iWork ‘08 is a major upgrade to iWork ’06, with Pages 3 for word processing and layout, Keynote 4 for presentations and kiosks, and it sports a new spreadsheet application, Numbers. All three office applications can read from and write to not only Microsoft Office files, but also Flash, PDF, and more.
Pages now has two separate options for word processing and page layout, and is easier to work with than Microsoft Word in both areas. Templates are readily available at startup (unless you don’t want them there).
Keynote has always beat PowerPoint and in its newest version it does it again. Now with easier animation (quoting Steve Jobs, now even “mere mortals can do this.”) including smart builds and instant alpha, Keynote makes presentation-making easy, and for sharing, there is a nice QuickTime option.
System requirements are slightly heavy. You need Mac OS X 10.4.10 (for those who haven’t upgraded) and QuickTime 7.2 (which apparently has fullscreen built-in free), but the upgrades are worth it.
iWork ’08 is definitely the best choice for an office suite on a Mac. I think Microsoft can stop its production of Office for the Mac (especially if you compare $79 for iWork and $399.95 for Office). There are better PIMs than Entourage out there, which has an early OS X look to it.
Overall, I give iWork ’08 5 apples out of 5. Its ease of use and low price are no match for any other Office suite for the Mac out there. You can buy it at an Apple store or online.