Apple's free software gives you what you pay for

Apple fanboys are a little miffed after the free upgrades to the iWork and iLife appear to be iDisappointing.

Jobs’ Mob promised iWork and iLife users would be given free upgrades to major new versions of the company’s productivity and lifestyle apps. This was touted as Apple’s Office killer. Why would you pay for Office when you could have something from Apple for free?

But, according to some longtime users, the new versions of the apps are a step backwards in functionality. In short they might be free, but they have less than before.

Apple’s word processing app has lost its customisable toolbar, endnotes, and many templates. It seems to lack feature compatibility between iWork apps and Microsoft Office apps, like Microsoft Word to Pages and Power Point to Keynote. Apple once used these apps to lure people away from Office.

Apple of course is saying nothing about the change. Customers should be grateful for whatever bounty the cargo cult provides its worshippers.

The tame apple press is trying to palm the change off as a “simplification.” Simplification is a much nicer word than saying “dumbing down”, it evokes the concept of white minimalist architecture, where you can never find the doors.

Cnet said that the new versions of the iWork and iLife apps are designed to be more in tune with their counterparts on iOS.

But it admits that in the pursuit of unity between all of its devices, some features have gotten lost in the shuffle.

The question is how much unity do people want and when it comes at the expense of functions that they need how practical is such simplification?