Everyone talks about Webbased Office Suites very few actually use them

This Forrester report confirms my findings when it comes to webbased Office functionality. Everyone talks about it but very little people actually use it as their primary Office tools. Because everyone talks about it, there is also the general perception that webbased Office tools are widely used. Well they’re not according to this Forrester Poll.

This research shows that only 3% of the users interviewed use Google Premier Apps. I doubt if this is truely the replacement for their Office Suite or if they use Google Apps alongside it.

In many cases where people talk about webbased Office suites or have questions in that direction I find that it is not actually the editiing functions they like / desire, its the ability to share documents; often with people outside their own department / organisation. Something we used to call groupware. Hence in the same research the requirement for Collaboration functionality.

I do agree with the conclusion that the demand for webbased office tools will grow. Not because the browser is the ideal UI but because users want the ability to choose. Rich functions and offline capability when running Office locally and browser / mobile functions when they are not behind their own PC.

Functionality in the browser is the ideal companion next to my PC based apps, basically this is the way I use Outlook Web Access today. I access email through OWA whenever and wherever I am not behind my PC and when my mobile phone doesn’t help me process emails fast enough.

Microsoft Office Web Applications will be part of the next release of Microsoft Office; Microsoft Office 2010.

…. Forrester is set to release a new report about Web Office, which ReadWriteWeb got a sneak peak at. The report offers new data on office productivity innovation and cloud productivity suite adoption. The full data will be presented at Forrester’s IT Forum, to be held in Las Vegas May 19-22, 2009. The data shows that while enterprises are looking forward to innovation in web access and collaboration, they’re not so forward-looking when it comes to data integration. Also we discover that the vast majority of IT departments still support Microsoft Office, but very few support Google Premier Apps right now. …

In another slide, Forrester concluded that cloud computing adoption within enterprises is still low. 80% of respondants still support crusty old Microsoft Office, while just 3% claim to support Google Premier Apps. It really does seem like the whole enterprise industry is sitting back and waiting on Microsoft to roll out their long-awaited Web Office offerings. By these figures, it doesn’t appear like Google is making too much of a dent in the market. However we’re sure it is just a matter of time before Web Office suites are common in the workplace – even Microsoft has acknowledged that cloud computing will be an important driver for enterprise software. …

Source: Report: Web Office Support, Expectations Still Low in Enterprises