Today I wanted to post a few quick thoughts about Office, iWork and Google Drive. I use them all (for different things) and I believe it gives me (and you) a valuable snapshot as to what strengths each service currently plays to. In the old days, Microsoft was the only real show in town when it came to word processing, spreadsheets and presentation tools with Word, Excel and PowerPoint–until Google came along and mucked everything up (for the better, in my opinion) with the introduction of Google Docs. Docs offered a free alternative to Microsoft Office that was pretty barebones when it launched but has since morphed into Google Drive. Drive is a product that combines the tools that used to be Docs with storage options meant to compete with Dropbox. Apple’s iWork was basically a suite of tools for staunch Mac enthusiasts until the recent iPad and iPhone boom which thrust their Office competitors (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) into the limelight. So much for a brief history of boring work programs. Now for my thoughts.
As I mentioned, I use each of these 3 options a little bit and in different ways. Until very recently, I had Microsoft Office installed on my Mac just to make it a bit easier to open mostly Word and Excel documents that came across my desk from the older generations of workers around the office. I say until recently because when I got my latest computer, I skipped the install (even though our office has a volume license).
I am a BIG Google Drive user for one reason–word processing. When I do some typing (non-blog typing that is) I always always always use Google Drive these days. It’s simply too convenient. As an IT Director, I can appreciate the bare bones interface: people are always asking me how to do things in Word but nobody ever has to ask me how to use Google Drive products. Additionally, it’s a killer feature to be able to share the documents with other people and even have them edit them simultaneously. Killer. I use that all the time, even for content related to DailyTekk (sharing between the team).
I, like many iPad owners, have installed the iWork suite of apps including Pages, Numbers and Keynote. I basically never use Pages, although I wanted to like it and got a keyboard for my iPad just to type ...