Remember this part of the WWDC keynote?
Don’t lie — this was the part everyone forgot because web apps like this simply aren’t as interesting as new versions of the operating systems you use all the time. That’s rough competition, especially considering the amount of work the teams behind this product have clearly put into it.
Christopher Mims of Quartz is blown away by the trio of web apps, though. He thinks this is Apple’s attempt to compete with Office web apps and Google’s productivity tools, and that it’s such a big step up over those two that it will force their apps to improve.
I don’t doubt that Microsoft and Google will be looking at iWork for iCloud as an example of full-featured aren’t-you-surprised-they’re-only-web-apps. But I also don’t really see the point of these — much like the rest of iCloud.com, they’re clearly built for supplementary use, and are not intended to be used full-time. If you have your Mac, you’re going to be using the desktop iWork apps; if you’re on your iPad or iPhone, there are iOS versions available, too.
I suppose this is a really clever way of putting iWork in the hands of Windows users so they can edit their iOS iWork documents at their desk. Perhaps this will be great in dire case scenarios, too — imagine you need to give a presentation, but your MacBook is dead, and nobody has an A/C adapter. But I can’t think of many reasons why these apps exist; perhaps there’s simply a perceived imperative for Apple to compete with Google’s and Microsoft’s attempts to put productivity software on the web.