this is just going to be a companion to their software offerings, then fine. But when it becomes more than that and completely in the sky--that's when I get concerned. I read somewhere like a week ago that Windows 7 would be the final version of Windows and that Microsoft is moving everything into the cloud with subscription services. No thanks!! I hate that idea, and hopefully Apple doesn't follow.

good news

Windows 8 is in development and will use more RAM and HD space than ever

i've used Live Office and it's pretty good. nice mix of cloud and local power. much better than Google Docs or Wave
 
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wobudong

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2008
31
0
New York, NY
But wait, I'm older...

Call me an old fart (I'm 24), but I'm not really looking forward to this "cloud computing revolution." MobileMe is enough. I really would rather own my own apps and store things locally. Now if this is just going to be a companion to their software offerings, then fine. But when it becomes more than that and completely in the sky--that's when I get concerned. I read somewhere like a week ago that Windows 7 would be the final version of Windows and that Microsoft is moving everything into the cloud with subscription services. No thanks!! I hate that idea, and hopefully Apple doesn't follow.

I'm a really old fart (77 next week) and agree with you. Cloud computing is only as good as he weather up there. One cloudburst and you're going to be mighty wet and, for who knows how long, damp. Such things have a tendency to happen just when you need what you can't access. Best of all is, at the least, a copy of your contents on an external hard drive and on your own computer(s).
I must add that after several years of using it -- I still have it handy, but little-used) MobileMe is a slow and inefficient function. Why Apple has not made it competitive with much faster, better cloud functions is hard to understand -- unless Apple simply believes it can get away with third-rate programming indefinitely.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
I really would rather own my own apps and store things locally.

So store local and sync with the cloud rather than just live on the cloud?

Well let's see...iPhoto works with MobileMe like that. The current iWork works with MM like that. iMovie works with YouTube like that. iCal and Address book works like that no matter which online service you use (MM, Google, or Yahoo). Mail downloads messages to your hard drive. The iTunes Store makes you download the content, not stream it. The iPhone keeps contacts on the phone, unlike some other phones.

Pretty much everything Apple does stores locally.

What makes you think Apple is going to scrap that and decide to suddenly go all google on us all of a sudden?
 
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DanielSw

macrumors 6502
Aug 31, 2009
390
195
Clearwater, FL
Call me an old fart (I'm 24), but I'm not really looking forward to this "cloud computing revolution." MobileMe is enough. I really would rather own my own apps and store things locally. Now if this is just going to be a companion to their software offerings, then fine. But when it becomes more than that and completely in the sky--that's when I get concerned. I read somewhere like a week ago that Windows 7 would be the final version of Windows and that Microsoft is moving everything into the cloud with subscription services. No thanks!! I hate that idea, and hopefully Apple doesn't follow.

Total "cloud software" may be a ways off yet, but that's where it's going, like it or not. There are many advantages to it, namely: customers always having the latest versions and being able to upgrade to more features instantly via tiered pricing; less computing power needed on the client side; much better proof against piracy; reduced costs to the provider which can then be passed on to the customers; possible on-demand or pay-as-you-go usage rates, etc.

You never have owned the software you've used over the years. It's all been merely licensed.

Personally, I use Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe not long ago issued a survey about a subscription model. It think it's very interesting, as even the Master Collection would be "affordable" via monthly subscription fees. Another possible benefit to an Adobe "cloud computing" scenario is to have their entire font library available.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
You never have owned the software you've used over the years. It's all been merely licensed.

Good point. I feel I should expand on my last post.

I'm totally in favor of cloud applications. As the iPhone has proved, web apps can feature all of the advantages you just mentioned and they can even work while the phone is offline. I also think things are moving that way for all computers and I'm in favor of it.

What I'm not in favor of is the actual data living on the cloud. I much prefer the iPhone method of storing locally and just syncing with the cloud.

And there's no reason applications can't keep doing that even after the apps themselves are cloud-based. That way you can get the advantages of cloud-computing without the downsides.
 
