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May 21, 2011


The breakthrough if it happens would be a platform that did not hold the users formating hostage by creating "problems" that force upgrades on owners of software. Microsoft is the king of this type of incompatibility between different versions of its office suite. I currently use 2 different versions of word in my small company and I am forced to copy documents into open source software and then paste them back into word to make them editable. I need to move on to a simple open source version of office but the usual institutional resistance to change means none of my employees and partners want to risk "learning" a new system. A simple system that never used formatting as a club to force upgrades would certainly be revolutionary in my book.

Looks like Steve jobs hates Acrobat as well as Flash.

It seems the document rendering might be only half the solution. Imagine if we had a full-featured app on each device that seamlessly enabled us to create & modify & sync save our docs. Could iWork on iPhone, iPad, Mac & PC with (Dropbox-like) sync to MobileMe, view/editable in any browser, replace your MS Office, Google Docs, Dropbox & Evernote? Apple has many of the pieces already. And once we all flick the iTunes switch to store all our music & videos in the Apple cloud, why wouldn't you flick the iWork switch?

My friend Hal thinks that this could be a spin-off of Apple's iWork.com. Sounds reasonable to me.

@ LLIB. Apple's Newton was a PDA. It never progressed to that of a full size "tablet." That's why some point to MS as the one who tried to make the Tablet work and failed.

How is this much different that Google Docs? Apple might add a bit more polish, perhaps, but cloud-based platform-independant word processors have been around for a while.

On the other hand, if it rivals Pages desktop app in page layout capabilities, then it might be something new.

Apple's Newton "Tablet" hand held stylus driven computer was out a decade before MS Tablet & before Palm Pilot PDA. MS did not invent the Tablet. Also, their "tablet" was just a laptop with a flipping/rotating screen that you could use a stylus on.

Sun is not toast!!! It has joined a very powerful ally of Apple, Oracle!!! That is main reason Apple does not issue an independent version of Java for the Mac.

In 2004 there was a browser alliance formed by Apple, Mozilla and Opera (and Sun who's toast). If this still exists, then an independent word processor would work with those 3 browsers. Very interesting.


Does this mean that One article will be compatible across different platforms without the need to know which program it was originally written on. Such as Word from MS?

Wow, I beginning to see a more streamed future in computing.

Go Apple!

Let me guess, it's "platform independent," but will require iOS5 and OSX 10.7 with Safari v6 to work (unless, of course, you're on Windoze, then XP SP3 is fine).

Ken; I've never had gDocs show different number of pages based on the browser or OS.

Doesn't PDF go someway to solving this problem? Assuming an editable PDF.


As many have pointed out many times before, and in many places on the web, Apple was not the first to develop the portable digital music player (the iPod), not the first to market with a "tablet" (the iPad), not the first mouse, not the first cell phone, and not the first in many things in which they do so well (the "breakthrough").

Sony's Walkman, Microsoft's tablets, Motorola's Razr and many other inventions are pretty lame until Apple gets ahold of them and puts their masterful touch on them to make them "Breakthroughs." Can you even name one Tablet device prior to the iPad?

Apple is not perfect. They have had some duds, but their record in changing markets is truly incredible. We will see soon how Apple's implementation of the "Cloud" does. I hope it is also a breakthrough.

The breakthrough is re-engineering the whole thing to reproduce the fonts, line breaks, word positions, and layout the same on all platforms. Google and Microsoft only allow people to edit the text and save the document in the same file format. That's not enough for the majority of possible uses. If you are writing a government bid that limits proposals to 30 pages, for example, Google and Microsoft aren't much help, because the page count could come out differently on different platforms. Also, their solutions won't work well in situations where it's necessary for everyone to see and edit the same page layout, such as in the things one produces with a page-layout program. (Apple's Pages is a hybrid between a word processor and a page layout program.) Apple's invention is practical for any possible use of a word processor or page-layout program, not just the limited uses that Google and Microsoft address.

@ Chad. The "breakthrough" is that Apple will be introducing apps beyond Safari and iTunes that could run on PC's and maybe other platforms. Many PC users have wanted access to some of Apple's other iApps and this is a sign that Apple is considering it. In that light and context, it's certainly a breakthrough.

Microsoft had tablets out first and Sony had an MP3 player out first but it was Apple which made these devices the hits that they are today. I understand that some in the PC community can't stand Apple's breakthroughs but I thought by now that you'd be used to it. I guessed wrong. Ha!


What exactly is 'breakthrough' about something that Google and Microsoft have provided for years?

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