The productivity software market is already vast, and it’s been steadily growing for a long time. No wonder a lot of major companies are interested in getting at least a small share of it. Of course, this market is dominated by Apple and Microsoft, but there are lots of outsiders and newcomers. They try to attract users with innovative features and other interesting additions. However, most users seem to get quite conservative when it comes to choosing word processing soft.
Notion, Coda and other new players are working hard to accustom users to a modular approach. Even developers of cloud storage soft such as Dropbox are trying to get their fair share of the word processing software market. Their strategy is based on providing much more advanced sharing features. But even such an innovative approach has not seen any significant success. The market remains dominated by two tech giants, and they are not going to give up even a fraction of their market share.
When it comes to word processing solutions, Microsoft Word really stands out as the most popular one. It is widely considered to be the gold standard of word processors, and Microsoft is working hard to maintain that position. However, Apple seems to be quite serious about conquering a huge part of this market. It has its own productivity apps package that gets frequent updates. The package includes Apple Pages, a powerful processor that can already compete with Word – or even outperform it in the long run.
Each of those products uses its own approach to word processing and offers unique user experience. Choosing one of them can be difficult – after all, which soft is best for you depends on too many factors. So let’s try and break these factors down in order to find out what you should choose to work with your documents. Doing it, we will compare interface, features, configuration and customization options, price, and other details. And let us start with the functionality overview.
Apple Pages is quite flexible and powerful in terms of the most basic features. Adding images, videos, tables, charts and other additional elements to your document is effortless, and there are lots of options. You can use them to make your document look precisely how you want it to be. And all of the default instruments for text editing such as spacing, alignment, and font configuration remain basically the same, so you won’t have to get used to this app for too long.
But Microsoft Word isn’t going to fall behind in this respect. Each update brings brand new features, and lots of them integrate the word processor with other services. For example, now you can use Microsoft Translate to translate foreign language documents automatically or LinkedIn Resume Assistant for guidance in creating first-rate resumes – right from the processor’s interface. There is even a thesaurus that helps you find possible synonyms for selected words. That feature really comes in handy for students writing essays.
Both processors have plenty of features, so each of them can satisfy even the most specific of your needs. But their user interfaces are quite different. Each of them offers a lot of default page templates for some common documents such as business letters or research papers, but Word’s set of templates looks more interesting and varied. However, Apple allows you to integrate third-party templates you can find online, so you can use only the templates you really need.
The user interface of Word feels a little outdated, and Microsoft seems to ignore this aspect. However, that is perfectly understandable: being the gold standard of the market, the processor can’t allow to change its design or interface too quick. After all, there are millions of people using it every day, and most of them would never approve any drastic changes to their primary working instrument. So the regular toolbox at the top isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
On the contrary, Apple can afford more daring experiments with interfaces. As a result, Pages look better and more convenient. Instead of being at the top, all of the editing options are now located on the right side of your screen. Of course, you have to get used to it first, especially if you have been using Word or some other text processor for a while, but then it starts to pay off. Apple Pages just feels simpler and more comfortable, and it is definitely recommended for every fan of minimalistic design.
Storing and Sharing
Saving documents on your own device is out of the question, but what about cloud solutions? Apple is known for its commitment to their own services, and Pages is not an exception. The app is integrated with iCloud, so you can’t really use some other cloud storage service you may prefer. After saving a document to iCloud you can generate a link and then send it to your friends or colleagues.
Microsoft Word is much less rigid in this sense. It doesn’t limit your options to its own services, so instead of OneDrive, you can save your documents to any other cloud storage providers such as Dropbox. The procedure is simple: just hit the button, and your Word document gets saved to the cloud. Then you can close the app, open it on another device and continue the work.
Sure, cloud storage options allow you to share your work with others. But modern standards require processors to have real-time sharing options. Word offers you three ways you can share your work: simply by sending it via e-mail, by saving it to OneDrive or another cloud storage service and sending the link, or by inviting users to make real-time edits. Just hit the Share button at the top right corner to see these options.
Apple forces you to use its own solutions once again. Pages gives you three different options as well: you can send your document using e-mail, iMessage or the Airdrop technology. There is also an option to upload your text directly to Apple Books platforms.
Platforms and Price
Microsoft’s strategy implies that Word should be available on every platform imaginable in order to get bigger market share. As a result, the processor can be used almost everywhere. It is available for iOS, Android, Mac, iPad, Web – and Windows, of course. And Apple continues to push its own strategy that limits its products to iOS, Mac, and iPad only.
Pages is entirely free, and you get 5Gb of free storage space on iCloud with the app. Additional storage space costs $1 per month. Microsoft Word is free only for devices with less than 9-inch screen size, and to use it on a PC you have to pay $5 per month. You also get 1Tb of free storage space on OneDrive when you download the productivity suite that includes Word.
Word or Pages?
So which word processor is the best? Apple Pages tries to attract you with a minimalistic interface and perfectly working basic functions. But Word is more flexible, more functional and more popular. So if you don’t mind the complicated interface, you should probably go for Microsoft’s solution.