NPD claims Office 2010 retail sales have so far been "disappointing"

Early figures from analytics group NPD released today suggest Office 2010 sales have been "a bit disappointing" since it was made available to consumers two weeks ago.

According to NPD figures, sales have been below that of the first two weeks of Office 2007's launch, with suggestions the new release faces a much more "saturated market" that has been forced into upgrading at a "very high rate" in recent times.

"Selling such a heavily used product into a base that has already been upgrading at a very high rate is an enormous challenge," Stephen Baker, the Vice President for NPD Industry Analysis wrote today on the company blog.

"While Office 2010 has many compelling new features, it is always an uphill battle to sell a high installed base product based on new features alone."

NPD also suggests the launch time of Office 2010, during the Summer -- the quietest technology season of the year-- could also be a contributing factor to the poor results, given Office 2007 was launched in the much more busy holiday shopping season. 

There is some good news though for Microsoft, with the new Office 2010 key card, which allows users buying a new computer to activate the copy of Office pre-installed for a cheaper price, performing strongly, accounting for around one-third of all copies of 2010 purchased so far. And while sales have been below that of the first two weeks of Office 2007, they are, says NPD, "in line, and in fact slightly ahead of, sales trends of Office 2007 so far this year."

But in a blow to cloud-based office suites such as Google Docs and Zoho, NPD says the impact these are having on Office 2010 sales is minimal, with most consumers still unaware of their existence.

"These products have little awareness among the mainstream consumer who is the retail boxed version’s primary customer," Baker explained, noting that eventually, and "over time" some slowdown in sales may occur.

"Mainstream consumers have not embraced the concept of the cloud, nor are they likely in the short to mid-term, making most of the questions around free software moot."

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I will be upgrading to Office 2010 by the end of August for the beginning of the school season. Though thinking about it, I am still attached to my Office 2007 Ultimate and Student (I received Ultimate from Microsoft because of a project I did, and I bought Student when it was released with Vista)

MS Office's biggest competitor is MS Office. Nobody understands that better than Microsoft themselves. There were plenty of businesses that held off on upgrading from Office 2003 to Office 2007. I imagine there will be a lot more upgrades from Office 2003 than from Office 2007.

At 9.99 through Microsoft Home Use Program, it was a no brainer, and much improved over 2007...like Windows 7, I believe this is like Office 2007 should have been...

While I've looked at Google Docs I haven't seen enough in Office 2010 to make me consider going to it over OpenOffice or Lotus Symphony. Since Microsoft doesn't see the need to offer upgrade pricing to their users anymore I really don't see the need to continue to buy their program. I stopped using Office on my home PCs around the introduction of Office 2000 and have tried several alternatives. WordPerfect Office, Lotus SmartSuite, Sun's StarOffice and many others were considered and tried over the years and I ended up using OpenOffice or a variant of that program. The interface changes brought about in Office 2007 made the program more difficult for old users to relate to and the introduction of the .docx extension made the program less compatible with older versions.

Microsoft has made a lot of money on the program over the years (I've purchased Word for DOS, Word for Windows 3.1 and upgraded to MS Office 4.0, 95, 97 and 2000). I just don't need all of the bells and whistles that come with the latest versions of MS Office and will continue to use free or low-cost alternatives.

Whilst I agree there are some good alternatives Office applications are still far superior. I currently use Google Docs for home stuff which is a great product but the editors are still very basic when comparing it to Office.
Personally though, paying £200 for a piece of software that I use very rarely at home is daft. For now Microsoft your making me stay with Google Docs.

SK[ said,]Whilst I agree there are some good alternatives Office applications are still far superior. I currently use Google Docs for home stuff which is a great product but the editors are still very basic when comparing it to Office.
Personally though, paying £200 for a piece of software that I use very rarely at home is daft. For now Microsoft your making me stay with Google Docs.

docs.live.com

Well, it's summer. Students don't need it until the fall semester, and many large businesses take their time upgrading software.

