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AppleWorks RIP

Apple kills off productivity application suite first developed by its software subsidiary Claris

Apple’s venerable consumer application suite AppleWorks has finally been laid to rest. Visits to the company’s Web site URL for AppleWorks now redirect users to Apple’s iWork ’08 instead.

AppleWorks — first conceived as ClarisWorks, developed by Apple’s software subsidiary Claris — contained word processing, graphics, database, spreadsheet and communications tools. As Claris focused on development and marketing of the popular FileMaker Pro database software (indeed, eventually rechristening itself FileMaker Inc. in the process), Apple subsumed development and called the program AppleWorks. AppleWorks was ultimately updated for Mac OS X but languished thereafter — no further development was forthcoming. Following Apple’s transition to Intel microprocessors, AppleWorks’ moribund status became more apparently — the software never received a Universal binary facelift.

Apple debuted iWork in 2005 — a suite of applications that originally consisted of Pages, a word processing and page layout application, and Keynote, a presentation software package perceived as an Apple alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint.

At the time of iWork ’05’s introduction, Apple senior vice president of Applications Sina Tamaddon said that Apple was “building the successor to AppleWorks.” But without a spreadsheet application, iWork was sorely lacking in functionality.

That’s changed with iWork ’08’s release last week. The newest application bundled in iWork is called Numbers, and it offers users spreadsheet calculation capabilities and visual display tools. iWork ’08 can import Appleworks word processing, presentation and spreadsheet files, as well.