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Apple Making a Spreadsheet? 611

Raleel writes "It appears that apple has trademarked the word "Numbers". Speculation is that it is a new spreadsheet. It makes sense with Keynote, Pages, and Mail." That would sort of fill in the last major hole in their lineup.
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Apple Making a Spreadsheet?

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  • The Numbers Game: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:20PM (#12835976)

    From TFS:

    That would sort of fill in the last major whole [sic] in their lineup.

    Errant homonyms aside, this seems to make a lot of sense...after all, Apple is just a spreadsheet shy of an office suite...although between M$ Office and Open Office, I find myself wondering why they're even bothering...

    Also, wasn't there an Apple spreadsheet program previously...called 'grid' or something? I seem to recall something along those lines...perhaps 'Numbers' isn't a spreadsheet after all. The assumption that 'Numbers' is in fact a spreadsheet is only speculation, after all.
    • Nah, they mean to say "whole." It's a coded message to the Germans, providing instructions to bomb Pearl Harbor.
    • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CdBee ( 742846 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:23PM (#12836016)
      A Sun executive announced about 3 years ago that Apple had hired engineers to work at Sun on StarOffice (OpenOffice + commercial addins) for OSX, and that this product would shortly be announced and be shipped with new Macs

      The same guy was sent about a week later to deny that it was happening but accept that he did claim that it would

      2 years later, Apple produces an internally-written, incomplete Office suite completely unrelated to StarOffice/OpenOffice

      Assumption. As with the time ATi preannounced an Apple product by accident and was dumped for nVidia, Sun screwed up and Apple pulled the whole project in revenge. Pages/Mail/Keynote is the replacement. Numbers is the missing component.
      • by soullessbastard ( 596494 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:53PM (#12837262) Homepage Journal
        Disclaimer: I am an Mac OS X developer and a founder of the NeoOffice [] project.

        Well, I was involved with this on a number of levels and can say there was no announcement. What happened was a slip up and spin control. The original article [] contained quotes that were taken from the end of an interview with Tony Siress [] on a completely different topic. He was mostly talking about on Mac OS X. Note the quote that was interpreted as being the "announcement" of a cooperation:

        "I don't want to sell StarOffice for OS X," Siress said. "I want Apple to bundle it. I'll give them the code. I'd love it if I could get the team at Apple to do joint development and they distribute it at no cost--that it's their product. Nobody makes a product more beautiful on Apple than Apple."

        Does that sound like a product and bundling announcement? Hell no. It was Tony going off on what he'd "like" to happen, that he'd "like" to have a partnership with Apple and a bundling deal. It never existed. The StarOffice team that he was talking about was the one that existed under Patrick Luby back in 2000 prior to when Sun open sourced the failed remnants of the Mac port.

        It also turns out that by this time Patrick had already been working on NeoOffice/J [] and, being a former Sun employee and manager of the Mac port, he was beginning to show early versions of his application to people within Sun. This is one of the projects that was mentioned by Sun managers as the Java port, even though it wasn't even a Sun project. Tony himself referenced NeoOffice/J's ancestor in his interview.

        Tony later explained [] the mixup to the OOo community, which was later picked up by the press []. He was talking out his ass and made my life hell for a whole week.

        CNet was embarassed, of course, since they essentially now looked like fools by "breaking" completly false information. So they ran a counter-argument [] story that had longer quotes from the interview. The Quartz version that he's referring to was the Quartz porting work I had been doing in The Java version he's referring to was the early work by Patrick. It even had some quotes from a Sun PR person confirming that Tony said what he had said. Sun PR sacrificed Tony to maintain a working relationship with CNet (apparently there had been a Sun PR person involved with the original interview but they hadn't stopped Tony from making off-topic comments).

        The key point you'll see in that "refutation" article that makes it known he's full of it is the quote on laptops at the bottom. He mentions Apple wanting to sell Sun PowerBooks. His "contact" at Apple was a sales rep who was trying to sell laptops, not an engineer!

        After that fun blunder, Tony never really was allowed to speak to the press again, particularly on StarOffice related issues.

        Conspiracy theorists love making a big deal out of this up until this day (witness the parent), but in the end it was all a bunch of bull caused by an eager manager and an overexuberant reporter "breaking" a supposed story without doing any fact checking to confirm the horseshit coming out of the manager's mouth.

