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Apple's iWork to Lasso Spreasheets

PC Magazine is reporting that Apple's going to poke the hornets' nest in Redmond again:

Apple will step on yet another of Microsoft's toes early next year when the Mac maker unveils the next version of its iWork productivity suite, complete with a new spreadsheet application.

Sources report that iWork '07 will gain this new third component, code-named Lasso, which will go to bat against Microsoft Excel in the consumer and small-office space. The new application will arrive in addition to the upgraded Pages 3 and Keynote 4 programs, Apple's current answers to Word and PowerPoint.

The iWork bundle  is one more example of the good money to be made in simplicity—in this case, fewer features. Microsoft's ubiquitous suite has become so complex and powerful, most users tap only a small fraction of its features. By reducing the feature set, Apple makes it simpler for users to use those features, offering more direct access to functionality.

It's much the same advantage offered by online Office "competitors" like Zoho and Writely Google Docs & Spreadsheets. In all these cases, their developers have seen how less can mean much more for most users of Microsoft Office.

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