Is Microsoft Office 2007 outselling Windows Vista?

Is Microsoft Office 2007 outselling Windows Vista?

Summary: The Office team hasn't been talking sales figures -- at least not until now. But according to information shared during a recent briefing with certain members of the French tech press, Microsoft allegedly has sold 70 million copies of Office 2007 to date. Vista has sold 60 million, last we heard.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Windows

Might sales of Office 2007 be outpacing sales of Windows Vista?

Since early this year, Microsoft has been issuing periodic sales updates on Windows Vista. The most recent Vista sales pronouncement (released by the company at the end of July) was that Microsoft had sold 60 million copies of Vista.

The Office team hasn't been talking sales figures -- at least not until now. But according to information shared during a Is Microsoft Office 2007 outselling Windows Vista?recent briefing with certain members of the French tech press, Microsoft allegedly has sold 70 million copies of Office 2007 to date. (Thanks to LiveSide.Net for the link.)

I've asked Microsoft to verify whether the 70 million number is real and was provided by its officials this week. No word back yet.

The official comment, via a Microsoft spokesperson: "It's not our policy to confirm the license figures." Since Microsoft is not denying the validity of the info., my take is someone with Microsoft France spilled the beans.

I’m betting the same caveat applies to Office as Vista: These are copies sold to the channel, not necessarily to customers. But still… If these numbers are right, means Office 2007 may be outselling Vista. At the very least, it’s keeping up, neck and neck, with it.

Just this week, market researchers wtih NPD noted that Office 2007 was selling like crazy through the shrink-wrapped/retail channel. Microsoft officials have said that 80 percent of Vista sales are coming through OEM preloads. That percentage for Office is substantially lower, but Microsoft has been working on programs to try to convince more PC makers to preload its Office 2007 suite.

Have you upgraded to Office 2007 without moving to Vista? Any plans to do so?

Topics: Microsoft, Windows


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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  • Call me "1 in 70 million"....

    I purchased the $59 Office2007 Ultimate version thru the Ultimate Steal program.
  • Priorities

    Microsoft has apparently been discounting MSO2K7 to fire-sale levels. As a strategic move, this makes sense since they need to get the new file formats up to critical mass as a tool to force conversion of the rest of the installed base.

    MSWinVista, on the other hand, is almost entirely an OEM exercise. Since it lacks significant lock-in potential there's no long-term benefit in discounting it; rather the opposite.

    It looks from here as though MS management is just being smart.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • On the button

      Customer sends a docx to service provider. Provider can't open and asks customer to Save As. Customer gets ticked off at having to take this extra step (if they even know how). Provider ends up buying new Office.

      And round and round you go.

      This new MSXML is a great idea for MS to force sales on customers who need a new version of Office like a whole in the head.
      • That's the hard way...

        Or, if the recipient is running an older version of Office, just run this download from MS, and never worry about it again.

        Only someone LOOKING for "round and round" goes "round and round". They must have too much time to kill, and enjoy replying to customers with the same reply. (i.e. no one that cares about their time will do that.)

        This isn't a "forced sale", it's a FREE DOWNLOAD. Sheesh.
        • And now lets go to the REAl world

          Where the little PR firm consisting of 2 or 3 people, or 5 person law firm, or whatever is supposed to magically know to search all over to find this, not to mention having to possibly download and install all sorts of updates they never needed before they can install it. Yeah right!

          MS knows darn well that huge numbers of Office users won't have any idea what to do other than buy a totally unnecessary update.

          By the way, since the report that Ms. Foley used as the basis for the article (retail sales of Office)mentioned that 20% of those sales were for the mac version, where's the magic converter for that?
    • Vista has

      ...serious lock OUT potential, and that's why I've never bothered to install my free copy from Dell. XP is just fine, and might be my last Microsoft OS. As for Office 2007, I got a "home use" copy for $20 that I've reconsidered using, opting to stick with Office XP. Both "upgrades" are gathering dust. I got tired of the biggest new "features" being DRM technologies.
    • I would agree with you if

      not for this:

      (google 'Office Compatibility Pack' if the link is broken).

      Not only is it free, you don't need to validate to download it.
      Real World
      • All very nice, but

        * It doesn't work for the Mac version of MSOffice (which tells us something about how easy it is to support the new files)
        * It doesn't work for MSO2K or earlier (which are otherwise just as useful as the newer versions)
        * It doesn't work for any of the other office packages out there at all.