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kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
Piracy and revenue... Simple and stylish is good - for some.

I suppose, that marks the end of using the same iWork disc multiple times, along with disc images on Piratebay. It is understandable. However, I tried MobileMe and whatever Apple had prior to that and I never felt that they were secure and worthwhile.

It will be convenient for millions, who do not care about the limitations and these smallish annual fees adding up. But for those, who want more control, these incorporated options generally mean further annoyances. But I'm the kind of guy who would prefer Winamp to iTunes (although I haven't used Windows at home for over three years), when it comes to playing music and Amazon, when it comes to downloading.

Or is it just me, who demands more than some stylish, simple and predefined options from an increasingly more powerful corporation?
 
Comment

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Total "cloud software" may be a ways off yet, but that's where it's going, like it or not. There are many advantages to it, namely: customers always having the latest versions and being able to upgrade to more features instantly via tiered pricing; less computing power needed on the client side; much better proof against piracy; reduced costs to the provider which can then be passed on to the customers; possible on-demand or pay-as-you-go usage rates, etc.

You never have owned the software you've used over the years. It's all been merely licensed.

Personally, I use Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe not long ago issued a survey about a subscription model. It think it's very interesting, as even the Master Collection would be "affordable" via monthly subscription fees. Another possible benefit to an Adobe "cloud computing" scenario is to have their entire font library available.

I'm not convinced those are necessarily good things. So many times I intentionally don't upgrade b/c of a compatibility issue w/ a needed plug-in or a known bug in the upgrade itself. I don't want to be forced to upgrade.

Also I don't want to be forced to buy a new version. I'm using CS3 right now and its fine for me. I have no desire to buy CS4. I'm not even sure I'll need CS5 given my needs. My CS3 is paid for. I'd hate to have to start paying for an annual license. Right now I may only hold a license for CS3, but that license allows me to use CS3 for as long as a I desire. That concept vanishes when we go to the cloud. The cloud potentially gives s/w makers TOO much power and control.

I think your theory about reduced cost to the end user is a myth too. The biggest expense to s/w development is development. Cloud licensing only gets rid of physical media, which is then substituted for just as expensive bandwidth and server farms. The per version cost to the end user may go down a fraction, but b/c a subscription is required the net cost of usership will increase.

Finally, I have issues with storing data sensitive documents on a 3rd party server. Yeah, it's supposedly "secure," but then again so is my Visa card number too, right, but how many times a year do we hear of hackers getting hold of millions of accts. My Visa is insured against such actions, but if someone steals other personal info, I'm not so lucky.
 
Comment

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
I think your theory about reduced cost to the end user is a myth too. The biggest expense to s/w development is development.

I pay $80 a year for iWork now. Do you think the online version will cost that much? I doubt it.

As you pointed out it will require everyone to pay who uses it. No more pirated copies. No more skipping generations. Thus the user base will be MUCH larger and thus the software can absolutely be cheaper. More customers + same development costs = lower price.

Ah, but they don't have to lower the price, you say? Well, if there's any competition out there (like, you know, google) then they'll have to lower the price to compete. Google will be 'free with ads' and Apple will be 'paid but no ads.' Sure, Apple could charge whatever they want, but then they'd start losing customers to Google. They'll have to stay competitive.

I'll be shocked if Apple charges more than $80 per year for an online iWork.

But for those, who want more control, these incorporated options generally mean further annoyances.

You mean "those who want more control but for some reason buy the totally wrong software for their needs," don't you?

I suggest buying a program that does what you need and maybe you wouldn't be so annoyed.
 
Comment

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,296
15,342
Central U.S.
You never have owned the software you've used over the years. It's all been merely licensed.

