Microsoft Office Still Tops for Productivity, Forrester Finds
Google Docs and other cloud- and desktop-based software are nipping at its heels, but is
Office losing its dominance as the top office productivity suite. Not according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc.
The industry research firm surveyed 155 enterprise IT professionals who decide which software will be running in the offices of their companies. As Forrester analyst Philipp Karcher told news media, Microsoft Office “still has a stranglehold in this market,” and added that “things haven’t really changed.”
One key to the suite’s longevity, according to the report, is that that it’s been around a long time, many workers know how to use it, and it’s commonly used in homes as well as in offices. More than 90 percent of organizations provide Office to their workers. And, like a personal smartphone that a user might want to employ for office work, the Office group of applications is used personally by most consumers -- it’s still number one for home use -- so they like to use what they know when they’re at work.
The biggest contenders for replacing Office are cloud-based, since they are often free or inexpensive, can be logged into from multiple devices, have the features most users need (and not the many added features that load down, say, Microsoft Word), and they do not have to be updated by the user or the user’s IT department. On the last item, Forrester’s survey indicated that most IT departments do not mind conducting the upgrades for desktop-based versions of Office.
Forrester said that one-fifth of responding companies use cloud-based e-mail and another 25 percent are planning to do so. The use of cloud-based e-mail can lead to the use of cloud-based productivity apps, and in fact some cloud e-mail services include word processing and other office apps, such as Google Docs with Gmail and Office 365 with Exchange Online.
Forrester said its research showed that cloud-based suites, available through a browser, were used most commonly as lightweight complements to Microsoft Office, not as substitutes.
Compatibility with Office
Users’ key requirement for productivity applications, according to the report, is compatibility with Microsoft Office so that files can be opened, viewed and worked on between Office and a non-Office app. Other factors include lower licensing fees or integration with a company’s social collaboration platform.
Less important are such features as the ability to edit documents online at the same time that others do, which is frequently touted by the makers of cloud-based apps as a major advantage of keeping documents online.
The most-used version of Microsoft’s suite is Office 2013, used by 85 percent of companies covered in the Forrester survey, followed by Office 2007 at 51 percent, Office 2003 at 28 percent and Office 2013, which has a perpetual license that only needs to be paid for once, at 22 percent. Seventeen percent of companies have Office for Mac 2011, 13 percent use Google Docs either by itself or as a complement, and Microsoft Office Web Apps was used by 9 percent. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are used by 3 and 2 percent, respectively.
Posted: 2014-02-02 @ 6:18am PT
The Forrester report (costing only $2,495) can be found at:
It mentions Office 2010 being the dominant version, meaning that the 85% figure is probably or it. That would give percentages of:
Office 2010 - 85% of companies;
Office 2007 - 51%;
Office 2003 - 28%;
Office 2013 - 22%.
The fact that the numbers do not add to 100% overall would also certainly be due to multiple versions of Office being used in different companies.
Posted: 2013-10-28 @ 5:02am PT
Your story description doesn't make sense. "The most-used version of Microsoft’s suite is Office 2013" followed by "and Office 2013, which has a perpetual license that only needs to be paid for once, at 22 percent."
Posted: 2013-10-23 @ 6:07pm PT
So nobody is using Office 2010? Weird, since I alone have customers who use about 400,000 seats of it. Not to mention that according to this article 85% use Office 2013 and so do 22%, which makes it 107%.