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Microsoft Word: At 30, the word processing package is king, but threats abound

Tim Greene | Oct. 24, 2013
Users regard Word as the standard. Google Docs, IBM Docs and Apache's free OpenOffice Writer would like to change that.

Word contains a lot of features customers never use or even know about. Microsoft adds innovations and features with every release but a lot of folks use relatively few of them and some may not even know what's been added, he says.

With the increasing influence of mobility, users are becoming comfortable with finding individual apps that serve their needs and don't care so much about whether they have access to a suite of apps, Karcher says.

Regardless, because Word is so entrenched in customers' minds as well as with other Office applications, it is a formidable competitor. "Microsoft integrates Word more and more tightly with other applications with each release," Silver says, "such as SharePoint, Lync and Exchange. That broadens Word's footprint within Office and makes the product stickier with customers by making it more difficult to move to something else."

That translates into a formidable challenge for competitors trying to get customers to scrap Office. "None of our clients are doing that," he says.


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