Thats true. I've never owned the software. I suppose my biggest problem is with the subscription model. You see, if I decide not to upgrade to CS4, my copy of CS3 doesn't go *poof*. I also don't have to wait for it to connect online to use it. I don't have to download my filters or the levels window. It's all just there and all I need is power! My electric company is far more reliable than my ISP. Do we really want MobileMe hassles for every part of our computing lives? It takes forever just to copy over a small file to iDisk. I don't have that problem with DropBox!

Not to mention subscription models, IMO, tend to make the software dev lazy. Why keep a tight deadline of new features for the next revision when everybody is already subscribed and paying you fees in the first place? This is particularly true for Adobe's Creative Suite, which has little competition.
 
Comment

jimoase

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2007
36
0
Another old fart... against ME stuff

I'm a really old fart (77 next week) and agree with you. Cloud computing is only as good as he weather up there. One cloudburst and you're going to be mighty wet and, for who knows how long, damp. Such things have a tendency to happen just when you need what you can't access. Best of all is, at the least, a copy of your contents on an external hard drive and on your own computer(s).
I must add that after several years of using it -- I still have it handy, but little-used) MobileMe is a slow and inefficient function. Why Apple has not made it competitive with much faster, better cloud functions is hard to understand -- unless Apple simply believes it can get away with third-rate programming indefinitely.

My calendar says I am 68. The term ME bothers my sense of social responsibility, its about community not about ME, being part of the ME generation is not my hope in life. I grew up with emergence of Big Brother, McCarthyism and have watched it slowly invade daily life as power corrupts absolutely. Clouds bother me because I grew up not knowing if the front door lock worked. Now if your privacy is not encrypted that is considered an open invitation to have your life inspected.

I am part of the retired generation, we travel and have very uncertain and often slow internet connections. Clouds seem like a good way to make it rain nearly everyday. Leave me out of flock of sheep in the ME generation being led into the clouds.

Jim
 
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alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
Total "cloud software" may be a ways off yet, but that's where it's going, like it or not. There are many advantages to it, namely: customers always having the latest versions and being able to upgrade to more features instantly via tiered pricing; less computing power needed on the client side; much better proof against piracy; reduced costs to the provider which can then be passed on to the customers; possible on-demand or pay-as-you-go usage rates, etc.

You never have owned the software you've used over the years. It's all been merely licensed.

Personally, I use Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe not long ago issued a survey about a subscription model. It think it's very interesting, as even the Master Collection would be "affordable" via monthly subscription fees. Another possible benefit to an Adobe "cloud computing" scenario is to have their entire font library available.

no it's not

EC2 is still more expensive than physical servers in a lot of instances.

security and support is still an issue. every time one of these new economy silicon valley companies like RIM have an outage and you call for a status they tell you to f*&^ off and wait patiently. or they smile and lie that everything is fine and you're crazy for thinking there is a problem

with Microsoft's Azure the limit is 10GB per database which is a big limit. where i work our regular databases average 200GB in size.

performance is a big issue since you will need a faster internet pipe and this is extra costs

backups are also an issue. if you tell Google, Amazon or MS that you need so so data from 5 years ago restored will they be able to comply? This year where i work we had to satisfy a subpoena for 10 year old data from a company we bought years ago

tiered pricing has been proven to be as much a scam as "enterprise" versions of software

less client computing power is not true. Google Wave uses up to 600MB of RAM in Chrome in my case. javascript can make IE and Firefox use a lot of RAM

customers don't care about piracy

providers don't have reduced costs since they have to plan for redundancy and five 9's uptime at the minimum. This is very expensive
 
Comment

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
So if you don't like it, don't take it? Typical...

You mean "those who want more control but for some reason buy the totally wrong software for their needs," don't you?

I suggest buying a program that does what you need and maybe you wouldn't be so annoyed.

No, I meant "But for those, who want more control, these incorporated options generally mean further annoyances." That is why I wrote just exactly that.

What I mean is the lack of optimisation on the pages, the large png files for pictures and text, the missing option to upload the site to anything other than Apple's premium service (MobileMe) and the separate style sheets for each pages. Also, password protection and comments are for MobileMe users only.

