Feeds

Microsoft looks to partners to force Office upgrades

Helping you to help us

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Microsoft is calling on its partners to overcome customer inertia in the Office franchise, and help drive sales of its desktop and server productivity system.

Microsoft opened its Worldwide partner conference with tantalizing tales of $140bn in unrealized market opportunities for companies building applications and services using Office 2003 in messaging and collaboration, portal and enterprise content management, enterprise project management and smart client.

Highlighting portal and smart client, Microsoft claimed companies can realize profit margins of between 20 per cent and 40 per cent building plug-ins and services for Office 2003, with start-ups breaking even in their first nine months.

Large-scale opportunities are available primarily as a result of the fact large numbers of customers are not upgrading to later editions of Office, like Office 2003. While Microsoft claims 600 million Office users analysts estimate 30% are still running Office 1997, having skipped Office 2000 and Office XP.

The prime reason is Office 97 is "good enough" for these users' needs.

That's a worrying fact for Microsoft which is now working on the successor to Office 2003, codenamed Office 12, which is due in the second half of 2006. Office12, demonstrated at Microsoft's partner conference, will be the first version of Office to feature peer-to-peer technology from Groove Networks, acquired this year.

Other areas of focus for Office 12, revealed a Microsoft's conference, are browser-based forms and InfoPath development and integration with Outlook, improved search and information management tools, and content management tools.

"A lot of people don't understand how Microsoft Office has changed in last four to five years," Chris Capossela corporate vice president for the information worker product management group told delegates on Friday morning. "We've gone beyond traditional applications of Windows and Excel on desktop and expanded beyond improving personal productivity."

"The number one competition in the Office business is this perception that old versions of Office or cloned versions of Office are good enough and you don't need the latest software for end users or information workers. We are on a mission to show people the work place has changed," Capossela said.

To shepherd ISVs toward the legacy Office market Microsoft is increasing its level of investment. Microsoft is investing $300m in Office marketing for fiscal 2006 and expanding the number of field sales people from 450 to more than 1,000. Capossela said Microsoft wants to quadruple the size of its partner network from 240,000 companies to move users off of legacy versions of Office. ®

Related stories

Microsoft must woo partners
Microsoft adopts XML for Office formats
Intel: We're all office warriors now
Collaboration technologies: the reader survey

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.