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Report: Aging Microsoft Office Editions Rampant Among Orgs

More than eight out of 10 organizations have not moved away from premises-based Microsoft Office products, according to a study published this week by Spiceworks.

The company, which provides Web site learning resources for IT pros and software tools, surveyed 1,168 IT pros in September across various organizational types and sizes in the United States and Canada. It found that Office 2010 was the still most-used edition by respondents at 83 percent, followed by Office 2007 (68 percent) and Office 2003 (46 percent).

In fact, Office 2007 was being used at the time of the survey even though it had just one more month of support left. It fell out of "extended support" last month. Office 2003 lost support about three years ago.

The survey found that organizations also continued to use some very old Office editions, such as Office XP (15 percent), Office 2000 (21 percent) and Office 97 (3 percent).

Of the newer Office editions in use, 46 percent used Office 2013 while just 17 percent used the current Office 2016 product.

About half (53 percent) of the respondents also were using Office 365, the subscription-based version of the product that gets regular feature updates, unlike the "boxed" perpetual-license Office versions. The respondents also used Google's G Suite (17 percent) and Google Docs (16 percent).

Open source productivity suites, such as Libre Office and OpenOffice, were used by 16 percent, according to the survey.

In general, the survey found a preference among organizations for using premises-installed Office suites, even the unsupported and out-of-date editions. However, it identified Office 365 as the productivity suite that's expected to have the most growth "over the next two years," according to Spiceworks' report.

Microsoft has previously announced that it plans to produce a Office 2019 product, which is expected to arrive in "late 2018." However, it also earlier announced a policy change affecting all of its perpetual-license Microsoft Office products. Those products won't be able to connect with other Office 365 services on Oct. 13, 2020. Namely, those perpetual-license installed Office suites won't be able to use Office 365 services such as OneDrive for Business, Skye for Business clients and Outlook.

Possibly, the coming policy change affecting perpetual-license Office suites will be a factor in compelling organizations to shift more toward using Office 365. It could shift them from their preference for using installed Office suites, as identified by Spiceworks.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.