Report: Microsoft Office continues to dominate the productivity software race

Market research company, Forrester, has published a report which claims that Microsoft Office is the most preferred productivity suite of the corporate world by a huge margin.

Forrester Research conducted a survey with 155 clients about the currently deployed productivity suites in their offices. The report reveals that Microsoft Office is the most used productivity software among the companies, with Office 2010 used by nearly 85% of the companies, while Office 2013 being adopted gradually as more Windows 8 PCs are deployed.

Microsoft has been working hard to bring Office to every platform including the cloud, and its efforts seem to be paying off. It recently launched Office for Android and iPhone, for Office 365 subscribers, however, according to the report the majority of IT decision makers don't consider multi-platform support a priority and are satisfied with Office on Windows at work, while employees can choose to use any software on personal iOS and Android devices.

The report states that open-source suites such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice have failed to gain traction after initial eagerness from companies to adopt those softwares. Google Docs which is a cloud-based solution, has significantly lower usage compared to Microsoft Office and many current users are planning to move to Office 365 which echoes the findings of a report published by Microsoft in September. Office 365 has been doing well with the Home Premium version recently crossing 2 million subscribers and a $1.5 billion annual run-rate.

According to the numbers presented in the report, Microsoft is unmatched in the productivity software race and it doesn't look like it can be toppled from the top position very soon.

Source: Forrester Research via Computer World | Image via Forrester Research

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It may be dominant now and for the near future. However, recent debacles has tarnished their reputation--Windows-8 and MS's infatuation with "the cloud." It will be interesting to see how things look in two years or longer in the future.

Maybe it's just me, but I despise the entire install process of 2013. The last great version of office for the actual install was 2010. I have more people or actually people in general (which I never had with previous versions) calling me because they are having issues installing it. Some of it stems from the fracking Live account they force you to create.

This is funny as I chose what I would assume was an insane market share percentage in order to convey the sarcastic nature of my post and I still had people thinking I was serious.

FloatingFatMan said,
Race? What race? There's Office, and there's everything else that isn't Office. If that's a race, there's only one runner.

Well said...well put.

The only thing Office alternatives generally have are either being cheaper in terms of price or free (that is true of ALL the Office alternatives - including those of individual Office applications, such as WordPerfect, which is still out there). However, in terms of "daily beater" productivity applications or productivity suites, it's a LONG way down from Microsoft Office to any of the alternatives - and I'm saying this as someone that started with WordStar, WordPerfect, and Lotus 1-2-3. What the anti-Microsoft crowd seems to forget is that Microsoft Office started as a Mac productivity suite - not a Windows one; the original Windows productivity suite was from Lotus (SmartSuite), not Microsoft. In fact, 1-2-3 arrived on Windows before Excel did. (Prior to Office 95, both DEC and HP, which sold quite a bit of Windows NT to business, bundled Lotus SmartSuite with most of their NT Workstation systems (at first, because there WAS no NT-capable Microsoft Office, then because even Office Professional 4.3 had issues with NT 3.1 and even NT 3.51 Workstation.) In other words, Office was originally an also-ran - a LATE also-ran at that.

Very true. For the frugal minded who look towards using a Chromebook for school, I generally remind them that while it's possible to do your papers with Google Docs, they need to ensure formatting is done properly at the school computers with Office.

If those essays and what not don't look exactly the way they need to, many professors will straight up knock points off for "not following directions". I've personally had to witness this myself, and when that paper is worth 25% of your grade... yeah, you'll NEED Office.

Interesting; personally I never liked Lotus. I used Wordstar and WordPerfect as well but as a spreadsheet I always preferred QuattroPro from Borland; in the end though I moved to Word and Excel.
Also I remember when MS bumped Word from V2 to V6 to be alligned with WordPerfect 6..... The good old times...

dead.cell said,
Very true. For the frugal minded who look towards using a Chromebook for school, I generally remind them that while it's possible to do your papers with Google Docs, they need to ensure formatting is done properly at the school computers with Office.

Office Web Apps fit the bill nicely here.

We needed a report to tell us this? Come on, even within the most anti-Microsoft circles it's pretty well acknowledged that MS Office is the best in class. There are edge cases of course. People who don't want to spend a lot of money for a little bit of document writing should be going for OpenOffice or LibreOffice, and people writing more technical documents can generally get a better experience with a TeX editor, but main market is between those two extremes is where MS Office shines.

Or came up with an equally compelling alternative. The problem is that the current UI is rather dated and inefficient. The Ribbon UI was genuinely an improvement for Office, whereas when Microsoft tried to force it on other apps it failed (i.e. Paint).

theyarecomingforyou said,
Or came up with an equally compelling alternative. The problem is that the current UI is rather dated and inefficient. The Ribbon UI was genuinely an improvement for Office, whereas when Microsoft tried to force it on other apps it failed (i.e. Paint).

I don't think it failed in Microsoft Paint.

Jarrichvdv said,
I don't think it failed in Microsoft Paint.

I disagree. Everything was shoved into the 'Home' tab, with the 'View' tab virtually useless - it just isn't a natural fit. Same with WordPad. And then there are all the apps that don't have the Ribbon UI, which leads to an incredibly inconsistent experience.

