Microsoft did not hold back as it slammed rival Apple's decision to offer its office software free of charge, branding the offerings as "not a very big (or a very good) deal".
Yesterday, Apple unveiled a new operating system along with its new iPad Air. The OS X Mavericks will feature upgraded versions of its iWork and iLife office suites, which will come included in the free update at no additional cost for the first time.
The software – like Microsoft's Office products – allows users to create presentations, spreadsheets and word-processing documents, but Microsoft insisted Apple's move to offer them at no extra expense to Mac users would not encroach on Office's popularity.
"Let me cut to the chase. Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world's most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively," said Frank Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of communication on an official Microsoft blog.
"[This makes] Apple's decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal.
"Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their iWork suite of apps. Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it's hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn't change the fact that it's much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.
"So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don't see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch-up."
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