Office productivity suites like Microsoft Office are almost as old as personal computers. But are these productivity tools going away?
The answer, according to a piece from ZDNet, is a surprising “no.” The author explains:
Microsoft continues to have a stranglehold on office productivity in the enterprise: Just 6 percent of companies in our survey give all or some employees an alternative instead of the installed version of Microsoft Office.
That’s a significant drop from the last study a few years before. Take a look at their chart:
It might seem that a huge desktop application like Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint would be a dinosaur in this age of cloud-based services. Shouldn’t we have switched to tools that are faster, more flexible and less expensive?
Nope. As I wrote years ago in an article explaining the productivity benefits of desktop email, there’s so much more that you can do with a program running on your computer than one you are manipulating through a web interface.
That may not be true forever, but it’s certainly the case today. And there’s another advantage of tools like Microsoft Office: people already know how to use them.
You don’t have to learn new paradigms when firing up a copy of Microsoft Excel. You just use it the way you have been for over two decades.
The relative stability of productivity suites like Office also means that you can become much more efficient with them than you can with constantly shifting online services. In fact, studies like this Microsoft Office Specialist report [PDF] indicate that with some training, people who use these tools can become “much more productive.”
Considering how much time the modern worker spends in front of the screen, any way we can become more efficient is worth looking into. And if desktop tools like Microsoft Office are here to stay, why wouldn’t you seek help to use these programs more effectively?