        The good thing was that it pissed me and Dan off so much we created the NeoOffice project (NeoOffice/C) to prove it could be done. Eventually Patrick was convinced to open source the code Tony referred to and thus NeoOffice/J was born. Bad thing is it wrecked any chance of Sun or Apple actually providing engineering support since the PR n

    • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:23PM (#12836019) Homepage Journal
      The thing that many people are really missing out on with Pages is that it really is a DTP program. Adobe and the other programs that perform page layout should have done something like this years ago. Pages is small, compact, pretty speedy and it handles images like no other word processing program I have ever used.

      Now if I could just get End Note to work with Pages, I could drop Word entirely.

      • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @06:03PM (#12836426) Journal
        Note that it's a low-end DTP program, but that's not a bad thing. It isn't meant to take on Quark or InDesign in the professional arena, but it's meant to make DTP a little more accessible to the more casual users. Sort of like Garageband tries to make audio editing accessible to everyone.

        Pages is not full featured enough that I'd want to be producing a monthly magazine on it, but for a church newsletter, or a notice for a school or something, it's a good choice. It doesn't do everything, but it does a lot of the basic stuff really easily.

        • Whatever publication you put out with Pages will put you WAAYYYY closer to something your Printer will smile over rather than curse, like with Publisher.

          I had the same reaction to Pages after using PageMaker & Publisher in a production environment. Publisher is NO GOOD AT ALL.

          However, OpenOffice, Pages, Word & PageMaker/Quark/Publisher/InDesign/Frame cannot be fairly compared as equals.

          Pages does Word + Publisher *BETTER*
          Numbers will probably do Excel + Access *APPLEY*

      • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @06:04PM (#12836449) Homepage Journal
        Yes, exactly! And Pages made me realize why I have always disliked things like Word and other "word processors"...

        They're really a bastard category of products. They're text editors pretending to be page layout programs... or page layout programs pretending to be text editors. The whole concept has always seemed somehow *wrong* to me. Kludgy and awkward.

        Pages fixes that. It fills in the same category as things like Word, but goes about things in a sane way. Apple has a text editor already - TextEdit. It's pervasive across the OS X system, and technically I'm using it right now in this Safari text box. Pages is a page layout program that calls on TextEdit (I presume) to do its text functions, QuickTime to handle its graphics functions, and so on. The components are handled by system functions that handle those components well; Pages just puts them all together in a pretty, integrated package.

        It's a lot like XHTML+CSS versus the old content-and-layout-in-one kludge that was earlier HTML standards, actually.
        • by soupdevil ( 587476 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:15PM (#12836997)
          For most personal and business documents, Word is exactly what's needed -- a text editor with a certain amount of control over layout and design. It may be kludgy, but it's right on target functionally, I think, for letters, fax cover sheets, resumes, outlines, and most of the necessary but forgettable documents generated daily in every office. If I had to choose either Notepad or Quark any time I wanted to create a text document, I'd be an unhappy camper.
          • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:4, Informative)

            by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:21PM (#12837043) Homepage Journal
            If I had to choose either Notepad or Quark any time I wanted to create a text document, I'd be an unhappy camper.

            That's why I'm saying Pages is so brilliant. It's not Quark, but it's the same class of program, scaled down to the Word level of functionality.

            The way I see it, the text editor paradigm works up to the feature level of text-only documents with varied font faces and sizes, alignments and justifications, line spacings, even margins and pages sizes.... so long as it's all just text.

            Once you want to start adding tables and graphics and working with master pages and the like, it's time to change paradigms and act like you're doing what you real are doing: basic page layout. You're not just editing text anymore, and trying to make a fancy text editor do things other than edit text is a bad idea.
        • It's pervasive across the OS X system, and technically I'm using it right now in this Safari text box.

          I didn't realise that. So do some of the GUI features in OS X work like OpenDoc or OLE? I'm not too familiar with what goes on under the hood, but I recall glossing over an Apple developer front page that described how you could easily extend features of OS X applications, like adding a menu to TextEdit that accesses iTunes. However, I wasn't aware that it also had OpenDoc/OLE qualities. Can OS X do thi

          • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mbessey ( 304651 )
            "So do some of the GUI features in OS X work like OpenDoc or OLE?"

