Does Microsoft need to go cross-platform to save Office? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News
Commentary
6/15/2009
03:21 PM
Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Does Microsoft need to go cross-platform to save Office?

As Mac usage continues to climb in the enterprise, IT staffs are faced with ever increasing challenges of supporting multiple office suites. IBM and Sun see this as an opportunity, does Microsoft see the threat?

IT executives particapting in Nemertes latest research benchmark say that Mac use is on the rise, thanks to the Halo effect making its way from iPod, to home/school Mac, to office Mac. Thirty-three percent of participants say their adoption of non-Windows computers will grow in the next year. But supporting Macs in the enterprise creates a problem as incompatibility issues between different office suites leads to calls to the help desk as well as increasing user frustration.

IBM sensed an opportunity to take market share from Microsoft when it decided to develop and give away its OpenOffice-based Lotus Symphony suite, as well as deliver a single version of Notes that looks/runs/acts the same whether on Mac, Windows (or even Linux). Sun's OpenOffice 3.x also supports seamlessly supports all three environments. Each of these alternatives is getting a look from IT shops interested in avoiding compatibility issues by settling on a single suite of applications.

In my company for example, our Mac users are putting OpenOffice 3.x through its paces and while it does lack a few high-level editing and reviewing features we extensively use, it can indeed replace MS Office for most tasks, and for most workers (it sure would be great to see an embedded clip-art library though!).

But Microsoft continues with a dual platform strategy - separately developed products for Mac and Win, and no offerings yet for Linux other than terminal-server or web-based interfaces. Microsoft obviously continues to own the lions share of the Office productivity suite, but the cracks are starting to show. Perhaps its time that Microsoft finally consider extending it's Windows version of Office to the Mac and Linux world?

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll