On the Windows side of the house, Microsoft recently has been advising customers who haven't yet begun Vista deployments to skip directly to Windows 7 instead. Although the company hasn't been offering (at least not publicly) similar advice about Office, it seems a number of IT shops are doing just that and bypassing Office 2007 in favor of Office 2010.
Those findings are according to Forrester Research, which shared this week new Office suite data with its clients. The new data, which is not available to the public, is based on surveys of 150 or so IT professionals. It featured some interesting conclusions:
- "The poor economy has delayed MS Office 2007 upgrades, and Office 2010’s release next year means organizations that haven’t upgraded yet will likely skip Office 2007 entirely.
- "While adoption of Microsoft Office alternatives is low, enterprises are facing cost pressure and may be lured by alternatives that demonstrate lower costs and comparable (or better) functionality to meet workforce requirements.
- "Today’s Office alternatives cost less but aren’t meeting business requirements for many workforce segments. As these alternatives mature they will become more viable but will not usurp MS Office from the enterprise."
For the time being, however, nearly 80 percent of respondents (based on a sample of 134 IT decision makers for this particular question) said they have no plans for implementing an alternative to Microsoft Office applications, according to Forrester.
Microsoft officials have said to expect the final version of Office 2010 to ship in the first part of 2010. The company is slated to provide a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of its next-generation office client and server products in July. (Those CTP bits leaked to the Web in late May.) A public beta is expected this fall.
The week of June 1, Microsoft hosted privately an Office 2010 show-and-tell for a select group of testers at its Office 2010 Airlift, but did not provide attendees with new bits, a Microsoft spokesperson said.