To me, that is a list of annoyances.
 
Comment

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,790
571
Redondo Beach, California
The mix has to be right. It is good to have software that runs locally. But it is always good to be able to add features to that software over the Internet. Same with data. It is good to have a local copy but having a copy on an Internet server allows you to access the data from any place or retrieve a copy if your local copy is lost.

I think the model could be to "sync" both data and apps. A ple could make it easy to do and understand and would need to solve the problem of merging data where two people have edited their own local copy of some data. Sync'ing is a good model for a limited bandwidth connection too as only changes need be sent over the connection.

One thing that Google is doing that few people know about is moving the "cloud" into your office. Googel, if you pay them will install application servers and data storage at your location. This gives you local control over the data and communications paths. Our company has some local Google Search hardware that holds our local web documents and is very fast because it is on the local gigabit Ethernet.

I can imagine Apple doing this by letting you host the "cloud" on an Apple X-serve in your own data center.
 
Comment

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,195
Germany.
I can imagine Apple doing this by letting you host the "cloud" on an Apple X-serve in your own data center.

That's a nice vision, and Microsoft, Google and others are already playing in that field - and they are years ahead of Apple. Apple is a purely consumer-oriented company and they have completely missed - or willingly ignored - the corporate market for the last two decades. It's simply too late for them to try and play catchup, and they won't do it.
 
Comment

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
The iPhone reins first, MobileMe is near the bottom for Apple

I'm a really old fart (77 next week) and agree with you. Cloud computing is only as good as he weather up there. One cloudburst and you're going to be mighty wet and, for who knows how long, damp. Such things have a tendency to happen just when you need what you can't access. Best of all is, at the least, a copy of your contents on an external hard drive and on your own computer(s).
I must add that after several years of using it -- I still have it handy, but little-used) MobileMe is a slow and inefficient function. Why Apple has not made it competitive with much faster, better cloud functions is hard to understand -- unless Apple simply believes it can get away with third-rate programming indefinitely.

First it was called the iPod, now its called the iPhone.
 
Comment

digitalbiker

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2002
1,374
0
The Road
I'll believe it when I see it

So far Apple has been a failure at online services. MobileMe still stinks. iDisk is miserably slow, and syncing still screws up.

What makes anyone think that Apple will make an online iWork worthwhile?

I'll believe it when I see it!
 
Comment

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,749
742
Seattle, WA
Total "cloud software" may be a ways off yet, but that's where it's going, like it or not. There are many advantages to it, namely: customers always having the latest versions and being able to upgrade to more features instantly via tiered pricing; less computing power needed on the client side; much better proof against piracy; reduced costs to the provider which can then be passed on to the customers; possible on-demand or pay-as-you-go usage rates, etc.

You never have owned the software you've used over the years. It's all been merely licensed.

Personally, I use Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe not long ago issued a survey about a subscription model. It think it's very interesting, as even the Master Collection would be "affordable" via monthly subscription fees. Another possible benefit to an Adobe "cloud computing" scenario is to have their entire font library available.

But with the "total cloud software", how the heck am I going to start my word processor while I'm on plane and unwilling to pay for the $11.95 plane WiFi connection?
 
Comment
Call me an old fart (I'm 24), but I'm not really looking forward to this "cloud computing revolution." MobileMe is enough. I really would rather own my own apps and store things locally. Now if this is just going to be a companion to their software offerings, then fine. But when it becomes more than that and completely in the sky--that's when I get concerned. I read somewhere like a week ago that Windows 7 would be the final version of Windows and that Microsoft is moving everything into the cloud with subscription services. No thanks!! I hate that idea, and hopefully Apple doesn't follow.
I agree, I hate it as well. My ISP, Cablevision, must be one of the most unreliable ISP's that exist. Sometimes we could have either no internet or painfully slow internet for days until they show some sign of trying to fix it. I do not want to depend on the internet to get work done.
 
Comment
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