A well written piece by guardian.co.uk, written by Jean-Louis Gassée.
Bit of background for those of you that don't remember:Back in 1985 Steve Jobs was in a fight with John Sculley, Apple's then-CEO. (This was shortly after the Macintosh, Steve Jobs's baby, came to market.) At the end of this power struggle Sculley relieved Jobs of his duties as the head of the Macintosh Division, and Jobs sold all stock in Apple (save for 1 share) and left the company, eventually buying Pixar and starting NeXT computer.Well, after Steve Jobs left, Sculley appointed Jean-Louis Gassée to head the Macintosh division. Just an interesting tidbit there.
There's a couple of tidbits that I thought were very good in this article, but namely the points that I've been struggling with a bit, so I'll outline those.
Google Docs -- Everything is stored in the cloud, accessible via the browser, and you can work on a single document with others, simultaneously. I love this approach, but only for the last part. The simultaneous part. It's the best group-work collaborative product there is. Sharepoint is plain awful, as so is the mailing of documents back and forth trying to get them right. Google Docs, right now, is the answer to that.
iCloud/Documents in the iCloud -- Apple views this differently. Instead of having a browser to access your documents that are "stored" in the cloud, they view the experience as having the documents stored locally, but also pushed up to the "iCloud" and then back down to all devices. That way keeping the documents on all your devices in "sync" all the time. (Apple doesn't use the word sync.) The only thing that this defeats is the collaborative simultaneous work-part.
Apple has had iWork.com around for awhile, in beta, and I've used it a couple times with my co-workers. Upload a document, and then the people who have access to the document can download it, view it, make comments on it, share it, etc. But they can't EDIT it.
It's the only foothold I think Google has right. Otherwise, I like Apple's approach. I hate editing documents in the browser. But it works.