According to CRN, rumor has it that Apple and VMware are working on a project that looks to directly compete with Microsoft’s MS Office suite for the iPad, by designing an iWork suite directly aimed at businesses and offered at a lower price point.
One of the sources stated the following on the matter; “Apple wants Pages to be seen as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Numbers as a replacement for Excel and Keynote as a replacement for PowerPoint.”
The system supposedly will incorporate VMware View virtual desktop software with cloud versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers, and will be running from Apple servers. The service will not be connected to iCloud as you might think, which currently hosts “Document in the Cloud” for syncing and downloading files between iOS and OS X devices.
The suite will be more powerful than what is currently offered, to entice business class customers. The rumored suite will be a central hub for entrepreneurial clients with rumored compatibility between iOS and Windows-based platforms, which would make sense given VMware’s contributions, including Virtual View, as well as the rumor the iWorks suite would not be hosted on iCloud servers.
The launch timetable is not available of course, but the rumor is the suite could launch before Microsoft releases an expected iOS version of MS Office in March 2013.