Microsoft Office Still Tops for Productivity, Forrester Finds

Google Docs and other cloud- and desktop-based software are nipping at its heels, but is Microsoft 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 EUstill has a stranglehold in this market,EU and added that EUthings havenEUt really changed.EU

One key to the suiteEUs longevity, according to the report, is that that itEUs been around a long time, many workers know how to use it, and itEUs 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 -- itEUs still number one for home use -- so they like to use what they know when theyEUre at work.

Google Docs

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 userEUs IT department. On the last item, ForresterEUs 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...

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