iWork '08 currently comprises three apps: Kenote (presentations), Numbers (spreadsheet), and Pages (word processor) and is current available as a boxed, retail software package from Apple's online and retail stores ($79) and from Amazon.com ($70). It would be a coup if Apple added a fourth, database application to the mix, but that's just wishful thinking at this point.It's certainly due for an update. iWork '08 was was last updated on 07 August 2007 which is 512 days (one year, 5 months) from the Macworld Expo keynote address next Tuesday. iWork '06 was released 575 days (one year, seven months) prior and iWork'05 a year before that.
A jump to the cloud? That's a big jump. Although Apple made huge strides with its MobileMe's Web apps (email and calendar) but it may be a little gun shy after the MobileMe syncing fiasco that ensued when Apple tried to launch its most aggressive online venture ever – while simultaneously releasing the brand new iPhone 3G. Not the best idea hatched out of Cupertino.
If Apple re-brands Google Docs and Spreadsheets (Eric Schmidt is on the Apple board, Hello!) I'm all for it. Google's Web office apps are mature, stable and I'm fluent with them. Apple shouldn't re-invent the wheel on this one because Google's already done all of the heavy lifting. But if the new Web apps have the ability to read and edit spreadsheets and word processing documents on the iPhone and iPod touch, they'll be an unmitigated success. You can't do that currently without third-party software.