the iBook should come w/ appleworks on it which may be fine for basic needs but won't get u too far w/ advanced excel and powerpoint needs. that leaves u w/ iWork, Neo Office, or MS Office:Mac.
- NeoOffice - is free and is supposed to be able to handle office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, however it is not seamless all the time w/ Office documents from what i have heard.
- iWork - is also able to open and save to MS formats. the word processing/page layout app Pages is exactly that, kind of a hybrid between the 2, is as noted able to open and save word documents. basic spreadsheet functionality is supposed to be in the '06 version which i haven't really delved into yet. the presentation software, Keynote, is supposed to be able to export to powerpoint formats but i haven't tried this. the layouts and templates of keynote seem much more elegant and smooth than what i've seen and worked with in powerpoint. i've also had issue w/ various media (video) playability in powerpoint on both windows and mac versions. my hopes are that Apple being the multimedia oriented company they will have these sorts of kinks worked out in their product, but that's just rhetoric on my part. i'll give it a go and see how a presentation looks and transports to my windows machine.
it's also $49 if u go thru the academic store, so personally i can't see a loss per se in picking it up.
- MS Office: Mac - Basically gives u unfettered compatibility w/ Office for windows and will run u ~$132 for the student/teacher edition, which isn't bad. u actually just missed a 1/2 off sale w/ new mac purchases that ended on jan 31st.
however, sales and such aren't uncommon so keep your eyes peeled.
wow, that is some old software from the looks of it... the following is as much as i could turn up for the software. looks like it has been incorporated into adobe's product line. if they have something that would now be compatible w/ the older standard of formflow then it makes adobe's current iteration more likely to be OS X-able.http://www.adobe.com/enterprise/acce...m_notice.html/