            No, there's nothing really like that on OS X at the system level. The text editing functionality in many applications is based on classes provided by the Cocoa framework, so you get "the same" text editing experience, by way of all the shared code.

            But you don't have the situation of one application being responsible for drawing/editing content inside another application. Each approach obviously has advantages and disadvantages. It certainly
        • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Sentry21 ( 8183 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:30PM (#12837471) Journal
          My first impression of Pages came just recently, and I think the best way to sum up my initial reaction to the way it worked was 'Holy crap, it's a Pagemaker clone with attitude!' I used to use Pagemaker back ten to fourteen years ago, and Pages strikes me as startlingly similar to how it worked back then. The placement, flowing of text, text boxes, columns, it's like an easy-to-use Apple-ized DTP rewrite. What a fantastic program.

          Haven't used Keynote yet, but I intend to. Looking forward to Numbers. Maybe I'll get lucky and Apple will release a personal accounting package. It'd probably be called 'Accounts' or 'Finances', since 'Money' is already taken.

        • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:5, Informative)

          by Oscar_Wilde ( 170568 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @11:31PM (#12838449) Homepage
          Apple has a text editor already - TextEdit. It's pervasive across the OS X system, and technically I'm using it right now in this Safari text box.

          No you're not. Technically you're using an instance of NSTextView [] which just happens to be used by (you can confirm this by deleting and observing that Safari will still let you type into HTML forms).

          Pages is a page layout program that calls on TextEdit (I presume)

          Calls on the AppKit libraries which contain all the stuff that makes NSTextViews function, actually.

          It is by using the AppKit classes that all MacOS X applications get stuff, that should be standard in all (non-lightweight) GUI toolkits, like spell checking in any text box or text entry field (unless the UI design specifically disabled it). This is also why "foreign" programs such as FireFox are not as nice to use on MacOS X, nifty features such as system wide spell-checking are not available.

          I can't understand why other GUI toolkits don't offer similar functionality. Ii also irritates me when I see a website that implements spell-checking instead of leaving it to the users browser/GUI.
          • To be fair to the original poster, TextEdit is little more than the default Cocoa document-based application with an NSTextView as the document.

            The services accessible in Cocoa apps really are hugely powerful, and it's a shame that Apple doesn't give them a better UI (in NeXTStep, the Services menu was at the top level, and could be torn off), since they are an incredibly flexible way of extending a program's functionality.

      • DTP Definition (Score:5, Informative)

        by LFS.Morpheus ( 596173 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @06:58PM (#12836882) Homepage
        For those who don't know:
        DTP = Desktop Publishing

        (I'll admit: I had to look it up)
    • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Otter ( 3800 )
      Also, wasn't there an Apple spreadsheet program previously...called 'grid' or something?

      IIRC, Steve made references to a spreadsheet-in-progress called "Grid". If this thing really is a spreadsheet, it's probably the same project.

      • Lotus Improv (Score:2, Informative)

        Let's hope Numbers take its inspiration from Lotus Improv [].
        • Let's hope Numbers take its inspiration from Lotus Improv.

          I just read your link and I bet you are absolutely right on that. So much of OS X has been derived from NeXTSTEP, and this part really spells it out...

          It was at about this time that Steve Jobs visited and gave them one of the new NeXT computers. The NeXT made Improv possible due to its powerful NeXTSTEP programming environment. Jobs clearly "got it", and became one of the product's biggest supporters and critics, and many of the ideas that ap

    • by theluckyleper ( 758120 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:24PM (#12836022) Homepage
      Also, wasn't there an Apple spreadsheet program previously...called 'grid' or something?

      True, but before "Pages" there was the ugly beast called "AppleWorks"... which clearly couldn't compete with MS Word.

      I think they're trying to cover their asses in case Microsoft pulls the MS Office rug out from under them.

      • Hah! I remember appleworks. We had it on a 5 1/4 floppy for our Apple IIgs. It had a lot of forward-thinking options at the time, like ascii interpretations of folders, and an option to print to disk (for text files, so I could write my applesoft basic in appleworks rather than in the included "editor", which consisted of cat the program, break where you want to edit, and escape up into the program).

        Wow. Blast from the past.

