Apple Rumored to be working on Cloud-Based iWork Suite
According to CRN
, people who are familiar with the project claim that Apple is reportedly working with VMware to bring a cloud-based, business oriented version of its iWork suite of apps to the iPad, with the partnership said to be directed squarely at Microsoft’s rumored release of Office for the iOS platform. The Cupertino California company is probably looking to undercut Microsoft’s high Microsoft Office pricing by offering a cloud-hosted version of Apple’s iWork suite, which includes Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.
One of the sources said that "Apple wants Pages to be seen as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Numbers as a replacement for Excel and Keynote as a replacement for PowerPoint.” The system is said to be incorporated with VMware View virtual desktop software with cloud versions of Pages, Keynotes, and Numbers, which will be running on Apple’s servers. An interesting thing about the service is that it will be separate from iCloud, which currently hosts “Document in the Cloud” for syncing and downloading files between iOS and OS X devices.
Up until now, iWork has traditionally been aimed at consumers but the rumored partnership could yield a totally separate offering for enterprise class customers, with the cloud-based software offering a more powerful set of features when compared to iCloud. The rumored suite might end p being a central hub for business customers are the two companies are looking to leverage Horizon Mobile, VMware’s software that allows personal and business apps and data to be stored on two different partitions, which would help alleviate IT concerns.
No time frame has been given by the source although it is suspected that the project may come to fruition before the release of Microsoft’s Office for iOS.