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Web Office not getting any traction?

A recent U.S. survey reveals that Web 2.0 Office Productivity suites are not getting any much attention from users. The lack of awareness is a little surprising considering that all the web office wars have been going around between Microsoft and Google.

Get this — 94% of the PC users asked did not know or have never heard of Web-based productivity suite alternatives.

NPD asked nearly 600 PC users: “Have you heard about online, browser-based office productivity applications like Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, gOffice, etc.?” NPD also asked, “If so, how often do you use them?”

Only 0.5% have actually substituted Web-based productivity suites for desktop software such as Microsoft Office and experts says it’s even a bit high.

Survery Chart

“The survey results show not only that SAAS [Software as a Service] firms have a long way to go to build brand awareness and trust among PC users. but it points to how powerful the Office brand still is, and how difficult it will probably be for most of these firms to dislodge huge swaths of Office users from the grips of Microsoft,” Swenson said.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets perhaps is the most visible of the Web-based Office alternatives. But usage is still nascent. “My estimate is 840 million PCs-in-use by the end of 2007—that’s about 0.18 percent of PCs,” Swenson said.

The figures could be much much lower outside of the US. So, I’m wondering is it really that hard to switch? Can we take a survey? Has any of you used web-based office tools? If so, which ones and how many times in the last 30 days?

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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12 Responses

  1. BrianB says:

    Web productivity sweets? Never heard of it.

  2. AnnaE says:

    Tried it, but stopped after experiencing days when I couldn’t access Google services (no thanks to a local ISP).

  3. Ryan says:

    Never tried it and probably never will until internet connectivity becomes a utility like water or electricity, and even then I’d be hesitant. There’s a lot of comfort to be derived from knowing that a piece of software is installed in the box in front of you. That if anything goes wrong you have instant access to it.

    And it’s not like they take up a lot of sace on your hard drive anyway, and there are free options like open office, so I have to wonder what the point of it all is?

  4. vhonne says:

    Web 2.0? I heard about this but have no idea… Never used it but i’ll try to use one…

  5. marhgil says:

    i hate relying on the internet connection for editing my docs. why use it if you can accomplish your task offline? it’s much easier and faster IMO

  6. Ordnacin says:

    Slow, need internet connection, lacks features – nuff said…

  7. Berlin says:

    tried it. its gmail/compose with a glorified editor.

  8. berlin says:

    TinyMCE gives you more options.

  9. boddah says:

    I tried Google Spreadsheets before. It’s a nice app actually, the reason i used it is to have easy access to some important files wherever there is an internet connection, and I don’t have to bring my flash disk or laptop all the time. It’s also a good online storage so you don’t have to worry if your memory drives got formatted. Though i haven’t tried it they say it has a sharing feature wherein you can grant some friends/colleagues access to your files. All of you can work and edit on a certain doc at the same time, with their names displayed on a chat window. But i don’t use it right now coz the project i was working on is already finished (2 or 3 months ago).

  10. this will probably best be used when the internet is not something you need to connect to, its just there when you turn on your PC

  11. Alwell says:

    Tried it but stopped using their spreadsheet because sometimes it won’t load. Its a good storage option though.

  12. trebskie says:

    on top of my head, i can think of two things that are probably making web office productivity a NOT so popular alternative in the philippines:

    1. serious commitment from internet service providers
    2. the ability to automate synchronization of documents for offline editing.

    if these two things are bridged, maybe, just maybe, this technology will find more traction

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