Microsoft today released their preview edition of Office 2013, the product that underpins the company’s dominance of the business IT sector.
Users sticking with an older version of Windows hurt Microsoft’s bottom line and one of the key parts of the company strategy with Office is to drive adoption of the latest operating systems which usually means buying new computers.
The problem for Microsoft is that there has been no real compelling reason for users to upgrade for a decade since the release of Office 2003.
Coupled with the failure of Microsoft Vista, this had damaged the PC industry’s model of users upgrading computers every three to five years.
Microsoft would be hoping the cloud integration features, the same versions on desktops, tablets and smartphones coupled with keen prices will be enough to make contented XP users make the jump to Windows 8 and buy a new computer as well.
Whether it does will depend on the market caring – if users simply don’t care about Office 2013, let alone Windows 8 on either desktops or smartphones, then Microsoft will struggle.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, the era where they could dictate what people used on their computers is over and that could be their biggest management challenge of all.