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The next step: an Apple branded Office?

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Apple could have something big boiling in the software field. Big enough to compete with Office.

The rumors that have been circulating online for some time about Cupertino's idea of ​​facing a titanic enterprise such as the production of a competitive suite with that of Microsoft are not new.

Macity took this into account last summer when the StarOffice project manager openly stated that Apple was working to implement the Aqua GUI on the Sun suite. Objective: to produce a competitive package with Office to be installed by default on all Macintoshes. A few hours after the interview, she was hastily dismissed as "a misunderstanding" trying to explain, with unconvincing reasons, that the Sun executive was referring to OpenOffice, the Star Office Open Source project.

The same rumors, this time based on the strategies that appear transparently from the Macworld moves, returned to circulation a few days ago and Macity also gave an account of them

Rumors that now take on a new consistency and assume greater authority based on some statements by Jean Louis Gasse.

The former Apple manager and founder of the late Be, wrote in an article published by the French Liberation that at the end of 2001 the GoBe team landed in Cupertino almost entirely, a small but aggressive company that first worked for Be itself and then, after the failure of those who produced its reference OS, launched on the Windows market.

GoBe (or perhaps one could say "was") is an almost single-product company. In the software world, in fact known for its GoBe Productive for Windows, a suite that includes a whole series of tools, word processing, layout, graphics, drawing and illustration, photo retouching and presentations. The package had attracted positive reviews from the press and, apparently, Apple's attention. Hence the decision, according to Gassee's statements, to recruit the development team.

From what has been said so far it could be assumed that Apple may have started a job, it is not known how long, for the production of a replacement suite of AppleWorks (which has not been substantially updated for a long time) by founding it on OpenOffice modeling it on the characteristics of StarOffice. The task would have been entrusted to GoBe engineers who could produce something similar to their suite, agile and highly integrated.

Hard to say what is concrete in all this, but one thing is certain: Gassee, once a great friend of Jobs, knows Cupertino's moves well. In addition, those who visit the GoBe website learn that "At the moment it is impossible to fulfill orders", really strange for a company based solely on the sales of that package …