Just like everyone else, I don't see much of a change in 2010 either when compared to 2007. You also have to realize that people do not have $300 to $500 dollars to just throw away anymore. People are making due with what they have and are busy focusing on survival. When is America going to wake up and realize that you just can't keep high prices on items anymore? You have to come down to where the consumers pockets are right now and that is close to broke.

Outlook 2010 has a killer feature for me - multiple Exchange accounts. You don't need create multiple profiles any more. And this is goooood!

cpu said,
Outlook 2010 has a killer feature for me - multiple Exchange accounts. You don't need create multiple profiles any more. And this is goooood!

For me, it's not multiple Exchange accounts, but hands-off e-mail configuration for both POP3 and IMAP (it even handles GMail's rather tricky secured IMAP settings hands-off, which is something no other IMAP client does).

I actually downgraded from 2010 to 2007, as it didn't run as quick as 2007. Didn't think much of the UI refresh and i had a few extra crashes in Word and Excel then i did in 2007.

However i didn't really expect too much in this revision or the next as you can only refresh a line after x number of years. 2007 is a solid office product with some great features over 2003, to me 2010 seemed to be about brining the ribbon to the apps that didn't make the cut in 2007, outlook, visio, project etc..

See here's the thing. I run 2007 at home, and legitimately have it on 3 machines. It completely satisfies my needs and so as much as "having the latest version" is a bandwagon I generally follow, I have no need nor financial desire to upgrade.

The way I see it, Office 2003 had toolbars and menus. When Office 2007 came out with most applications branding the new ribbon and no menu, some people panicked, but eventually understood that the ribbon is more inviting for you to use more features and it is easier to use them instead of having to dig into long menus. But Office 2007 is not completely revamped with the ribbons since many applications such as outlook, Visio, etc still use toolbars and menus. Office 2010 was necessary to standarize the new GUI. It adds some great features like the insert screenshot and screen clipping streamlined across apps. It is more consistent than before and now includes a 64 bit version. However, Office is a very mature software and its functionalities many times exceed user's needs. For all I care, most people could do all they need on document creation and editing with just Wordpad in Win 7. So it is not a product that people will rush to buy, except if you are an student, for whom it is needed and is way cheaper, or a corporation with a proactive IT department, in a good financial situation.

my company kindly purchased 2010 for me after i had beta tested for over a year. having used it for so long now, it just doesnt seem any different. sure, a couple UI changes, integrated Print Preview and 64-bit is cool... nothing else i use. idk, perhaps i should dive deeper into the new features.

It comes as no surprise. Look at the pricing! Then, add the insult of no upgrade path from Office 2007. What was MS thinking? I can a very long life for Office 2003 and Office 2007.

You guys are a little short-sighted. This product is not for current 2007 users. It's the hold-outs still on 2000, 2002 and 2003.

Besides, back to school shopping season is just around the corner. Students/Parents of students will be opening their wallets soon enough.

MemphisNET said,
You guys are a little short-sighted. This product is not for current 2007 users. It's the hold-outs still on 2000, 2002 and 2003.

Besides, back to school shopping season is just around the corner. Students/Parents of students will be opening their wallets soon enough.

Precisely.

When it launched almost certainly meant no rush of *I need this NOW!* sales (high-school and college seniors are graduating, and other HS and college students are usually NOT thinking in terms of any software other than games, and certainly not productivity suites). Those customers that would normally consider it (businesses, especially enterprises) have a poor economy to deal with (so they are in no rush to upgrade/switchh, either).

As a student, the only program in Office 2010 I've been using a lot recently has been Outlook (for email). I used the 2010 beta for a while, loved it, and bought my full copy as soon as the crazy academic deals came out (Office Pro Plus x64 for $65!). I'm also stoked that Visio got a 2010 update (and stoked that Visio is available through MSDNAA).
I'm sure as university session starts again in the fall I'll find a bunch more new/improved features - I already prevented a major screw-up with the emergency save on Word 2010.

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