iPad Pro coming soon from Apple?

Today in Apple: iPad name change may mean an iPad Pro is coming. Plus: Ars Technica reviews OS X Mavericks, and Microsoft badmouths iWork

iPad Pro Coming Soon?

Apple's recent name change for the iPad to iPad Air may mean that an iPad Pro is on the way, according to USA Today.

The name is fueling speculation that Apple may be developing a high-end tablet called an iPad Pro for work tasks that are currently performed on PCs.

"The name change is likely intentional. Everything that Apple articulates it does for a reason," says Will Power, an analyst at RW Baird. "Developing an iPad that is better designed for productivity is something that could very well make sense."

Apple already makes this distinction with its line of laptop and notebook computers, calling the slimmer version the MacBook Air and the more expensive, heavier-duty model the MacBook Pro. It also offers a Mac mini, a small desktop computer, and uses that word to describe the 7.9-inch iPad.

More at USA Today

There have been a lot of rumors about a 13-inch iPad, so that fits in with this speculation by USA Today. Many expected a larger iPad at the recent iPad event, but we'll probably see it sometime next year.

Ars Technica Review of OS X Mavericks

Ars has a very detailed review of OS X Mavericks. It's twenty four pages long, and has its own table of contents. Wow.

All of this is a roundabout way of getting to the essential question of any OS review: should you upgrade? OS X is (still) not iOS. The upgrade risks are greater, and there is no easy iCloud-based backup and restore for your Mac to save you if things go awry. If you're currently running Mountain Lion, is there anything in Mavericks that makes it a must-have upgrade?

If you're using a Mac laptop, I'd say yes. A potentially multi-hour increase in battery life will likely improve the quality of your life as a Mac user far beyond the price—in terms of time, not money this year—of upgrading to Mavericks.

If you have a desktop Mac, I still recommend upgrading if any of the features that you've read about made you mentally exclaim, "Finally!" For me, there are several. Over the past three years, each successive release of OS X has found its way onto all of my Macs in less time than its predecessor. This year, I may have already gone Mavericks-only across my whole household by the time you read this. Barring any unforeseen bugs or compatibility issues, Mavericks seems like a no-brainer upgrade to me. But you can be sure I'll have a fresh set of backups—and you should too.

More at Ars Technica

Microsoft Bashes iWork

A Microsoft executive pulled no punches when he smacked around Apple's iWork software.

"Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino," wrote Frank Shaw, Microsoft's vice president of communications. "So let me try to clear some things up."

"Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it's hardly that surprising or significant a move," Shaw said. "So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don't see a shot across our bow. I see an attempt to play catch up."

More at CNN

iWork may not be as deep as Microsoft Office, but it's now free. Anybody who buys a Mac or iOS device will get the iWork (and iLife) apps free of charge. That has clearly made Microsoft very unhappy and probably more than a little bit worried.

It's tough to sell software for high prices when one of your largest competitors is giving it away free.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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