Yesterday we ran a story on how educational institutions defaulting to Microsoft Office may stifle some people who do not own a copy of Office or Windows. A Forrester Research report now states the bloody obvious by claiming that organisations stick with Microsoft Word not out of necessity, but out of habit.
The report also sates familiarity and legacy investments as reasons for organisations to continue to use Microsoft Word. In any case, according to the report it often has little to do with Word being the best possible option. “Because Word has become so entrenched in the enterprise in the last 25 years, organizations cannot easily move off of it,” the author claims. Titled “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: The Microsoft Word Love Story”, the report stresses that online options such as Google Docs are gaining traction among small and medium-sized businesses as alternatives to Word, but that large enterprises are still very reluctant.
While Word is without a doubt one of the more powerful and feature-packed word processing applications, it’s also the case that most people use only a small subset of the features Word offers – it’s just that each user relies on a different subset of features, making it hard for some to use less powerful and less feature-packed word processors.
However, with alternatives to Windows gaining popularity, some organisations may have no choice but to use something else than Microsoft Office, for the simple reason that it’s only available on Windows and Mac OS X.
They stick with Word because they feel they have to be compatible with the rest of the business world, who all use Word.
They are scared of using a rival, in case other people cannot open their attachements, therefore the tender goes unread and the business is lost.