The Ribbon UI worked for Office because it exposed a lot of functionality, whereas with Paint and WordPad it simply highlighted how limited they were without improving usability.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I disagree. Everything was shoved into the 'Home' tab, with the 'View' tab virtually useless - it just isn't a natural fit. Same with WordPad. And then there are all the apps that don't have the Ribbon UI, which leads to an incredibly inconsistent experience.

The Ribbon UI worked for Office because it exposed a lot of functionality, whereas with Paint and WordPad it simply highlighted how limited they were without improving usability.

I disagree. The ribbon is less effective in Paint and in the explorer, to that I agree. However it still works better then the dropdownmenus they had before. It's just that for more complex software the ribbon is more useful, but that doesn't mean simpler applications can't benefit from it.

There is also something to say for having a similar interface across the whole desktop. Especially for less savy tech users it's a nicer experience.

The newest OpenOffice (4?) had something like that (sidebar on the right). They add Lotus Symphony code into it. It really great! Makes me revert back from LibreOffice--which frequently hang everytime I scroll up and down pages too fast.

Give it a few years, others will get up in %s, because as long as there is a dominant, there will always be a need to get to it and surpass it!

pratnala said,
2013 has native SkyDrive integration which is a big win for me.

Yeah, that's probably the biggest addition but not enough to warrant the upgrade price - particularly when there isn't any upgrade option available, requiring users to fork out the full amount.

Yep,
Office 2007 on all 7 Windows machines here and NO thought of upgrading anytime soon. Not that I use office very often. Wife uses it more often that I do, which still isn't saying much though.

SkyDrive integration was a complete turn off for me, so it works both ways. I want absolutely NOTHING to do with sky anything, anywhere!

I'd rather stick with iWork on Mac because of compatibility with Office documents, iCloud, it's on OS X & iOS, and it's only $20 each for pages, keynotes, and numbers. Best part of all, no serial key, it's in the App Store and ready to be on many of your devices.

Windows 8.1 is integrated with Skydrive so that no longer makes any difference, you can access skydrive from any application but previously you could also use the SkyDrive client for similar results. What I really hate about 2007 is that there isn't a Click2run version and that means Windows Update trashing the disk to check the windows installer files, the minutes/reboots required by updates, etc.

Office 2010 but especially 2013 have by far the worst localization I've ever seen, there were grammatical errors in the most visible places like the welcome screens, jump lists, even on notification bars, errors that after years are still there. I think they went as far as outsourcing localization outside the intended countries. Office 2013 has that annoying Office File Upload center, useless with 8.1 or the SkyDrive client, that also prevents Click2run updates to apply if you don't log-off regularly, you are left exposed for vulnerabilities for months if you never reboot your computer regularly preventing those updates to apply. Unbelievable that Windows Update is obsessive about reboots but dangerous behaviors like that are left unfixed for years.

Mr.XXIV said,
I'd rather stick with iWork on Mac because of compatibility with Office documents, iCloud, it's on OS X & iOS, and it's only $20 each for pages, keynotes, and numbers. Best part of all, no serial key, it's in the App Store and ready to be on many of your devices.

You could also just get Office 365 for $99 (less/maybe even free if you're a student) and get the real deal, also works on OS X and I believe they just released an iOS version as well. You can install on 5 devices and it works with Skydrive, which is much nicer than iCloud. Plus the Office web apps work a lot better than iCloud.

Did I not mention iOS? Which means up to 10 or even 20 devices? I could practically cluster my life with iCloud.

$99? I'd rather just $20 if all I ever needed was pages. And I'm not a Student, I'm a Web Developer.

Web developer? No problem then. You can stick with Pages and its slow and rudimentary support of Word documents, even if you install it on all 20 of your iPads.

Office is still better no question, but based upon your needs Mr.XXIV, Pages should be suffice for you. Doesn't make sense to spend that much money on Office for something that is essentially overkill for what you do.

That's why I'd use Pages for $20 on Mac and $10 on iOS...right?

Pretty much why I'd choose 1Password over LastPass because of how I use it.

Enron said,
Excel 2013 = reason enough to upgrade
What must-have new features have been added? I've noticed color has been drained out of the UI.

Still using Office 2007 here.

Just like "Apple have access to iMessages", Microsoft would have access to your email and SkyDrive, and then so does the NSA, so I'm not a fan of uploading company documents to the service.

Indeed, nothing comes close. Tried Open and Libre a couple of times through their iterations, but they still don't compare, especially with all the niceties Office 365 gives these days.

cybersaurusrex said,
Google Docs has 13%? And then I re-read the chart... and realized it's one of those "more than 100%" charts... and MS Office has about 200%...

Are you 300% sure of that?

francescob said,

Are you 300% sure of that?

Take a statics course and you will understand the correlations. Not trying to bash you just help you

cybersaurusrex said,
Google Docs has 13%? And then I re-read the chart... and realized it's one of those "more than 100%" charts... and MS Office has about 200%...

Easy companies using multiple office versions on the diferent computers.

cybersaurusrex said,
Google Docs has 13%? And then I re-read the chart... and realized it's one of those "more than 100%" charts... and MS Office has about 200%...

"At your organization, which office productivity suites are currently in use?"

Its possible for an organization to be using more than one office productivity suite.