Before you get right down to the numbers regarding Office 2007 outselling Office 2003 (so far), I'll tell you why I think this is. The fact that many businesses bought Office 2007 before the retail release helps Microsoft since many employees have already had the opportunity to test drive the new version before the first month of sales. Even those who are not tech-savvy realize that that there is a bigger difference between Office 2007 and Office 2003 compared to Office 2003 and Office XP (2002). They couldn't care less about features, but they sure can see that the ribbon is brand spanking new. And let's face it, the average Joe doesn't see past the GUI. Finally, people want the latest and greatest version, and because they've been waiting quite a while for this one, they're all the more likely to purchase it as soon as they can.
Retail sales of Office 2007 were 108.3% better than those of Office 2003 during the first week of its launch, according to a preliminary study by the NPD Group, a consumer and retail trade researcher. The report noted that while the average selling price for Office 2007 declined 1.1% to $206.93, the dollar volume jumped by 106.3%. According to Chris Swenson, NPD director of software industry analysis, sales of the cheaper Home and Student editions of Office contributed to the dip in average selling price. Office 2007 commercial unit sales for the first month, in comparison to Office 2003 commercial sales, climbed approximately 61.3%, dollar volume jumped 97.8% and average selling price rose 22.6%.
"The Office 2007 launch was extremely successful, no matter how you look at it--whether it's the weekly or monthly sales. With almost zero advertising and marketing until the January 30, 2007, retail launch, I expected U.S. commercial license sales of Office 2007, as with Windows Vista, to be significantly below the sales of the previous version in its first full month on the market. They weren't. Sales of Office 2007 were significantly better," Swenson said.