I could go on about how almost none of the problems I’ve been griping about for four years in Numbers have been fixed. But what’s the point. Apple has spoken. It wants the OSX iWork to basically be the same as the iOS version and designed purely for casual use. By making it free they kill the market for any competitors other than Office. So if you run a small office, even if you hate MS-Office, there’s really no alternative anymore.
Goble is right that Apple wants to make iWork for casual users, but that’s not new. That was the premise of iWork from the outset. Business users don’t want pre-made letterhead, brochures, and flyers. Business users pay someone to design custom ones for themselves — they don’t need Apple telling them how a budget spreadsheet should work.
From day one, iWork was for the normal person. Which was and is a huge win for everyone. Word and Excel are cumbersome, overwrought, tools for 90% of the people using them. iWork simply isn’t.
Goble is also wrong that Apple has killed the third-party market. Apple just split it wide open. Create a spreadsheet app that rivals Excel, but works with Applescript and works with your sanity — worth $99 in my book. It’s a large shoe to fill, but it exists right now (especially given how crappy Microsoft Office is on the Mac).