As the Microsoft Surface edges towards launch, Apple might just have an enterprise oriented ace up its sleeve-- CRN reports the iPad maker is joining forces with VMware to build cloud-based version of the iWorks suite.
According to "sources with knowledge of the project" the team-up combines VMware View virtual desktop software with cloud-based versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers.
The service will run on Apple infrastructure, but is separate from the iCloud consumer cloud storage service.
"Apple wants Pages to be seen as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Numbers as a replacement for Excel and Keynote as a replacement for PowerPoint," on source says. Currently the iWorks suite is regarded as a more consumer-oriented offering-- something Apple surely wants to change. After all, Office is the most lucrative Microsoft product, accounting for over $22 billion in fiscal 2011 revenue.
Apparently the partnership also includes iOS versions of the VMware take on enterprise app stores, Horizon Application Manager, and BYOD solution Horizon Mobile.
The two companies decline to comment on the CRN story.