What is it with light-duty office suites? Does anyone use them?

Earl Moore writes that the Appleworks suite has reached 'End of Life' status, and it got me to thinking. I've never owned or used a Mac or Appleworks. I wonder if it's anything like Microsoft's eternally retarded and resoundingly ignored MS-Works application suite.

MS-Works  had most if not all of the functionality that I needed in an office suite, but I always found it to be significantly incompatible with their proper 'MS-Office' suite. Now, I'm talking about when it came with my Win95 equipped system back in the day. I have neither heard nor seen mention of it to this day – although it seems via Wikipedia that it's alive and still breathing at version 9.0.

I never used it simply because I always wanted the 'pro' apps and not the crippled ones. And if you were working in MS-Office at work, then you wanted full and unmistakable compatibility at home. I always wondered who actually used it.

Mind you, I've always been against feature bloat, and everyone knows that 95% of people use 10% of the features in Word and Excel. I'm sure MS-Works would have been perfectly satisfactory for my use. I always scratched my head at why they didn't just make proper 'lite' versions of Word and Excel. I'm sure they would have sold many copies at $39.99 a pop. Instead, people pirated the entire Office Suite.

The Mac world is largely alien to me. Did (and do) Mac users actually use the Appleworks suite? Or did they flock to high-priced 'pro-level' apps instead?


2 Responses to “What is it with light-duty office suites? Does anyone use them?”

  1. Earl Says:

    Hi Richard:

    I’ve never used AppleWorks. I think it’s similar to MS-Works in it’s feature set but with a little more compatibility. It did include a spreadsheet so not until iWork 08 included the new “Numbers” spreadsheet and could it replace AppleWorks.

    I would guess MS and others don’t produce proper “Lite” versions they feel it would steal market share from their extremely expensive and feature burdened mainline products.

    Why sell them a hammer when you can sell them a “Nail Driving Machine.”

    It’s called focusing on the bottom line instead of the customers needs…. 😉

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