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Office 2010 Sales Disappointing


Office 2010 Sales Disappointing

According to a recent study by the industry analyst group NPD, initial sales of Microsoft Office 2010 have been "disappointing". This is despite widespread acclaim from both critics and users alike. Indeed, we deemed it worthy of a 10/10 score and an Editor's Choice award.

According to senior NDP analyst, Stephen Baker, the reasoning seems to primarily be because of a saturated install base with mostly satisfied customers.

In an NPD blog post he explained, "Selling such a heavily used product into a base that has already been upgrading at a very high rate is an enormous challenge. 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,"

He also goes on to point out that part of the reason is a more incremental feel to 2010's updates. While there's lots of extra functionality under its skin, it doesn't have the clearly different look and feel that Office 2007 debuted.

Interestingly, the slow sales rate seems to have little to do with free alternatives like Google Docs, Open Office, or Microsoft's own online Office 2010. Something that Baker attributes to the general public's lack of awareness of these products (we'd tend to agree).

Of course, while we don't doubt the accuracy of NPD's findings, what the study doesn't seem to fully grasp is the nature of the modern market. For one thing the vast majority of sales of Office are corporate, and companies are seldom known for their rapid uptake of new versions of software. So with only a couple of weeks on the market, there's no surprise there. The other main point is that for home users Office has long since provided all the basics required so we know of few people that, owning a copy of Office that's not completely deprecated, would buy a new copy.

What are your thoughts? Have you been tempted by Office 2010, did you pick up 2007, are you still using 2003, or are you one of those savy people that uses the free alternatives?


NPD Group Blog


July 16, 2010, 3:25 pm

I bought Office 2010 professional plus for £40 with the education discount from software4students.

Excellent value for money at that price!

Rok Krznar

July 16, 2010, 3:27 pm

I blame Office 2007 for being too good...


July 16, 2010, 3:35 pm

I'm a happy OpenOffice user ! :-)


July 16, 2010, 3:45 pm

I am running Office 2010 and I am a very happy with it. But if you are a 2007 user then I can't see many people running out and buying the latest version just for the sake of it. People have much more important things to spend their cash on, that applies to businesses too.

Charles 2

July 16, 2010, 3:49 pm

I blame Office 2007 for having all the functionality I need.

Luan Bach

July 16, 2010, 3:59 pm


Same here.


July 16, 2010, 4:02 pm

As rok says, Office 2007 is just too good to upgrade at the moment.


July 16, 2010, 4:04 pm

I have a Office 2003 Small Business Edition, bought brand new on eBay for £40. It does exactly what I want, so why would I want to upgrade? 2007 and 2010 offer no compelling features that I would use.

Steve Austin

July 16, 2010, 4:11 pm

My parents still have '97 on one of their boxes... ;-)

Chris Reed

July 16, 2010, 4:23 pm

Our new PCs at work were supposed to have Office 2010 installed but we opted for 2007 instead because, apparently, there is no spell-checker (yet) in 2010 64bit.


July 16, 2010, 4:30 pm

Not forgetting that 2007 had the change in file format .xls to .xlsx etc. to provide further impetus for an upgrade. Can't pull that trick every time.


July 16, 2010, 4:32 pm

Just as Kaben here. I bough office 2010 from the student promo site for £30 and I am happy with it (managed to sell my old 2007 off so even happier). There was a little hick-up with the endnote not working straight away, but X4 was released very quickly indeed!

On the whole I think Microsoft got it a bti wrong. Noone ever upgrades (XP to 7) office 2003 to 2010 because it is REDICULOUSLY overpriced. I mean £200+ WTH are they thinking? Could you point me into ANYONE who will upgrade for that sort of money?

Make the upgrade cost £30-40 and be able to do it through microsoft update with a click of a button and you will have INSTANT profit. Also, you could cut donw on old version support work, coz lets face it, if the upgrade was £30 for everyone noone will be sitting on Off 97 and 2003. But then again, I don't work for Microsoft marketing. Maybe I should.

Before it is this available people will either pirate, use archaic versions or use free alternatives. Same goes for OS. I can use that £200 pounds to go towards a new machine at the moment! Even if I only want an OS refresh.



July 16, 2010, 4:44 pm

Since it is essentially an incremental upgrade, maybe they should price it accordingly, and make it sub £100. Software prices generally are a rip off if you ask me. I got W7Pro for £70 on pre-order. I think anything over £100 for an OS is a joke.


July 16, 2010, 5:24 pm

Software upgrades seem to be a much harder sell than they were.

Compared to Office 2000, the 1993 Office suite (Word 2.0, Excel 4.0) looked pathetically antiquated.

But with the release of Office 2010, Office 2003 still appears perfectly adequate for many users and businesses (or perhaps 'preferable', given the absence of the ribbon bar).

Similarly for the OS: In 1993, we were running Windows 3.1, 8 years on XP, 8 years from that Windows 7. The gulf between XP and 3.1 is colossal, between Windows 7 and XP... well, put it like this: I'm fairly sure Windows 3.1 didn't still have 50-60% market share nearly a year after the release of XP!

Has PC software development plateaued? It seems ever harder for developers to introduce real "must have" features.


July 16, 2010, 5:56 pm

Also there must be customers like me, who bought Office 2007 then upgraded for free to 2010. Having seen both 2007 and 2010, I agree that there's not much difference between them. I wouldn't upgrade 2007 to 2010, if I already had the former.


July 16, 2010, 6:23 pm

simonm, you can't really compare windows 3.1 -> XP in the same way as XP -> 7.

The computing world changed so much more in the mid to late 90s than it has done since XP, the internet for starters. This is not an indication that software development has "plateaued", maybe more a reflection on how mature the sector has become.


July 16, 2010, 6:45 pm

@ Kaben and Kuzma

Any checks on those student sites? I was a student (graduated just last month). I really want to take advantage of the offer but I believe I no longer get classed as a student!


July 16, 2010, 7:08 pm

Well you have to face the cfacts most people have bought or have a package given with there pc that is compatable going fwd or back. Why at home for instance would you spend several hundred pounds on a new word? i wouldn't.

And bussinesses never adopt the latest software through pure fear. this is exactly as i expected the sales for this product to be, it will sell well but over its life when its adopted by bussiness.


July 16, 2010, 7:10 pm


I can speak for the UK. Here, you need an educational e-mail.


July 16, 2010, 7:26 pm

@Alex - sure, I agree (although venerable Windows 3.1 did run IE up to version 5, so wasn't solely a victim of the Internet).

But a 'mature sector' still poses the same problem - if the installed base is already at near saturation and it's getting increasingly hard to convince us we need to upgrade, what does this mean for revenue going forward?


July 16, 2010, 8:37 pm

I used my free upgrade from 07 to 10 & I'm glad I did. Those still using 07 don't know what they're missing.


July 16, 2010, 9:06 pm

Would have thought it's cheaper to go the TechNet route than to buy retail.


July 16, 2010, 9:48 pm

I use OpenOffice on Windows 7 and it is more than adequate for me. Sooner or later I will likely not be using Windows anymore either since free software is becoming better and better.


July 16, 2010, 10:07 pm

Google Docs and Notepad, 'nuff said.


July 17, 2010, 3:16 am

to be honest Office XP has as much functionality as an average user would want, however using Software4Students to get pro plus for £40 is an opportunity not to be missed. You do not need an .edu or ac.uk email either. Just the name of a student and school and the site verifies you straight away. I bought it and another bonus is you get to install it on 2 computers.

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