Updated, Now With Linky Goodness! : Hey, Mike! How Do I BUY IWORK ’08 FROM APPLE? (heymike #003)

November 7th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  4 Comments

So you downloaded the iWork ’08 demo and gave it a spin. You decided to buy it after using it for a documentation project, but the project finished and you didn’t need iWork for a few weeks, and your demo expired. Now you’ve got a presentation to do in a week and you need iWork ’08 to work.

No worries!

When the iWork ’08 demo expires, it tells you so the next time you want to use it. Contrary to self-pitying crybabies on Apple’s own forums, iWork ’08 will not “flush all your work down the crapper” if the demo times out … it’ll just put you into read-only mode until you pay up. If the software was incapable of exporting to the dominant file formats for presentations, word processing or spreadsheets, there’d be a complaint here, I guess … but it can so there’s not.

So … you fire up Pages and the splash screen comes up and it says the trial is over. A very large and helpful button lights the path to ownership. Click it and the splash changes to show a large field into which you can type a serial number, or a slightly less large link direct to the cash register in Steve’s living room.


Click the “buy a serial number online” link and your browser pops up and takes you straight to …

Huh …

Straight to the front page of the Apple store.

No worries! Surely you can just navigate to the iWork ’08 page and buy your serial number!

Navigate navigate click click click!


Name … address … just one please!

Checkout time!

Where’s the part about them giving you your license key right away like the friendly, lozenge-shaped splash screen said? Nowhere! Better back out!

(You can skip this part if support boards depress you as badly as they do me)

Search the Apple store for information on where you can buy a serial number for your downloaded demo. Come up empty-handed. Visit the forums and search for “iwork serial number.” Come away with nothing but gnawing contempt for a. whining instant gratification freaks and b. androids masquerading as content Apple users who don’t actually have any problems to get support for or solutions to offer … they just want to make sure the whining instant gratification freaks are kept in check.


(Unskip … we’re done with all the whining and advocating and grumping and crying)

Hey! There’s a link you can click at the store for instant chat with the staff! Click it!

Start chatting with a helpful staffer, but suddenly notice an option in the iWork menu for “registering” your copy. Thank the staffer, follow the menu to the Apple page. Step through some answers only to realize you just registered a product you don’t own, because when it thanked you and sent you on your way it didn’t ask for a credit card number. It was just curious about who thinks they own iWork ’08.

Fine. Better just call the store and order the serial number by phone.

Ring! Ring! Ring!

Talk to the store worker. He is confused! What is this business about buying a serial number!? That sounds like a support issue!


Answer some phone menu questions!

Home user! Stuff that isn’t iPods!

Hold! Hold! Hold!

Talk to the support guy …

Learn from support guy that this is a store issue … not a support issue! Back to the store with you!



Home user! Buy! Stuff that isn’t iPods!


Talk to the store worker. He is confused! What is this business about buying a serial number!? He does not have an expired copy of iWork ’08 and has no confidence in his ability to help you click the button that says “buy a license online” then get dumped into the front of the Apple store where you have to navigate to the iWork ’08 page and go through most of an order before realizing they aren’t going to mail you a serial number that way! That sounds like a support issue!

Phone menu!

Home user! Stuff that isn’t iPods!

Hold! Hold! Hold!

Hold! Hold! Hold!

Hold! Hold! Hold!

Hold! Hold! Hold!

15 minutes later, having caught up on mail and read a few feeds, go back to that live chat … they answered quickly!

“Hi, chat lady!”

“Hi! I want to help you today! Explain your problem!”

Explain explain explain. Leave out the part about all the transferring … that’s not going to help her and you’ll sound like a support board whiner who wants an interactive experience.


Wait. Wait. Wait.

Oh! Oops! Still holding on the phone at the same time. Hang up at the 29 minute mark!

Chat lady has installed iWork ’08 and is trying to buy a serial number online.

Chat lady says “Hold it! Something is broken! The buy link does not do what it is supposed to!”

Wait. Wait. Wait.

Chat lady says “We’re working on a fix! We’ll send you a link!”

Hey! A link in the chat window!* Click it!

Arrive at the store page for buying a license to iWork ’08 that will be e-mailed to you!

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Wait! Just one copy!


Get license!

Activate iWork!

Thank the lady!


Updated!: liiiiiiink!


  1. Dan says:

    November 9th, 2007 at 1:14 am (#)

    So where is the link? :) I was googling because I had the same problem as you – please – post the answer too!!

  2. Shelly says:

    November 23rd, 2007 at 12:35 pm (#)

    Ditto – same problem here. Could you possibly share the link?

  3. Steven Fisher says:

    November 26th, 2007 at 4:29 pm (#)

    That sounds insanely painful!

  4. Scott Regan says:

    November 28th, 2007 at 11:53 am (#)

    Thanks for the link! you saved my presentation yesterday (and sounds like a ton of time as well)

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