According to the NPD Group, two weeks after its release to the general public, sales of Office 2010 are a little disappointing.
The first Office 2010 sales figures from the United States are deemed to be a "little bit disappointing" according to the NPD Group. Along with the Windows operating system, the Office suite is traditionally one of Microsoft’s leading products, acting as a good gauge of the group’s financial health.
The commercial release of Office 2010 was made on the 15th of June. In the first two weeks since its general public release, the NPD Group believes that the sales generated by Office 2010 are less than at the corresponding period of the Office 2007 release. It should also be remembered that the release of Office 2007 was made at the end of January 2007 and not in June.
According to the NPD Group’s Industry Analysis vice president, this slow beginning for Office 2010 can be explained by the fact that it was launched in a relatively calm period for new PC purchases. The other penalising factor is the launch of Office 2010 into a saturated market.
The NPD Group doesn’t yet believe that free alternatives to Microsoft Office like OpenOffice.org and the online Google Docs suite are taking market share away from Office 2010. Microsoft seems to be playing with fire though by offering the free Office Web Apps.
According to Stephen Baker, the real problem is that current Office 2007 users have no real reason to upgrade to Office 2010: "Office 2007 had a radically new design which helped attract a lot of curious users when launched in parallel with Windows Vista, providing a good software promotional activity."
We will certainly have to wait for the start of the school year to see the real sales trends for Office 2010, but for the moment it appears that Microsoft hasn’t witnessed the exceptional launch which was the case with Windows 7.