Office 2007 will be deployed in the vast majority of organisations in the next 12 months according to research by analyst group Forrester.
An adoption surveys conducted with about 250 IT decision makers in North America, the UK, France and Germany shows 93% of enterprises will deploy part or all of the suite within the next 12 months, Kyle McNabb, Forrester principal analyst said. More than four in every 10 companies polled already have Office 2007 in the hands of workers.
McNabb said Microsoft were right not to link Office 2007 with Windows Vista. "The Office team in particular did well to make sure that Office wasn't coupled with Vista, but was with SharePoint. That SharePoint 'drag' has been very positive for Microsoft."
Explaining why Office 2007 was enjoying considerable success in the corporate market and Vista was not, McNabb said. "It's been much easier to make the case to move forward on Office, especially with SharePoint, than with Vista. Their investments in Office are directly related to the productivity needs of those information workers."
At FedEx, for example, 15% to 20% will get Office 2007, McNabb said.
While the survey said 75% of the enterprises polled were planning broad deployments, most of those companies said they were going to tie Office to new hardware rather than upgrade in place.
The replacement cycle hitting corporations hasn't had the same impact on Windows Vista uptake. Before the two products were released simultaneously in late 2006, some analysts expected enterprises to upgrade operating systems and productivity suites at the same time in a two-kill-birds-with-one-stone operation.
It didn't happen, McNabb said. "Even if [enterprises] are moving forward on hardware, that doesn't mean they're moving on Vista."
IT managers see Vista, as simply "nice to have," noted McNabb. "But they can't see how people will be more productive with Vista."
Earlier this week, another Forrester analyst released results of monthly surveys conducted throughout 2007 that polled more than 50,000 enterprise computer users. According to the surveys, Windows Vista accounted for only 6% of all business users of Windows by the end of the year. The polls also showed that Windows XP usage remained constant at around 89%; Vista's gains seemed at the expense of Windows 2000, not the dominant Windows XP.