NPD: Office 2010 sales are off to a "disappointing" start

By on July 14, 2010, 3:53 PM
Microsoft's hopes of Office 2010 breaking adoption records may have been a little overambitious, with NPD reporting that sales are "a bit disappointing" thus far. The updated productivity suite hit stores two weeks ago, and both units sold and dollars earned are lower than Office 2007's debut performance. That said, shipments are "in line, and in fact slightly ahead of" sales trends for Office 2007 this year.

The research group cites various reasons why Office 2010 hasn't stormed out of the gates, but the largest is simply that users don't have as much of a reason to upgrade as they did with previous iterations. By comparison, Office 2007 offered "a radical new design" that enticed curious buyers, and it launched alongside Vista, adding a "good deal of promotional activity in the software aisle." Office 2007 also arrived around the holidays instead of the summer, which is traditionally slower for PC purchases.


Before you say it, NPD dismissed the impact of free productivity products, saying that enough consumers don't currently know about options like Google Docs, Zoho and OpenOffice. Despite the slow start, Microsoft may have secured an additional revenue stream from its key card program, which makes it easier for new PC owners with pre-installed copies of Office 2010 Starter to obtain a full edition. So far, a third of Office 2010's sales have come from the new licensing system, and that number could increase.




User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

No surprise there..many companies and individuals have just converted to the 2007 suite. And 85% of those don't even realize there's a 2010.

Matthew Smith Matthew Smith said:

I got 2010 through my wife's work, and I like it a lot.

I think the NPD is right about Google Docs/Zoho/etc not being the cause. This isn't an enthusiast market. As XP proved, there is a significant number of people who don't want to even upgrade to a new piece of software much less use something new.

You should have heard my wife when 2007 came out, that was when they revised the interface and although it was better, she wanted to kill it for a month until she got used to it.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I have to agree it's hard to justify the price for the new suite if you are running Office 2007 already. There should be a cheaper subscription based model that gets you timely updates every couple of years or something. So far I've found the Outlook upgrade to be the most noteworthy, then again other open source utilities have the same kind of capabilities for handling email, let alone combining that with Gmail as a cloud-based backup.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've been using 2010 for a few months now. It's cleaned up some things that made 2007 annoying and added a few new items.

But from a home user standpoint, can see why there's been no big charge to upgrade - it's certainly not in the "gotta have it" category. The only reason I have it is because like Matthew, I got it from work. If I'd had to pay the $200 to upgrade, there's no way I would have done it.

JudaZ said:

Office 2010 is now back to the great design and functionallity that Office 2007 lacked but that 2003 had. ....and that is the problem

If you still have Office 2003 because you refused to play with a dinky toy of a program like Office 2007 .... there is no reason to upgrade to 2010.

duckbot said:

Certainly from a support standpoint, I have only really dealt with two support calls relating to Office 2010. The only reason they had this version was because it was supplied with the new PC they bought. I still deal with customers using Office 97 although they should be upgrading soon.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

Gotta agree with the majority here. There's just nothing really earth-shattering about Office 2010 that compels millions to run out and upgrade (certainly not at anything near these ridiculous rates in this kind of economy). If it ain't broke . . . folks ain't gonna fix it!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

And let's not forget about torrents :P

mrtraver said:

Word 6.0 had all the features I need.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I'm actually surprised they didn't stick to the age old method of forcing upgrade by incompatible file formats.

raybay said:

Microsoft has been milking that cow for 16 years.

They certainly got their money's worth. But they have run out of tricks.

Open Office has taken over the collge and high school market, and businesses have wized up and moved on.

Guest said:

microsoft should make a great product and then make a new one when needed. Its so annoying hey windows 7 just came out but screw that lets make another one.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They kinda hit the target for me back with Office 2000 or 2003. For home use you're really fine with one of those.

Guest said:

The features needed in a full functioned office suite were available in Office 2003. The most used features (spell check, indenting, simple formatting, font change, etc) were automatic or readily available at the top of the 2003 menu structure. The more powerful (and esoteric) formatting features (x-referencing, table of contents, etc.) were available on sub-menus. These advanced features, perhaps useful for professional/technical writers, were largely unnecessary for the vast majority of people who only needed to write letters/memos.

Office 2007 was a cyclical, marketing attempt needed to refresh Microsoft revenue. It provided no significant "word processing" enhancements so it elevated and placed these advanced formatting features, that were available in Office 2003, on the ribbon. That just caused confusion. For example, that multiple styles are available to create a document hierarchy or insert a citation table were still unnecessary for the vast number of users.

Office 2010 seems to be, to me at least, an attempt to address the confusion created by the unnecessary ribbon by tweaking ribbon management. But what significant "word processing" additions have been added?

Guest said:

MS Office is still relevant?

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