Sales of Microsoft Office 2010 are a “bit disappointing,” says NPD analyst Stephen Baker.Office 2010 has only been on the market for two weeks, but Baker says sales are tracking below sales for Office 2007 in its first two weeks. (Though, he does say that Office 2010 sales picked up compared to sales of Office 2007 for this year.)
Microsoft is in a tougher spot with Office 2010 than Office 2007, says Baker. Office 2007 was launched at the same time as Vista, so it benefited from the marketing push for Vista. Office 2007 was also a big refresh from 2003.
Microsoft sold 10 million copies of Office 2007 to retail customers. It’s going to be a challenge to get people to upgrade to the new version of Office. Sales of Office will probably come as people buy new computers.
One thing that’s NOT causing weak early sales: Google Docs. Baker says, “it is a virtual certainty that the slower than expected initial sales of Office 2010 have nothing to do with free alternatives” because, “these products have little awareness among the mainstream consumer who is the retail boxed version’s primary customer.”
In the long term, it’s a challenge. In the short term, Microsoft’s biggest challenge is getting people to upgrade.
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