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IT May Wait for Office 2010, Survey Suggests

Cost-cutting IT organizations may end up delaying their Microsoft Office upgrades, but they don't appear to be switching to alternative productivity suites, according to a Forrester Research survey.

The poor economy may cause some IT organizations to delay upgrading to the current Microsoft Office 2007 product, and wait for Office 2010 instead, according to Forrester. If they wait, Office 2010 is expected to be released in the first half of next year.

A little over a third of respondents in Forrester's survey said that the economy had affected their plans on productivity-suite deployments. Forrester polled 152 IT professionals in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe for the survey, which was conducted in March.

Respondents mostly (80 percent) used Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier versions, as well as Microsoft Office 2007 (57 percent). They also used other productivity suites, such as Google Premier Apps, Sun's StarOffice 8 or 9 and IBM's Lotus Symphony. However, the use of those alternative apps was at single digits.

Respondents indicated why they weren't planning for a Microsoft Office upgrade. The No. 1 reason was lack of compelling business reasons to make the change. Cost appeared to be a negligible reason, according to the survey results.

The survey's respondents, for the most part, weren't considering alternatives to Microsoft Office. Nearly 80 percent reported no plans to implement an alternative productivity suite.

Forrester concluded from the survey findings that alternatives to Microsoft Office currently aren't meeting business requirements. Moreover, Microsoft Office will still be a contender by the time those alternative productivity suites mature.

The survey comes from a report called "Enterprise Plans for Productivity Tools: Holding Out for Microsoft Office 2010" by Sheri McLeish, which is available as part of a subscription service from Forrester Research.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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