Apple makes iWork for iCloud beta free on Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

Add another option to the freely available online productivity software suites: Anyone can sign up for and use Apple’s iWork for iCloud, even if they don’t have a Mac or iOS device. The open access is actually in beta, so to use it, you’ll have to head over to beta.icloud.com, according to BetaNews, which reported the news.

icloud web

Previously, if you visited the beta site for iCloud, you had to do so from [company]Apple[/company] hardware to create a new Apple ID. The key change here is that now you don’t need a Mac, iPhone or iPad to create that ID, which is your golden ticket to the iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Browsing to the iCloud beta site from a [company]Microsoft[/company] Windows PC, Linux box, or [company]Google[/company] Chromebook, for example, now lets you create your Apple ID, which can be any valid email address. Signing up for the Apple ID from non-Apple hardware will also net you 1GB of free iCloud storage for documents and data.

Why would Apple bother opening up the Apple ID creation process, offering a small bit of cloud storage and free access to its productivity suite? While the company is a leader in the smartphone and tablet markets, there’s nothing but up side for it to open up cloud services and software to a larger audience.

Those who have never used OS X, iOS or any Apple hardware could test the waters to see what Apple has to offer. If they like the iWork suite, that could lead to browsing for a device that can use the software, which could turn into a hardware sale. And with the Apple ID creation, Apple adds yet another contact to its growing database of users, where it can gently remind them how well its hardware works with its software, encouraging a trip to the Apple Store nearby or online.

How to update your Apple ID password

It is always a good idea to change your Apple ID password a few times a year. When Apple admits that its security has been compromised, you should change it right away.

How many Apple IDs should your family have?

If your family owns multiple Apple devices and has many Apple IDs, it can be overwhelming or even maddening figuring out where your content is. It doesn’t have to be that way: Here’s a guide to finding the best Apple account management solution for you.

iCloud 101: Apple IDs and your iOS device

Configuring your iOS device to take advantage of new iCloud services is resulting in confusion and frustration for many. At the core of this confusion is the Apple ID. Here’s a thorough explanation of your options using Apple IDs with the iTunes Store, and with iCloud.

Finally: One Apple ID to rule them all?

On my iPhone and iPad, I have to sign in to two different Apple IDs in order to get everything set up the way it should be. When iCloud arrives, things could get worse. But they might get better, if Apple finally allows Apple ID merging.