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End of an era August 16, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Apps, FOSS, Legacy Software.

You young whippersnappers who use OpenOffice today (or even Office 2007 if you’re so blessed) never knew the simpler pleasures and wonders of Appleworks, Apple’s original office productivity suite of apps. It had/has a word processor, spreadsheet and database program all rolled into one, and more stuff like painting and drawing apps were added on in later incarnations.

Appleworks used to come with older Macs and other Apple computers (yes, young Virginia, there were Apple computers outside of Macs before – like the Apple II, GS, Lisa and one or two others) as part of the software bundle, or sold separately. At one point it lived life as Clarisworks, but it’s still on some store shelves today.

I did a lot of my early work in the mid-80s on the first versions of Appleworks on my Apple II before moving to heftier word processors like WordPerfect. Despite being a Swiss Army Knife of apps, Appleworks wasn’t exceptionally good at any of its component apps, but Apple veterans cut their teeth on this office suite.

Appleworks has been ubiquitous, lurking faithfully in the background while we all turned to other, more capable (and expensive) software, but in a pinch it was always there to save the day. Mostly forgotten, it lasted up until Version 6 for OS X, but now, with the release of iWork ’08, Apple seems to be retiring the venerable old suite for good.

Apple isn’t selling it anymore (although support still exists – you can get the latest update here), but the final nail in the coffin has been hammered in: go to the Appleworks portion of Apple’s website, and it takes you to the iWork page.

To be sure, all its functions are already in iWork, now that the Excel-like spreadsheet app Numbers has been added to the mix, and there is no longer any reason to have the old fogey Appleworks hanging around. Sigh.

With this, Mac-A-Doodle officially joins the call to pressure Apple to turn Appleworks into FOSS, so that people can continue to support and develop it, and give Mac users a free alternative to the buggy and bloated OpenOffice. Least we can do.



1. mariquita - August 16, 2007

My sweet little iBook G4 came with AppleWorks, and I loved it from the start. In fact, I use it for most of my personal files, and the little writing drabbles that are my guilty pleasure.

I keep NeoOffice for the larger documents and working on those Microsoft files people send me for editing or additional input.

Thing is, since Apple units are built to last, it’s going to be quite a while before I’ll need to upgrade to iWork…::grin::

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