With Microsoft raking in billions of dollars from its desktop software franchise, many of their competitors are beginning to produce their own solutions to Microsoft Office. Not only is Microsoft feeling the heat from OpenOffice.org, but IBM has jumped into the fray and released a free office productivity suite called Lotus Symphony.
Although Microsoft has sold over 71 million licenses in the last year, they expect their sales to decrease. When many users are faced with a decision between a 400$ Microsoft Office product, or a free suite that produces many of the same functions, they will at least try the free solution. As the US economy continues to struggle it’s hard for consumers to ignore such a good value in the software market.
With Microsoft facing such huge competitors such as IBM and OpenOffice.org, Microsoft will soon have to re-write the standard in the desktop software industry, or risk further loss of market share. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds.