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Rumor: Next Version of Apple Office Suite Due Later This Year

One of the big announcements expected at MacWorld 2007 back in January was an update to Apple’s iWork suite of desktop productivity tools. We thought we’d get an update to iWork ’06 to make the word processor and presentation software bundle fresh again for 2007. But iWork ’07 never arrived, and now we’re waiting on iWork ’08.

MacRumors spotted an interesting headline on Apple’s site, which hints that an iWork ’08 suite could be in the pipeline. A headline on the front door of the site offered a tip on how to use the Apple remote in “Keynote ’08.” The item was quickly taken down.

Logically, it would make sense to release iWork ’08 (if such a product actually exists) along with Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X, which is due in October. Then again, it could be a simple typo.

The current version of iWork is just a word processor (Pages) and a presentation app (Keynote). Apple has resisted adding spreadsheet or accounting applications, since those would cause its suite to more closely compete with Microsoft Office for Mac. Historically, Apple has used Office for Mac as one of its biggest carrots to get die-hard Microsoft fans to switch to Mac OS X. And judging from how much of a high profile Apple has afforded Microsoft on its website and in MacWorld keynotes, one doubts that Apple would attempt torpedo that relationship any time soon.

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