Apple makes iWork for iCloud beta free on Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

15 Comments

Credit: Apple

Add another option to the freely available online productivity software suites: Anyone can sign up for and use Apple’s iWork for iCloud, even if they don’t have a Mac or iOS device. The open access is actually in beta, so to use it, you’ll have to head over to beta.icloud.com, according to BetaNews, which reported the news.

icloud web

Previously, if you visited the beta site for iCloud, you had to do so from [company]Apple[/company] hardware to create a new Apple ID. The key change here is that now you don’t need a Mac, iPhone or iPad to create that ID, which is your golden ticket to the iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Browsing to the iCloud beta site from a [company]Microsoft[/company] Windows PC, Linux box, or [company]Google[/company] Chromebook, for example, now lets you create your Apple ID, which can be any valid email address. Signing up for the Apple ID from non-Apple hardware will also net you 1GB of free iCloud storage for documents and data.

Why would Apple bother opening up the Apple ID creation process, offering a small bit of cloud storage and free access to its productivity suite? While the company is a leader in the smartphone and tablet markets, there’s nothing but up side for it to open up cloud services and software to a larger audience.

Those who have never used OS X, iOS or any Apple hardware could test the waters to see what Apple has to offer. If they like the iWork suite, that could lead to browsing for a device that can use the software, which could turn into a hardware sale. And with the Apple ID creation, Apple adds yet another contact to its growing database of users, where it can gently remind them how well its hardware works with its software, encouraging a trip to the Apple Store nearby or online.

15 Comments

Craig Reeves

So I decided to try and join the dark side today. I read an article that Apple had dealt a big blow to Google and Microsoft buy allowing you to use their iCload apps on a Windows PC and Google devices. Now I use Google apps and I develop on Microsoft so thought I would give it ago. Firstly it told me that I needed and Apple ID. There was no link on the page to get one but with a little fishing around I found a link. Two points here why do you require my physical address and secondly why do I need two emails. Anyway after signing up I was ready to see what apple has to offer over Google and Microsoft which both have cross platform online versions of their office suites. However signing in I get the message telling me I must first use my Apple ID to setup an IOs or OS X device. Big fail Apple. If I decide to buy an Apple. device I will review their Office Suite but it kind of defeats the point to have to buy a device first.

PRETHOUGHT

Did you go to beta.icloud.com?

I created a new account without any problems and I was using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and had no problems. No Apple device needed at all

John Marshall

Uh, okay.

You began your post with “So I decided to try and join the dark side today.”

So tell me why I should put any credence in your opinion?

Big fail, Mr. Reeves.

Chris Wortman

Apple has an issue. They need to license OS X out to all PC owners for a price. I would gladly hand Apple $1000 USD or more for a license to use their OS on my BETTER PC hardware. Price is not the issue for me, their garbage line of hardware is. I have no want for a lesser computer. If their prices came down for their computers or their hardware was made to be top of the line all the time, yes then I could see paying the premium, but they just don’t hold that premium market on computers anymore. They solder down ram and processors and expect me pay a premium? Get bent Apple.

Anon

OS X is basically not much different than Windows. Take it from someone who uses both Windows (Dell Notebook) and OS X (iMac). The Dock and the Task Bars perform basically the same shit. Start Screen and Launchpad basically fill the same niches, IMO.

I do think Windows runs better on even worse hardware. Yosemite takes a lot longer to load apps than my much weaker Dell Notebook with Same RPM HD/RAM but a much slower AMD APU in it. Windows Loads iTunes like 5x faster than Yosemite, Windows Media Player loads within 1-2 seconds on Windows which is way faster than the Windows Version of iTunes – exponentially faster than the Mac version. Internet Explorer 11 loads instantly, while Safari on the Mac takes a few seconds. Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint load way faster than Pages/Numbers/Keynote on Yosemite and OneNote on Windows – despite doing 500x what the Mac version does – loads at least twice as fast.

One thing I am thoroughly disappointed in is the performance of OS X. It’s just slow compared to Windows, even with basically no 3rd party apps installed on it, it’s slow, and I have a lot more stuff installed on Windows.

