Macworld Online readers are fed-up waiting for Quark to release XPress for Mac OS X, and want Apple to deliver a DTP solution 'for the rest of us'.
Macworld asked its readers: "Apple promises more new software? What do we want?" A third (32 per cent) of respondents want Apple to deliver a DTP application.
Just over one-fifth (22 per cent) want a spreadsheet, while 19 per cent hope for a graphics package. A total of 27 per cent checked the "Other" box, and went on ask for a varied range of desired software
One Apple DTP hopeful said: "I would love a simple-to-use and cheap DTP package. I know Microsoft Publisher is not the best in the world but since switching to Mac I miss it. Working in a primary school, the ability to knock-out a quick and simple banner or poster is much-missed."
Another observed: "I like the graphics package in AppleWorks. If it were tweaked to add some of the better features of ClarisDraw it could satisfy all my needs."
Some voters want Apple to deliver on software it already supplies. One reader wants "a version of iPhoto that works fully in a place called the Rest of the World rather than the USA".
Microsoft-baiting is a running theme among Mac users. One reader remarked: "I would like to see a set of applications that completely replaces Microsoft's. Safari and Keynote can replace Outlook, Entourage and PowerPoint, and a spreadsheet will do nicely. FileMaker already sorts out the database side."
Another said: "I think a decent Apple word processor, or office suite would be good, and would wean even more people off Microsoft."
Spreadsheets, such as VisiCalc, drove the early years of the personal-computer market. Macworld readers would like to see a spreadsheet to help Mac users Think Different:
"I want a spreadsheet that's better and more flexible than Excel, with more statistical functions and a good random-number generation," wrote one reader.
"An Apple spreadsheet would be nice," agreed another.
Some say Mac users hope for the world on a plate - a world that "just works". One reader wrote: "I'd like to see Apple Office - a completely integrated suite of Apple word processor, spreadsheet, database and Keynote."
Compatibility with Microsoft is central to success in the office environment, and readers seem to understand this: "Perhaps if AppleWorks should be revamped into a more-powerful Office application and made 100 per cent compatible with Microsoft Office," one reader remarked.
Other asked-for applications include: "iFax", an entry-level audio-sequencing application based on Emagic technology, an online conferencing client that supports emerging standards; and "an application giving a more user-friendly front-end to OS X functions such as system profiling, the firewall, disk repair, and so on," another reader wrote.
iPhone was another suggestion. "Why not iPhone? A live video-phone allowing Mac-to-Mac, Mac-to-Phone and Mac-to-PC communication using the Internet? This could also let users send documents, or work on documents together live and in real-time. The UI could allow everything to be visible on screen at once."
Such solutions are already emerging: Nikotel already supplies free software to let Macs call other Macs, PCs and phones using the emerging SIP protocol. It also plans on introducing video conferencing.
Many readers understand the risk Apple runs in releasing more and more software.
"Apple needs to leave a market for other suppliers otherwise no one will develop for Mac," observed one reader. "It needs to be very careful not to alienate third-party software developers. If other companies feel that not long after they produce some software Apple will make a free or better-distributed version, then they'll stop producing software."
The reader continued: "Apple risks the IBM Syndrome: IBM had its own farm to produce its employee's milk, I understand."