for Office. Google Docs also needs a constant Internet connection to run smoothly. An offline app you can enable for Google's Chrome browser is more of a stopgap. There's no spellchecking until you are back online, for instance. (That said, the online version of iWork doesn't work offline at all, at least in its beta test form.)
Both iWork and Google Docs have good auto-save features. If your power goes out, you won't lose an entire day's work. Office has a mechanism for recovering files following crashes and power outages, but it's not as reassuring as a real save.
Winner: Office for versatility, and iWork for balance of price and features.
WORKING ON MULTIPLE COMPUTERS
Google Docs is the only package that doesn't care what computer or mobile device you have, as long as you have a decent Internet connection.
Apple will have that, too, when an online version of iWork comes out. I have been trying out a beta of iWork for iCloud since early August and like how it's working so far. Although the beta lacks many of the features of the stand-alone iWork software, it has much of what I need.
Office's Web Apps software, meanwhile, is decent on its own, with more features than either Google Docs or iWork online. But it feels underwhelming compared with the robust, stand-alone offering I'm used it. That said, you won't need Web Apps if you have a Windows or Mac computer.
Office does get expensive if you want to use it on multiple computers. It's $280 for two computers and $420 for three. With multiple computers, the $100-a-year subscription starts working in your favour, though keep in mind you're paying that each and every year. Paying $280 just once for two computers is still cheaper than $300 over three years. The subscription extends to Mac computers, too. If you have only Macs, Microsoft has been offering a three-computer bundle for $150, though that's being phased out in favour of subscriptions.
The costs for Apple's programs also add up with multiple devices, but not as much. The license allows you to use apps on multiple computers, so you'll