US software sales tracker NPD has characterised the first weeks of Microsoft Office 2010 sales as "a bit disappointing".
NPD reported that Office 2010 unit and dollars are down from the previous Office 2007’s initial two weeks of sales. However sales are slightly ahead of Office 2007 so far this year, the company reported in an official blog.
"While Office 2010 has many compelling new features, it is always an uphill battle to sell a high installed base product based on new features alone," said Stephen Baker, NPD vice president of industry analysis.
NPD was more upbeat about future opportunities deriving from the ability to ship Office 2010 with PCs which can then be unlocked by the customer providing an incremental revenue stream to the retailer. Such a system has more potential than the "Works or nothing" approach of the past, said Baker.
Baker also said that slow sales of Office 2010 likely had little to do with free alternatives such as Google Docs or Microsoft’s own online Office 2010 version, saying that these options had little awareness in the mainstream consumer that is the primary audience for boxed editions of Office 2010.