Report: Companies use Word out of habit, not necessity

A Forrester report said companies are using Microsoft Word for word processing out of habit rather than necessity and are considering other alternatives.

Companies may use Microsoft Word for word processing out of habit rather than necessity and are beginning to consider other alternatives as the Web has changed the way people create and share documents, according to a Forrester Research report.

The report, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: The Microsoft Word Love Story," by analyst Sheri McLeish, suggests that businesses may still be using Word because it is familiar to users or because they have a legacy investment in the application, not because it is the best option.

"Because Word has become so entrenched in the enterprise in the last 25 years, organizations cannot easily move off of it," she wrote. "So despite the noise made by the new Web-based authoring tools -- most of which are free for a limited number of users -- they have failed thus far to realize enterprise adoption."

But these other options now in the market, including Web-hosted applications from Google, Adobe Systems and Zoho, to name a few, make sharing documents and online collaboration more intuitive and easier for users, and are more cost-effective, she wrote.

They are gaining traction among small- to medium-sized businesses where Microsoft does not compete as effectively with the Office suite, McLeish said Friday in an interview about the report.

"Microsoft Office has been a cash cow for them for years," she said. "But what people are finding is they are questioning that investment. It is relatively high next to some other options on the market."

Perhaps responding to this pressure, Microsoft said this week it is expanding the features of its Office Live Workspace online document-sharing and storage application to allow people to create and edit documents online. Previously, people had to use the desktop version of Office to create documents that could then be posted and annotated through Office Live Workspace.

Microsoft's move points to another reason Google Docs, Adobe Acrobat.com and Zoho Writer applications are gaining traction with some businesses. The Web's evolution as a platform on which companies can run their businesses has changed the game for how people create, store and share word-processing documents, and collaborative, Web-based word-processing applications facilitate these new methods, McLeish noted in her report.

"Teams of information workers often use wikis in the place of early draft documents that might have formerly been circulated to a group via e-mail or posted on a shared site," she said. "Blogs bypass a document view entirely. Enterprise Web 2.0 may have just arrived but can deliver high value, particularly by being able to enhance content by associating it with peers and experts."

While enterprises still have security and integration concerns that keep them from diving into adopting the software-as-a-service model for documents head first, this trend is also another incentive for Microsoft to evolve Word and other Office applications to stay competitive, according to McLeish.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?