That video alone pretty much says it all. It isn’t about the word processor, or the device, it’s just about writing what you want when you want and how you want. The old legacy mindset of an installed word processor is a bit feeble these days. Especially considering the integrity of Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word. Don’t even get me started on how flimsy Excel is. The old installed application sweet of several hundred Megabytes just doesn’t hold up for an fast paced, quickly adaptive, thought leader style business. Microsoft said it best in the old wars between WordPerfect and Word, even though WordPerfect (which I think version 9 or 11 or something is STILL more feature rich than Word) had tons of more features, Microsoft stated frequently that 80-90% of users never used those features.
Now we’re in a situation were 80-90% of people don’t use the features in Word, and it costs a lot of cash versus the free offering from Google Docs. Funny how the tides turn to throw Microsoft’s won words back at the company.
Some may be screaming at this point, “nobody is going to dump Word & the Office Suite”. Again, the same thing was said about WordPerfect in the late 90′s. Does anyone still use it? Maybe 1-2% of the market?
Other people may also argue, “but all of the programmable extensible… [fill in some form of extending Office here] …stuff for Office makes it immensely valuable!” Maybe, but it is a small subset of users that actually use addons to their Microsoft Office Suite. In addition, most developers don’t want to touch Office addons at all, they’d rather the suite languish than to develop to the jumbled chaos that is the Microsoft Office Suite Addons and such.
But I digress, one might say, “you’re just biased and don’t like the Microsoft Office Suite”… and I’d say you got me there! I’m guilty. Over the years Microsoft has made billions of dollars on this suite. By proxy they’ve then dumped billions of dollars into software development and other things. However, people really shouldn’t be spending vast sums of money on something that should – and will – become a commodity software product over the next 1-5 years. As Enterprises realize they can easily provide word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software for small percentages of what Microsoft does the transitions should continue to occur.
Microsoft even seems convinced of this and started making the move with Office 365 + SaaS based Office provision on Windows Live. I don’t wish the company ill will of any sort, so hopefully they’ll pull out of their software nose dive with the SaaS offering.
(Cross-posted @ Composite Code)