Forrester: Microsoft Office in no danger from competitors

However, 2010 could be a transitional year for enterprises to consider alternatives, an analyst said

Microsoft Office is still the most prevalent productivity suite among enterprise customers, but 2010 could see more adoption of competitive suites as companies ponder their next investments in this area, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

Eighty percent of enterprise customers are still using some version of Microsoft Office for worker productivity and collaboration, with only 8 percent using alternatives, which include Sun StarOffice, Google Premier Apps, Lotus Symphony and Zoho, according to the report by Forrester analyst Sheri McLeish. The report polled 152 IT decision makers.

"Basically, the bottom line is Microsoft Office is really quite entrenched in the global large business organization today," she said in an interview Thursday.

Microsoft's technical support is winding down for both Office 2000 and Office 2003, and the roughly 20 percent of companies that support some version of Office but still have not moved to the current version, Office 2007, will have a decision to make in the coming year, McLeish said.

When the recession hit, companies considered their choices of productivity applications as an area where they could cut corners, she said. In 2010, depending on the economy, companies will likely start to make plans for either upgrading to Office 2010 or choosing an alternative.

Microsoft isn't planning to release Office 2010 until sometime in the first half of next year, giving competitors a chance to gain headway with enterprise customers, she said.

"Given they were dragging their feet, coupled with the soured economy, it's time for them to make some choices about the future," McLeish said.

If the economy improves, Office 2010 will be a likely choice for many, she said. However, since companies don't need all of the complex functionality that Office provides, some may choose to transition from Office 2000 or 2003 to a less expensive alternative.

Still, interoperability with Office remains a key factor -- because of its long history, enterprises "won't be able to completely remove Microsoft Office from the business," McLeish said.

Google's recently introduced Wave application, which combines e-mail, IM, blogging, photo management, wikis and document sharing, could possibly become a compelling option, particularly if Google were to tie that functionality into its Google Apps suite, she added.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoftmicrosoft officeForrester Research

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?