From a general usability standpoint, I just don’t find OS X to be inferior or superior. They’re largely the same usability-wise. The only thing I had issues with, was finding the keyboard shortcut to lock my screen in OS X (used to Win-L). Aside from that, I basically could reuse practically everything I learned about Windows in OS X.

One thing I do like about OS X is some of the built-in apps: like Preview, TextEdit. It’s a lot more usable “out of the box” than Windows because you don’t need third party applications for basic things like viewing a PDF. I also like that it’s a true desktop operating system and you don’t need to switch between two user interfaces while using the computer, like you have to on Windows 8.1 (10 will change that…).

PRETHOUGHT

There is a big difference between Windows and OSX

Expose and the Virtual Desktop. You would think since Micrsoft copied so much from Apple they would just go all in and copy this feature.

Hell, Linux has if you install gnome and Compiz you have even more functionality than Expose and the Virtual Desktop.

The difference between Linux and OSX is OSX runs out of the box you have to be tech savvy to get your desktop tricked out in Linux.

In either case they (Linux and OSX) are light years ahead of MS Windows desktop UI

PRETHOUGHT

How do you figure their hardware is garbage?

Price out a Dell Precision laptop with 2.8Ghz quad core Haswell 16GB of RAM a GeForce 2GB, with a backlit keyboard and run 8 hours on a charge?

You would need another battery back and that Precision would cost more than the MacBook Pro and it is as thick as a brick and the synaptic trackpad is wonky as all get out.

That’s something you can’t get on anything other than Apple is the flawless UEFI implementation. Hence the always on instant on laptop with better battery life than anything out there.

They have to solder down ram and processors in order to get them as thin as they are.
The new Dell XPS 13 is all soldered up and that’s why it’s thinner than the current MacBook Air,

You either want a laptop as thick as a brick so you can replace the ram and processor on your own or you prefer a lighter integrated device.

OSX isn’t worth $1000 Ubuntu with Compiz can do anything OSX can and it’s free

Libre Office works just as good as iWork and or MS Office and it’s free

Joppa Flats

FYI – The iWorks beta doesn’t support Firefox on Windows. Just Chrome 27 or later, or Internet Explorer 9 or later. Windows machines must be running Win 7 or later.

brentpinkston

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but if Apple is going to retake the enterprise, they are going to have to make adjustments to the cost of their hardware. My personal opinion is that Apple has no shot of retaking the enterprise.

velocitychicken

without iMessage for Windows, this is an incomplete ecosystem. iMessage for Windows is crucial.

fredhstein

Huge! IBM just agreed to tote Mac and use iWork App for their sales folks selling Apple products. Apple benefits:
1) Sells more iOS and Macs in Enterprise
2) Forces Microsoft to provide top quality Cloud Office Suite on Macs and iOS or risk becoming marginalized.
3) Keeps Google in check in the Enterprise.
Five or ten years from today, biz schools will talk about how Apple retook the Enterprise.

brentpinkston

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but if Apple is going to retake the enterprise, they are going to have to make adjustments to the cost of their hardware. My personal opinion is that Apple has no shot of retaking the enterprise.

Rann Xeroxx

IBM is now a close partner with Apple, of course they are using their products, why would you trust their word that its the right enterprise solution, they are in it for profit.

We are a Windows and Apple shop and managing Apple products is 10x harder and we even hired an ex-Apple employee to help us setup and manage this. Heck, we can’t even buy new Macs without Yosemite, putting our whole Apple refresh on hold till we test out all our corporate apps and infrastructure with the new OS. That is not how you run an enterprise.

At this point there is no indication that Apple is retaking the enterprise (not sure why you used the term as Apple never had the enterprise, maybe you meant IBM with Apple). BYOD might but even that, we are seeing less and less iPads and more Windows tablets like Surface Pro 3s as BYOD. iOS are rather bad corporate solutions unless they are niche like POS or meeting room controllers.

PRETHOUGHT

Apple never had the Enterprise ever and they probably never will.

Microsoft has already become marginalized and depending on how well Windows 10 will be can go in deeper in the wrong direction

Five to Ten years from now we will see that no one has a monopoly on the desktop

Comments are closed.