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Office for iPad vs. iWork: The battle for tablet productivity

Tony Bradley | April 1, 2014
Once Office for iPad was announced, I couldn't wait to stage a bare-knuckled battle with iWork, the productivity suite that's held down the fort on iPad for four years. I pitted Apple's Pages, Numbers, and Keynote against Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps, respectively, to determine which better provided all the tools one would need in at typical work environment.

Verdict: Keynote is a wonderful app for creating presentations. However, PowerPoint is the gold standard, and Microsoft has developed a superior app that brings all of the power of the desktop program to the iPad. If you want to create, edit, or present an actual PowerPoint file, accept no substitute.

Office for iPad has the edge

I like the iWork apps. They're great if you work strictly within the Apple ecosystem and rely on the native Apple formats. But I always feel like I'm swimming upstream when trying to create or edit Microsoft Office documents in iWork.

The bottom line is that if you need to work with and collaborate on content in Microsoft Office formats — and most of us do — Office for iPad is a must. Add in the value you get with an accompanying Office 365 subscription — including the ability to use Office Mobile on an iPhone or Android smartphone, as well as additional OneDrive storage, and Skype calling minutes — and Microsoft's foothold in the workplace just got a little stronger.


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