        In contrast, setting the default file format to something with better support would solve all of the above. Care to explain how to do [i]that[/i]?
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • It's in Save Options for every app

          You can set the default to whatever you like... It's not hard.

          Plus, the web service for looking up file associations will point users at the compatibility pack. And I think users with Microsoft Update installed will get it automatically. I also wouldn't be surprised to see those converters included in the next Office 2003 service pack.

          Changing perhaps the most ubiquitous file format in the world (.doc) is tough. But it was done with the user in mind and was a *major* necessity given the state of the old format (which was designed a decade ago and had become exceedingly complicated).

          Further, Office 2007 and the new format were designed to make future changes easier.
          • READ ONLY

            The compatibility pack only allows read-only for 2003 users to read 2007 docs.
        • Excel Options

          Using Excel as an example:

          Office Button | Excel Options | Save | Save Files in this Format

          Now you're done, took you about 8 seconds, might have taken about 28 seconds if you just go explore a couple of clicks in the Options dialog. It is in the most intuitive place it could be, Options | Save.
      • The compatibility pack is substantially broken.

        Go full screen to view it. There is no way regular users will untangle this mess, the solution, as expensive as it is, come CEO will get peeved that spreadsheet layouts, word docs, etc, are a tangle mess and write a check to upgrade everyone to 2007.

        This doesn't even cover the fact that 2007 is not forward compatible accurately with older version.

        Scroll down to point 13 to see how badly 2007 renders the 2003 file.


        P.S. The compatibility pack will never be fixed to work as easily as writing a check is when users just give up.
    • and you even smarter

      because you know it all
  • Of course it is.

    Office 07 can be installed on most any computer running any of the recent Office versions, while Vista will mostly be installed as new systems. We will begin upgrading our users to the new Office soon enterprise wide, but will only do Vista on new computers as part of our normal replacement cycle.
  • I will NEVER upgrade to Office 2007 or Vista

    [b][i]"...Have you upgraded to Office 2007 without moving to Vista? Any plans to do so?..."[/i][/b]

    Nope. I will NEVER upgrade to Office 2007 or Vista.

    Microsoft thinks it does not have to listen to customers. Vista raises code bloat to record levels. Forced upgrades. Poor performance. Weak security poster child. WGA falsely accuses millions of legitimate customers. Repeated WGA capricious de-activations. Windows Update forced reboots. Windows Update stealth updates. On..and on..and on. :0 X-(

    After 15 years of being a Microsoft customer, Microsoft is now an unacceptable vendor.

    I am permanently migrating myself and my company off Microsoft and Windows to Linux and open source apps like this company did (3). Anybody can do it. Frankly, [u]nobody[/u] should be running Windows and whining about Microsoft anymore. You can stop the pain anytime you choose.

    [b]Vista is not selling well[/b]

    It appears I have a lot of company in rejecting Vista. By Microsoft's own numbers (1)(2), Vista sales are not going well at all. Microsoft's "sales" claims (which are really into the channel, not to real customers, and certainly not the number of running copies):

    ** At 1 month: 20 million total ("first month")

    ** At 3 months: 40 million total ("first 100 days")

    ** At 6 months: 60 million total (Feb thru July)

    Sales rates are REALLY slowing down! :0

    ** The first 20 million sold took 30 days -- Yeah! :-)

    ** The second 20 million sold took 60 more days -- Oops! :|

    ** The third 20 million sold took 90 more days -- Uh oh! :0

    ** The fourth 20 million? -- Oh no!!! :-(

    [b]And another thing...[/b]

    This post was written on a Kubuntu Linux workstation. This 15-year Windows user has been full-time on Linux for six months now and really likes it. I haven't missed Microsoft or Windows or MS Office even one time.

    Buh bye, Microsoft.


    (1) Windows Vista ships 60M (July 26, 2007)

    [i]"...Since Vista's Jan. 30 consumer release, Microsoft has shipped 60 million copies to PC makers, retailers and customers, said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer for Microsoft, during a presentation (full transcript available here) at the company's annual financial analysts meeting at its Redmond headquarters. Microsoft had previously said that it had shipped 20 million copies of Vista in its first month and 40 million copies of Vista in the first 100 days..."[/i]

    (2) Nine burning questions about how Vista is really doing

    (3) Rockin' on without Microsoft
    • Re: I will NEVER upgrade to Office 2007 or Vista

      Ok, Linus.
      • A comment from Peppermint Patty

        What is your point, Pigpen?
    • But wait a second. Doesn't Microsoft have a monopoly?

