Analyst says economy leading some users to bypass Office 2007

Analyst says economy leading some users to bypass Office 2007

Summary: 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.


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.

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Only one thing I see missing the new interface

    That's the reason I'm not upgrading. The new interface really is that bad. I've got some other programs that I'm not upgrading too because they got sold on going with the ribbon too.

    Must be nice to get paid to play pretend and make up improved productivity numbers out of thin air.
    • Have you even used it?

      Or are you basing your opinion on nobody showing how to actually use it and your unwillingness to spend 5 minutes figuring it out?

      In any case, I've got news for you... now that Windows 7 and Office 2010 have finalized Ribbon 2.0 specs and published the new API for all to use, you're gonna be seeing a lot more of it. Time to sink or swim.
      • actually

        there is a third option, abandon ship.
      • I for one, yes, and was only annoyed

        And find it of no value in ditching the older interface which has gone largely unchanged over a number of revs. If someone had never used the applications prior it might make some sense but for most others it's change for change sake ... sizzle without real function. They would have been wise to allow an option to revert to what would be at least in large part the old interface. But dictating what customers need is their bad habit. Any client of ours save a few has begged us to get them back to 2003 whenever they found themselves looking at 2007.

        And as the other individual commenting notes, there is now another option, actually increasingly lots of options. So if it is now good business practice to run off customers who don't agree with important aspects of a software interface then MS is doing just fine. As a business person myself I remain amazed. I know we would be toast if we tried such silliness.

        Oh, and much the same sentiment applies to the gameboy-like interface of Vista and Win7.
  • RE: Analyst says economy leading some users to bypass Office 2007

    I too hate the new UI. The time it takes to find anything is way to long. They stayed basically the same UI since the start of word and change it for something that is not easy to use.
    I changed to Open Office and have pretty much the same interface that I have used for what, 15 years+?
    Good by MS Office

    Ross Focke
    Louis Ross Focke
    • UI horrible

      I uninstalled Office 2007 on my new netbook and haven't decided yet to install Open Office or Office 2007 yet. But 2007 is wretched, another fail along the lines of Vista.
      • LOL @UI is horrible

        Dude, you should be living in the 90s. Office 2007 is the best and is not a failure. Just look at it's market share. Damn hate these ignorant trolls
        • It is horrible....

          Time to wake up, open your eyes, and really see what's going on around you. Almost every user that has touched Office 2007 hates the new interface. that is a fact that you just don't want to see.

          You may like the new interface, well good for you. But to call the world ignorant while as the only one claiming the new interface the best, clearly shows that you are the ignorant one and seriously need help.

          Thanks for playing.
          linux for me
          • If by "almost every user"...

            ... you mean the Linux-loving, Mac-loving anti-Microsoft hippies that you hang out with, sure, but maybe if you spent less time on the ZDNet forums and more time in an actual business environment you might discover more realistic opinions.
          • No that isn't who he means...

            I make my living off MS Products and have used them (including Vista for better than 15 years)...

            Guess what, most of the people I know hate the New User Interface because it has slowed them down trying to find every day tools they used to know how to find!

            Now I don't mind it so much in Word or Powerpoint but for Excel it Blows big units and I guarantee you that the 1k+ users I directly support most don't like it!
          • save it troll boy

            its so much better than oo its not funny and you
            know it.
        • Exactly!

          I've done Office 2007 implementations at 5 different environments-- a college, a tech company, an accounting firm, a hospital, and a country club.

          In every case, a vast majority of the users don't just like the new UI, they ENJOY the new UI. I also get far fewer calls for "how do I do this?" than I used to get, because finding the function they want is much more obvious.

          Of course, I suppose it does help that A) I didn't just install it and run away leaving them to fend for themselves (I actually offered training sessions), and B) I take a few minutes to add commonly used functions to their Quick Access Toolbar.

          Sure, there's the anti-change drones out there, but I can literally count them on two hands out of all 5 sites combined (over 800 employees) between them.
          • If it was up to the

            Anti-Change people, we would still be using a CLI.

            Everyone at school in my Excel class loved the new UI. Obviously, not everyone hates it.
            The one and only, Cylon Centurion
          • I see

            So, I am going to buy Office 2007, which I don't need since 2003 has all the features one might possibly need. Then I am going to spend money on training. Then I'll be still fighting with Excel when doing VB because everything is placed somewhere else. Then I'll have to upgrade the Act! and other such programs that only know how to work with Office up to 2003. Then when I am done upgrading there will be Office 2010 around and I will need the upgrade because I wouldn't be a fancy boy enough if I didn't get the newest greatest. Then we're back to square one.

            I guess it all makes sense if the bottom line is to:
            1. feed the Microsoft
            2. get the country out of recession
            3. waste the time on having fun upgrading left and right

            I got it.
        • Market share

          Market share is a magic word that fools tend to use to pretend they KNOW. In fact it is not a market share what matters. For business it is money what matters. Money is tightly bound to productivity of a worker. A person who knows office 2003 upside down is likely pretty much well productive in it. Give him/her a new version, you start losing money. Btw, what is it that will give me an advantage in Office 2007 that I don't have in 2003 ? And please stick to the 1% of features that people actually use.
      • LOL

        The ribbon is not a failure. The UI is actually very innovative. Something which you like to criticize Microsoft for never doing. Take the time to learn something new, and you'll actually start to like it.

        No more ugly menus. Beautifully done, the ribbon is the next generation interface. Also, the new preview feature of Office is a great way to format your documents without having to make the changes first and then having to undo, should you not like the results.

        But, hey, use whatever works for you.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
        • I never said it wasn't nice

          I never said it wasn't nice. It is nice. I can enjoy its beauty when searching for that little tool I know exactly where it was in the Office 2003. I guess if you insist on doing business on nice hardware/software, you must be a happy person. Too bad today's nice will turn ugly when the next nice shows up. Ever since I worked with OS X, I appreciated that things are where I expect them to be. Somehow Apple doesn't feel the need to endlessly improve something that is already good. But its just me and my crazy opinions.
    • it took while, but I have come to like and appreciate it

      After being initially repulsed, I took the time to do a bit of configuring and have come to like it better than 2003, which is still my company's standard. (We will be on XP for another decade.)
      But it's all about people being differant, and if I had to pay for it, I'd be using Open Office.
      Diff'rent strokes . . . .
  • RE: Analyst says economy leading some users to bypass Office 2007

    It isn't the economy it is the crappy Apple like changing menus that most hate! I can't stand the fact that tools I used often are right at my finger tips without selecting some other option first.
  • Cost/benefit

    It took me about 15 minutes to feel comfortable with 2007 interface. It works fine and I like it. So the benefit was there, but is it worth a few hundred dollars to upgrade? Since I got mine with a new system, there was no choice.

    I do not like that I can no longer scan items directly into Word as I did with previous version of Office and have to use MS Fax and Scan, save the image and then embed it into a document or powerpoint slide. It does not save time, it's an extra two steps. That is my only gripe about 07, they took out the ability to scan items into office files directly.