Alongside the expected updates to Keynote, Pages and Numbers, the most intriguing part of Apple's iWork '09 announcement was iWork.com.

"Using your Apple ID, just click the iWork.com icon in the Keynote, Pages or Numbers toolbar to upload your document and invite others to view it online.

"Viewers can provide comments and notes, and download a copy of your document in iWork, Microsoft Office or PDF formats. A consolidated online list of all your shared documents indicates when your viewers have posted comments."

iWork.com is being introduced as a public beta and may eventually become a fee-based service. It's not quite Google Docs, but it does provide an interesting way for teams to collaborate on documents without pinging them back and forth by email.

Keynote, Pages and Numbers

As for the improvements to the iWork components themselves, Keynote '09 introduces advanced object transitions, which automatically animate objects with a choice of effects. Then there's Magic Move, enabling you to create sophisticated animations just by applying a simple transition.

Pages '09 features a new Full Screen view that hides the clutter of toolbars to help you focus on your writing. There's also an outline mode to organize your thoughts. 40 new templates have also been included to provide inspiration for newsletters, posters, certificates and stationery.

Finally, Numbers '09 introduces a quick way to group and summarize data, a dramatically simplified way to create complex formulas, and a number of expanded chart options. It's as thrilling as a spreadsheet can get.

iWork '09 is available now and costs £69 ($79).