      • I used AppleWorks on my ][e many moons ago.
        I recently bought an iMac G5, tried AppleWorks.
        I didn't play around with it long before I got sick of it.
        It looked like the only thing that changed was it now in a GUI intead of a TUI.
        Not just Ugly, bug Fugly, IMHO.
      • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:3, Informative)

        by javaxman ( 705658 )
        True, but before "Pages" there was the ugly beast called "AppleWorks"... which clearly couldn't compete with MS Word.

        They still have AppleWorks []. I think it even still ships with every Mac. Hey, check it out, can it really run on Windows []?? It appears it can.

        It's definitely still useful, though it's rudimentary spreadsheet is probably the weakest link, it's Carbon of course, and badly needs an update... although, now that I mention it, it looks like it has actually bumped a few version numbers since I las

    • While it also doesn't make too much sense to me (when there are mature and viable alternatives out there), it feels like (it this is true) that Apple simply wants to have their own complete office suite just for the sake of having their full office suite.

      Maybe Apple feels like half the company it could be without a spreadsheet app.
    • Try AppleWorks and the Claris Office software.

      I'm thinking the term "Numbers" is from the TV show of the same name which is a nice twist to a SpreadSheet name as well.
    • You're probably thinking of XGrid, but that's for distributed computing.

      As for why they're bothering, well, all I can say is that I wish more people'd try iWork because then they'd see it's not a clone of MS Office and OpenOffice. It's not "there yet" in terms of being feature-complete enough to compete with these office suites, which is probably what's keeping their sales so low, but if you're doing something like desktop publishing or want to design a slick presentation, iWork is easier and in many cases
    • Re:The Numbers Game: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MoonBuggy ( 611105 )
      ...although between M$ Office and Open Office, I find myself wondering why they're even bothering...

      I don't know if you've used it or not, but OpenOffice on OSX just doesn't flow properly at all. It may sound like a small thing, and I'm sure some people are happy to put up with it, but on a computer that carries a premium for design and "Just works" it really kicks the whole thing out when you have an app that doesn't 'feel' right, especially if you use it alot. Conversely, Keynote (which I had used long
    • by Rune Berge ( 663292 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @06:37PM (#12836746)

      Also, wasn't there an Apple spreadsheet program previously...

      Yeah, I seem to remember this little known app called VisiCalc or something. It must have been a failure, because no one seems to even remember it here...

  • by Winckle ( 870180 ) <> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:20PM (#12835987) Homepage
    and then we will see Apple's "innovative" new product line
  • by jkujath ( 587282 ) * on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:21PM (#12835988)
    Shouldn't this read "Speculation is that it is a new spreadsheet program "?
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:21PM (#12835993) Homepage
    I loose my mind everytime I see silly errors like that.
  • But I guess you *can* trademark Numbers...
  • by Embedded Geek ( 532893 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:22PM (#12836004) Homepage
    After all, Bill Gates patented ones and zeroes.

    (Couldn't find the link to the Onion story - they've pulled it)

  • Apple doesn't have a high performance virus distribution mechanism yet. It's way too easy to turn off "open safe files after download" in Safari and then all you've got to work with is social engineering.
  • There is nothing wrong with OpenOffice. They should make a stronger push toward that.

    Numbers? Shouldn't it be iNumbers? The next word processing software will be iSentence. They can't use iWord or Ballmer will sue them silly.

  • How long before someone makes add-ons for it: ...Of The Beast! -- helps with tax-related info ...Of Angels on the Head of a Pin -- charitable contributions module.

    Book of... -- Statistics module with lots of frequency distribution functions.

  • by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:27PM (#12836065) Homepage Journal

    It's the NextStep to the iBible.
  • In an earlier article on slashdot [] about Dell using OS X on their computers, someone pointed out that if this happened Microsoft would probably stop making office for Macs. This makes a certain amount of sense in that people won't want to switch if they can't keep a lot of the same applications, a problem that's plagued a lot of people considering switching to Mac.

    It looks like Apple might be getting prepared for the chance that Microsoft does decide to withdraw their support from the Mac. It would be an

    • Pages is an Apple Pro App. Other Apple pro apps (Quicktime Pro) run on Windows.. as does iTunes because it sells iPods

      Apple used to sell AppleWorks 6 for Windows - I have a copy. It's horrible. Apple's Office may also appear on Win32 eventually. Hopefully somewhat more nicely
  • On the very rare occasions I need to use one, I just boot up AppleWorks 6. Whoa, and there it is! Rows and columns, all interacting and everything! Came free with the computer too.

