Apple just threw its hat into the online office suite fight.
Numerous sources are reporting that Apple is loosening requirements for iWork for iCloud. Where Apple had previously required all users of this platform to have an iCloud account (and thus own Apple hardware), Apple is now telling all visitors to the iWorks site that they can create an iCloud account and get to work.
A new banner promoting the offer was added last night to the iCloud beta site, beta.icloud.com.
Along with the free account, Apple is also throwing in 1GB free storage.
iWorks for iCloud is still in beta, and it currently includes the basic 3 (documents, spreadsheets, presentation) office apps. In the case of Apple that would be online versions of Pages, keynote, and Numbers.
Unlike a regular iCloud account, users won’t have access to Apple’s bevy of other services, including email, calendar, contacts, reminders, etc. Instead when a user logs in they only see 3 icons for the iWork for iCloud office suite and a Settings icon (where you’ll mange the 1GB storage).
Apple has long been known for tying its services to its hardware, so today’s news came as a shock. Do you suppose this mean Apple is going to make a real play for cloud services?
I think that’s possible, but it’s too early to say for sure.