There was an interesting thread over on the Macintel mailing list last week, in which members discussed the presence, or lack of, a word processor on the latest line of Mac computers.
The point was made that other than TextEdit, there’s no supplied word processor on a new Intel Mac. You do get trial versions of Office:mac and iWork, but if you want to keep them, you need to pay more. Appleworks, while still available for download if you want to pay the money for it, is no longer one of the bundled applications.
So the question was: should Apple be doing this? Is TextEdit enough? I’m inclined to think that it is, but I’m interested to hear what Mac Devcenter readers think.
TextEdit is very basic as far as word processors go, but for the majority of simple tasks done by the majority of consumer-level users, it is sufficient. With TextEdit you can write letters, novels, school papers, ReadMe files, lists; most stuff that most people need, most of the time. And thanks to the OS X smarts, exporting to PDF is a neat little feature that even owners of Word on Windows have to pay extra for.
As we have seen with recent product releases from Apple, its policy these days is to provide decent basics and charge for the extras. Just as modems have become an optional extra now, so has a full-feature word processor. Apple’s basic offering is TextEdit and for most people, it will do the job just fine. If you want something with more oomph, you can pay for iWork and use Pages.
Right now, NeoOffice does not run on Intel Macs, but it seems there are recent builds of OpenOffice.org that do that do. I’m not sure of the current status of AbiWord, it’s been a long time since I used it. Nisus Writer Express is now a Universal Binary, and apparently Mellel’s next release will be one too.