    But I guess they mean 'a spreadsheet... THAT LOOKS KEWL!'

  • by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:29PM (#12836085) Homepage
    I just downloaded this new spreadsheet program and my powerbook feels much snappier now!

  • It could be the Apple version of minesweeper. You need a killer app to sell all those new Mac-Intel machines.
  • I wonder what CBS thinks about this trademark considering that they have a crime drama entitled "Numb3rs." Will this be another challenge of Apple's trademarks (think: Tiger)?
  • I just trademarked the word "trademark". HA! Now are you going to do?
  • I didn't think you could copyright just one word that is in the dictionary. I thought you'd be able to copyright "Apple Numbers" but not "Numbers" on it's own. Can anyone confirm or deny?
  • It's Just In Case (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:33PM (#12836119) Homepage Journal
    We thought that Apple would be able to obtain PowerPC chips for years to come that did what we wanted. Steve didn't assume and ran all OS X versions on prototype Intel-equipped Macs as early as 2000 just in case things did not pan out as IBM promised. We know now how foresight like that can help.

    In 1997, to aid in Apple's revival, Microsoft initially agreed to make new versions of Office for Mac in exchange for non-voting stock options, a token deposit of $150 M in Apple's account, and under-the-table dismissal of lawsuits that Apple filed. That agreement has since expired. Although Office for Mac is healthy and profitable to both MS and Apple (since an Office version presents justification for businesses to buy Macs), Steve looks ahead, just in case, and ensures that there are Apple products that also fit the bill.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:33PM (#12836123)
    After all, Apple can even get their engineers to continue working on projects after they're fired []
  • Sounds kindof like "new math". You know, they could redefine the rules one normally uses with numbers...Could be useful for benchmarks, Netcraft surveys, time-warping their release dates, etc. :-)
  • IIRC Claris/Apple bought Wingz Spreadsheet, many years age.
  • just means that Steve is a big Kraftwerk [] fan.
  • Remember (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 )
    Trademarking "Windows" == Evil

    Trademarking "Numbers" == Good

    Maybe Apple trademarked it, simply so noone else can?
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:41PM (#12836209)
    Not enough, not comparable.

    The "real" Microsoft Office Professional has:
    o Access
    o Excel
    o Outlook
    o PowerPoint
    o Publisher
    o Word

    Even if Apple does a spreadsheet, that's not going to be enough. The major deployment for Office in small to medium businesses is with MS Access and a bunch of Visual BASIC/VBScript glue to turn it into vertical market custom software.

    I know several people who run multimillion dollar financial services businesses, each of which is under 100 employees, and their collections applications, reporting applications, etc., are all based on this model to glue things together.

    If you try to buy discounted paper - e.g. you are into factor financing, or you are dealing with a Fannie May or Freddie Mac paper, or subprime credit (face it: that's most of the people trying to get credit in the first place), etc. - then you are likely in this category. Even if you aren't, the data comes from companies like Credit Suisse First Boston, Chase Manhattan, Banc Of America, etc., on CDROMs in access database or Excel spreadsheet data formats.

    The thing that would switch these people over to Macintosh (don't kid yourself, many of these people want to switch - their employees are just as likely as the next huys to surf the web and end up with spyware out the wazoo) is the ability to run all the same scripts and custom code (all of it interpreted) as they can on their Windows workstation. I know at least three companies that would switch in an instant, but who aren't willing to do so now because they don't want to have to invest in something they can't make minor changes to themselves without learning how to be a programmer. Or keeping a programmer on staff full time.

    And that's just one vertical market.

    You can find the same issues with document storage and retrieval systems that use optical scanning to get out from under paper. You can also find the same thing with medical billing systems, and Doctors office management systems. Many insurance companies have specific client requirements for integration with their networks for electronic billing and payment processing: if you don't do it using their app., then you get to fill out paper, and they get to it when they get to it.

    The deck is seriously stacked, and it's the compatibility of the database and the inter-application scripting, not the spreadsheets, which keeps Windows entrenched. It's no mistake that neither Access or the full VisualBASIC suite has made it to platforms other than Windows.

