Who among the Apple faithful knew that Apple would quietly launch a couple of well timed torpedoes right into the sides of the good ships lollipop; Microsoft and Google.
Bang, Bang, You’re Dead
First, a little history. Microsoft made it’s ill-gotten fortunes riding on the back of Windows licensing and sales of the ubiquitous Office suite of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
To say that Windows and Office are Microsoft’s cash cow is an understatement, however, we live in the post-PC era which is decidedly mobile.
Where is Microsoft in the mobile space? Struggling for survival. Windows Phone and Windows RT, for smartphones and tablets, respectively, are financial disasters.
While Google’s Android operating system is the marketshare leader, Android hasn’t translated well into profits for the search giant.
While Apple has reaped over $100-billion in iPhone and iPad profits in recent years, Google and Microsoft have spent tens of billions and have no profits to show for the investment.
Google is frantically trying to build a cloud business by offering Office-like features for free, while Microsoft’s effort to become cloud-centric has been anemic at best.
What Apple Just Did
Apple has had great success bundling the suite of iLife apps with every new Mac. iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, coupled with iTunes, made the Mac a valuable proposition and a profit machine.
Almost lost in the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iOS introduction is Apple’s latest torpedo. iWork is free with every new iPhone and iPad.
iWork is made up of the Pages word processor, the Numbers spreadsheet, and the highly acclaimed Keynote presentation app. Like the iLife suite of apps for the Mac, iWork comes free with each new iOS device.
As Microsoft found with Windows Phone vs. Android OS, free can be a bitch that’s difficult to compete against. That said, what goes around comes around. Google lives, eats, and breathes free.
What did Apple do? iWork, arguably easier to use for the masses than Office, is also cloud-based and free for Apple customers with an iCloud account and Apple ID. Apple just torpedoed both Microsoft and Google.
Every new Mac comes with iLife– iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband. Every new iPhone and iPad will come with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and… drum roll, please… iMovie and iPhoto (no word yet about Garageband for iOS).
Suddenly, with a single, almost obscure announcement, Apple has made Google’s web apps look anemic and under powered, while making Microsoft’s Office suit appear expensive and overpriced.
Now all we need is free iWork for the Mac and the circle will be complete.