Apple continues the throwdown

So lots of people are buzzing away about the new iMacs. That’s great. I’m happy about the new iMacs – they are certainly compelling. If the midrange 20″ runs half as well as this 3rd-gen Macbook Pro that landed in my possession yesterday, it’ll absolutely rock the hizzouse.

I would like to point out though – there are several quieter announcements that are a little more compelling – at least to me. For instance, the Airport Extreme Base Station now has all gigabit wired ports instead of 10/100. That’s pretty huge to lots of folks I’m sure. Oh, and it’s the same price.

But the really, really huge thing is that iWork ’08 natively supports Office 2007 file formats. Today. That means no converters. It means you can open and save the files in iWork ’08 and collaborate with Office 2007 workers. What makes it even more huge is the fact that Microsoft’s own Macintosh Business Unit, which is hot in the throes of trying to deliver Office 2008, will be offering CONVERTERS for 2007 file formats. In other words, if you want to work with Office 2007 folks in a mixed environment and you’re on a Mac, don’t expect Microsoft to help you. You will be paying 4 times the cost of iWork ’08 to get a CONVERTER to help you out.

Oh yeah, and those converters are offered today in beta form.

The MacBU should be quite ashamed.