Mark Crump one of the writer’s over at the theAppleBlog has done a great job in comparing Apple’s iWork to Microsoft’s Office. His main comparison though is focusing on Pages vs. Word. He deals with a number of topics like, price, bulit-in templets, the ever most importantly citation management, and other additional features. The article is well worth anyone’s time all though somewhat long for those that are Mac users. When reading the article, I well wish I had read something like this myself when my ordeal happen about 6 months ago.
I for one was a user of Microsoft Office for the first year that I owned my Mac. I bought it because at the time that I bought my MacBook that was all I knew, Word, Office, and the ever pain-in-the-rear Power Point which always takes up my time! When I bough office, I paid $150 at Best Buy and got three license. Like any other full-time student I at a time needed some extra cash and my roommate mentioned that I could get a pretty penny for selling the other two Office licenses on ebay, so I did. I sold the other two for $110, saying that it was ONLY TWO! A month later when going to update my Word, my SN# had been registered on another computer and I no longer had the rights… I know bad idea I should have cut my SN# off the package when I sent the Office CD to the buyer.
I needed something, and didn’t want to download something FREE off the app section on Apple’s website. I downloaded iWork09, and with in a week I for one was sold on the program. Exporting to Word was actually easier then many of the past versions that Apple had produced and seemed easier to use. Now yes, at times when everyone over the age of 30 is still sending me Word doc.’s I do get annoyed, but I try to think that is their fault and not mine… Even though it is.
Back to Mark’s article. His purpose for the article,
“So, I’m going to compare the two programs when writing a research paper to MLA standards.”
On dealing with price,
“On the surface, any comparison of price comes out in iWork’s favor. iWork lists for $79. The Home and Student version of Office 2008 is $150, but that version is crippled for enterprise support, so if you want to connect to your school’s Exchange server, you’ll need the Standard version, which is $399. Wow, that’s a lotta leaves.
However, since we are talking about academic pricing, it’s important to note Microsoft is very generous with its educational pricing — through my school, I can get Office 2008 Standard for $80. With an educational price of $71, Apple is less generous, but the price gap between the two suites is now negligible.”
As for citation management,
“It’s unlikely you’re going to get through a semester without hearing a teacher say, “Give me 10 pages on the Middle East; cite your sources.” If your major isn’t one that requires heavy citations usage, you can get away with just about any word processor out there. In my mind, however, any topic of academic writing tools lives and dies by citation management for one simple reason: I’m too lazy to build the bibliography myself.”
If your interested in reading the whole article (I think you should Mac college students) see it all here.