Well, this is rather out of the blue. Apple has made available iWork for Windows free of charge to users. Everyone can access it, albeit in prerelease form right now.

The suite can be accessed by Windows users without the need for an Apple device.

As this report over at ZDNet explains, the company previously offered a web version of the iWork app suite to customers — but they required an iCloud account to gain access, meaning they were required to own Apple hardware, either a Mac or an iOS machine.

Now though, users can create an Apple ID straight from the browser by visiting the iCloud website, and they will receive access to all the iWork productivity applications, that being Pages, Numbers and, of course, Keynote.

Although a welcome move, question remains though, just how many Windows users will transition over to this new productivity platform, when Redmond already offers the industry standard Office suite.

Apple obviously wants to compete with Microsoft Office, and the only way to make a mark here is to offer continuous improvements to its three applications in order to attract users.

Still, iWork is here for Windows users, and they now have access to it without the need for Apple hardware. Even if these are just web apps from now. We may well find out how they compete with Office Online or Google Docs in the coming months.

For now, though, point your browser to this link to try iWork for Windows out.

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