At first glance the new iWork for 2009 looks very similar to the past version, but there are a few features and some polish that makes it a worthwhile update.
My favourite is the full screen view. Command-Option-U and the whole distracting desktop goes black and all you see is your document, along with the word count and page number. It's a great way to really focus on the task at hand.
When you move the mouse to the top of the screen the menu bar appears.
As a long time fan of outliners as a way to structure a document, and re-organise, it's great to see a superb implementation in Pages.
I'm not a big Keynote user, but there's no doubt it's the best presentation software by a long stretch. The iPhone remote control is genius. I notice that one of the fancy new transitions is not available on my Intel Mac Mini.
Numbers has much more functionality than I've ever used so for me it looks the same.
Overall the programs seem a little snappier and certainly the use of animation transitions is done well without becoming gimmicky.
Apple doesn't harp much on what's new in iWork so I guess there's still a lot of people coming to this suite for the first time.
Export seems to have moved from the File menu to the Share menu. There seems to be a bit of overlap between these two menus, I would have thought that Share might be a part of File.
One slight wrinkle in the purchase process, I downloaded the trial and used it a bit before ordering via the online store. When the box arrived I looked for the serial number that the trial said I'd find in the install book.
It turns out that you just install from the disk that comes in the box, there's no serial number so the story's a little confusing there.
Anyhow, I'm over Microsoft Office. It was virtually mandatory for so many years. iWork opens Office documents without issue and these days I tend to distribute my writing as PDFs so all bases are covered.