      You seem to be advocating that there is a viable alternative to Microsoft Windows. Funny, a few years ago the US DOJ and Courts felt that 1) there was no alternative to Windows, and 2) there was not likely to be one in the next few years.

      Sounds to me like you disagree with this. Would you be willing to help testify on Microsoft's behalf that they are NOT a monopoly, that there are indeed viable alternatives?

      If the aren't a monopoly, all the bundling and licensing restrictions currently in effect against Microsoft go out the window...

      But you can't have it both ways. Either they're a monopoly, or they aren't.
      • Microsoft is a VERY powerful monopoly

        If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

        [b]Let's review Microsoft's VERY powerful monopoly[/b]

        ** Microsoft will sell $50 BILLION in software and services this year. It is the largest software company by far (1). Microsoft solidly dominates the software [u]business[/u]. Giving open source software away for free is not a "business". More on that later.

        ** Computers and software depend heavily on interoperability. Interoperability depends on standardization. If one business can control that, it control the entire industry, hardware and software, and the customers too.

        ** Microsoft's [u]business[/u] is about establishing proprietary standards that they can control, not "software". Operating systems (Windows) and office applications (MS Office) are the two best examples. .NET is Microsoft's attempt to establish a client-server architecture that they can similarly control (lock out competitors and lock in customers) and establish the monopoly profits "gravy train" for the next decade.

        ** The antitrust trial was about Microsoft trying to extend their predatory monopolistic business practices into web browsers. They lost. And, they should have lost.

        ** Today Windows STILL has over 90% market share and is STILL in complete control of the X86 operating system [u]business[/u].

        ** Commercial ISVs must develop for Windows because that is where the customers are. Customers must buy and run Windows because that is where the applications are. Microsoft schemed and worked to set this racket up by manipulating the market.

        ** MS Office is the industry standard office suite and defines the industry standard file formats used by business customers (consumers too). Microsoft schemed this too.

        ** Microsoft invites ISVs to develop software products for Windows. But, [u]every time they succeed[/u], Microsoft builds or buys a competing product, bundles it with other Microsoft products or gives it away for free, and runs them out of their own market. Examples: MS Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator. MS Virtual PC vs. VMware. MS Media Player vs. Real Player. MS Silverlight vs. Adobe Flash/Flex/AIR. Becoming a Microsoft "partner" is the kiss of death.


        Microsoft is still a VERY powerful monopoly, one of the best in history. The controls on Microsoft must stay in effect.

        It is VERY disingenuous for Microsoft to whine about having to compete with open source software today while selling $50 BILLION each year and being fabulously profitable. Microsoft's fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) campaign about Linux infringing on its software patents is pathetic. It is a disgusting intimidation campaign, nothing more.

        Open source software such as Linux and OpenOffice are given away for free. This is not a "software business". It is essentially the only answer to an all-powerful monopoly. Open source software would not exist at all if it had to be developed in the context of a business that had to sell, make profits, and pay employees.

        Windows runs on over 90% of the world's computers (Linux is a tiny 1%), and has essentially 100% of the commercial OS [u]business[/u] for X86 computers. When Windows gets down to around 50%, and there are other thriving [u]commercial software businesses[/u] in the industry standard X86 computer market, Microsoft apologists might have a point. Until then, they don't. None whatsoever.

        [b]And another thing...[/b]

        So... Microsoft is fearful of open source software that is given away for free? Fearful that they might finally have to start behaving like all other businesses do? Fearful that they might have to [u]please[/u] customers and [u]win[/u] business? Fearful that they might have to compete with someone for once instead of just manipulating the market so they don't have to compete?

        Good. It's about darn time.


        (1) Fortune 500 (as of 2006)

        P.S. I don't hate Windows. I did not leave Windows because of Linux. I left Windows because of Microsoft. I tolerated ALL of Microsoft's abuses over the decades. The last straw was WGA capricious de-activations in Vista. I refuse to run an operating system that can and does capriciously de-activate on legitimate customers. Just don't EVER capriciously de-activate my operating system. That's not too much to ask.

        I might purchase and run Windows and Windows applications again. But, ALL of the WGA de-activation code must be completely and permanently removed. WGA de-activation is a bomb waiting to go off. I won't buy and run software with a bomb in it, no matter how much Microsoft "refines" the detonator.
        • BS. You stole your copy and got burned, so quit whining.

          You're upset that Microsoft is fighting back against software piracy. Boo freakin hoo. WGA isn't going away, and it shouldn't.