Rumours abound that Microsoft Office 2007 is not as straightforward an enterprise level upgrade as earlier iterations might have been. Certainly, uptake has not been at fever pitch – an inertia attributed by many simply to financial cost. Somebody once said (not sure who it was) to me at a software conference that there is no such thing as legacy software – only software that works.
You may reasonably argue that upgrades are not always needed. I was in Moss Bros today hiring a waistcoat for a wedding and I swear the chap on the counter had Windows 95 installed on his machine – all he needed it for was e-mail and to count dinner jackets after all.
This is when basic functionality kicks in. Microsoft has waxed lyrical about improved productivity, better looking documents and easier ways to share and collaborate. Cool if you’re a web development agency, overkill if you are Moss Bros counter assistant - apparently.
I mention all this in the context of my visit to the outfitters and the fact that on the same day I get pinged by a file migration company called ConverterTechnology who has migrated over a million users of Microsoft Office from older Office platforms to newer ones. They say that it is becoming more economically feasible to employ software upgrades, but historic perceptions can still prevent enterprises from upgrading. According to these guys, the need to stay ahead of competitors whilst remaining compliant and accountable is universally recognised, but the cost, in terms of staff time and disruption to the business, is still perceived as outweighing the benefits.
Do they have a point? I just upgraded to Mac Leopard, so I’m abstaining.