    -- Terry
    • by norwoodites ( 226775 ) <> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @06:11PM (#12836509) Journal
      Considering Access is not in M$ Office for the Mac who cares about it. In fact most of Outlook is not either. M$ makes another email program for the Mac.

      Also there is already Filemaker which is one of the reasons why M$ has always said they are not going to make Access for the Mac.
      • you forgot to write "WHICH SUCKS ASS BIG WAY, BTW", right after "another email program for the mac".

        M$ makes another email program for the Mac WHICH SUCKS ASS BIG WAY, BTW.

        see? much better. Now this can be modded Informative.

        Seriously, I used Entourage for a long time because of the Exchange support (MS's email server which really reallly sucks ass big time). After I stopped using the stupid exchange features (because I left the company where I had that account), I finally dumped Entourage forever,

    • by Reverberant ( 303566 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @06:14PM (#12836532) Homepage
      Not enough, not comparable.

      It depends on your perceptive. I can agree that a lot of large firms (the type with full IT staffs and in-house programmers/pseudo-programmers) use the "real" MS Office in the manner you describe. But a lot of people just need a word processor to /read/write letters and a spreadsheet to crunch numbers.

      Seriously, go drive/walk to you town/city center and look around. You'll probably see banks, maybe an accounting firm or small engineering firm that needs VB/Access functionally. But keep looking. You'll also see things like barber shops, a Ma & Pa convenience store, maybe a store front for plumber, graphic artist, and so on. These people probably wouldn't know what a database or scripting language was if you hit them over the head with one.

      As long as they can read whatever Office formats that are sent to them (and thankfully that may actually happen []), the combo of Pages/Keynote/Numbers will be enough for the great majority of small businesses.

      Given the number of small businesses [] in the U.S., I think the potential market is higher than one might expect, especially if you think business=megacorp

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:46PM (#12836256)
    Look, OSX has it's own 'thang' going for it. Its is basically NextStep tarted up a bit. MS Office doesn't truly look and feel native, OOo damned sure isn't, and won't anytime soon. AppleWorks is too 'lite' and was a Classic App anyway. They need a native office suite and it looks like they are bout to fill in the last piece.

    The interesting question is whether Steve decides that now is the time to end the unholy deal with Microsoft where MS provides Office for Mac so long as the Mac never tries to become mainstream. (Mainstream seems to be defined as >10% of PC sales for this purpose.) Being on iNtel means they could produce as many machines as they could sell. And if they played their cards right and cut HP or Dell in on the action they could probably move a metric assload of machines come next Xmas season.

    Yes it would be the return of the clones, but if they really want to be a player they have to find a way to gain a significant installed base. They can't do the deal with Hollywood they so obviously lust after unless they can show an ability to get enough installed base to be worthy of signing a major content distribution deal with.

  • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:46PM (#12836267) Homepage
    You know what I hate? Watching one company copy another's program without looking at any other examples for good ideas. This seems to be happening MORE these days, notably in the free software world.

    So what WOULD make a good spreadsheet? Here's some ideas...

    1) start with Lotus Improv - the key idea here is the separation of sheets, temporary work, and formulas

    2) add 3D sheets from Stories, they would fit into Improv's "sheetlette" idea perfectly

    3) there's got to be an idea or two from Spreadsheet 2000 worth using

    4) Now make every *&%&^% part of it AppleScriptable

    THAT is the spreadsheet you want.
  • by Mengoxon ( 303399 ) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @05:47PM (#12836272)
    So Apple better do something with their document formats. That is, make it XML and open-source OR even better, use the OpenOffice document format.

    Then they can slap their famous user interface on it and watch adoption grow. If they go on their own again - with no PC support for the format - fuhged it...
    • Keynote, their powerpoint replacement, generates XML files for its slideshows. And you can download a long and detailed explanation of the format. I started looking into writing a web application for my school where professors could browse digital photos from the slide library, select the ones they wanted, and have a keynote presentation automatically generated. And make it possible for students to download and generate slideshows, etc. It certainly seems possible, I just never had the time to get past the
    • Both Pages & Keynote documents are XML files at their core (they aren't even Zipped like OO) -- although Apple are a little lazy with the documentation at the moment (Keynote v1 is documented on, v2 isn't yet), it's not that hard to trawl through the XML to grab content & style

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham