Microsoft Corporation has been able to continue its dominance in the software development market by being ahead in new product development. It has evolved from the simple word processor and spread to highly developed office suites. The sky is the limit for Microsoft as it is about to unveil its latest addition of the office suite to its product portfolio. The yet to be released Microsoft Office 2010 edition will feature two separate formats: the PC-based edition and the completely web based version. The release date is May 12 (Microsoft Press Release).
The new office 2010 comes with highly integrated features including being the first office suite to make use of the web. The office web application will enable the user to edit cut-and-paste word features and also showcase PowerPoint presentations online. The office web will be accessible through mobile devices, desktop computers and internet web browsers. This makes the 2010 office suite the ideal choice as users can be able to access their virtually from anywhere without having to worry (PC world).
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The increased internet usage today can be one of the main reasons why the most innovations of the office 2010 suite were aimed at upgrading versions of Word, outlook, Excel and PowerPoint to be used on the web. A student using the PowerPoint application of the Web based suite will be able to edit presentations, choose a slide layout and apply a theme of choice and all these will be done online! The user is able to add animations to slides, insert pictures, graphics and charts into existing PowerPoint presentations. Correction of grammatical mistakes can also be done including doing/redoing functions.
A user will be able to broadcast his presentations without the need to set up a web meeting. SharePoint allows students and workmates to share presentations or using a free Microsoft Windows Live account to view videos and other supported graphics that are compatible with the office suite (Murray). The office word in the office web application enables the user to create new documents, edit them and save them. It also includes AutoCorrect and the background spelling checker. Bullets, tables and styles can also be done to the word document.
The new Paste preview option will allow a user to preview content format before the content is inserted into the document. Screenshots can also be inserted to documents without exiting the word application. The 2010 Excel application is limited to the creation, editing and saving of workbooks using the web browser. The same data can be edited at the same time by more one person. This is an ideal function when co-authoring of documents is a necessity. SparkLine Charts feature can also be accessed using the excel 2010 office whereby tiny graphs will allow the user to summarize data in the preceding cells.
Slicers will aid in the filtering of data in a pivot table with one click. Another application that has been given a new facelift is the Microsoft Outlook application. The full ribbon and other threads that support WebMail services have been added to the 2010 office suite. A macro that allows the user to work with various messages can be created using the Quick Step. The Gmail-esque conversation view application allows grouping of connected e-mails into single conversation entries. The contact list can also be accessed directly from the inbox (PC World).
The other applications contained in the 2010 suite include the Microsoft publisher that works in a more sophisticated way than the initial forms the application. This enables publishing of documents to be made in an easy way. The one note office application helps to keep track of notes and other forms of data. The Side Note feature enables the user to write notes while at the same time being able to use another office application. The new office application is most valuable application for students in institutions of higher learning.
The application features of the 2010 suite have been designed in such a way that any student using the application can easily access information processing tools with the click of a mouse. Majority of these students usually depend on the internet as a valuable source for most of their research information. Assignments and distant learning activities are usually carried over the internet and it is usually tiring for students to coordinate word processing tools and internet browsing applications at the same time. Most of these functions are usually done alternatively.
The answer to their problems has been solved as the Office Web 2010 suite is web based meaning that all processes can be done using one application without necessarily having to switch between windows. All processes will now be carried simultaneously making learning easy. It also saves time which is a very valuable asset and increases productivity (Alex et al). Research by Microsoft Corporation has also shown that 90% of students in Australian tertiary institutions and universities use Microsoft Office for their personal productivity.
This makes it the ideal people to utilize the services of the new 2010 office suite in that the new design addresses meets their needs. Majority of them use older versions of the Microsoft office suite which are not compatible with the current versions developed using the latest forms of technology. This limits them to performing only selected number of processes and also they can not be able to view documents developed using the recent versions of Microsoft office.
Despite the results of the research showing that they are loyal to Microsoft, they need to try out the new office pack so that they can realize that it was designed for the by the leading software developer in the market. The student population is the best market for the 2010 office suite. Almost every student is in a possession of either a Laptop or a Desktop computer (PC Purchase). This makes Australia the right place to introduce the right product at the most suitable time of the computing age. These students are price sensitive and they have a great impact to the society in terms of what they will bring in the future.
The society looks upon them as leaders of the future and I think it will be a bright idea to advertise through promotions that targets them. This will require that the product be introduced to them at a discounted price due to their price elasticity. In the event they will spread the news to other people in the economy and thereby increasing the market shares of the 2010 Office Suite. The promotional activity will also enable Microsoft to develop and extend the information base of the application and can be cost effective in the reduction of advertising expenditures.
This will increase the brands awareness which will increase its competitive level with other established brands such as such as Google, open office and iWorks from Apple computers. These students are also using older versions of Microsoft suites and are cost sensitive. They show a tendency of being reluctant in towards the purchase of new soft wares. The best measure is to encourage them to upgrade to the new version using the platforms proposed by the company. This has been made easy by Microsoft’s Office 2010 Technology Guarantee Website whereby users of the Microsoft Office 2007 will be able to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010.
This is only eligible those who purchased new copies of the Office 2007 Suite from authorized dealers through a promotion that is still running. It is only valid to home users only and the students are included in this category since there is a student version in the promo pack. The promotion runs until September 30, 2010 and customers are urged to order for their Tech Guarantee Upgrade request before October, 31 2010. This move will also help Microsoft in the elimination of piracy from individuals since pirated copies of the 2007 suite will not be able to be upgraded.
The date of purchase of the product must be known, the 25-character product ID and a Windows Live Account will be needed to retrieve the upgrade. The upgrade will also be offered in the DVD version but news regarding the release of the DVD has not yet been released by the company (PC World) The upgrade measure might work well since from the research carried out, majority of the students admitted not being ready to buy new software, and half them considered an upgrade as a possible option and others depended on pirated softwares from their collogues.
The eligibility for upgrading will enable the company to filter out the good from the bad and also promote sales of the existing Microsoft office 2007 office suite. The students can take advantage of the promotional offer that is currently in the market. Purchasing the office suite 2007 puts student in a greater position to be able to upgrade to the newest version in the market which is undoubtedly the best in terms of features and performance. The company will be able to increase sales and at the same time increasing the product base.
Piracy will also be eliminated since the terms and conditions stipulate that prove of ownership and purchase be produced as a mandatory for upgrading. This measure also teaches the students the importance of buying legitimate products and hence these individuals will be purchasing only original products in future with the fear that new advancements in technology will call for an upgrade (Ac Nielsen). The desire to be associated with the latest innovations in the market will motivate students to use the Office 2010 as part of the fulfillment of fitting into the technologically savvy society.
The usage of legitimate products will also be encouraged by this measure. The social community is growing at very high rates and students are all over these sites. Microsoft Office suite 2010 will be very ideal to them since with applications such as the PowerPoint, Word and OneNote, they can be able to connect, share and also form discussion groups in which every individual can have his say posted while others can co other. They can also access their data using other forms of technological devices such as smart phones and PDAs.
These devices will enable the students to access data from any location they are (Times100). Through Social networking sites students can be able to inform their friends on the existence and the benefits of using the new service pack. This will enable the company increase sales through the indirect form of advertisement. This will also enable it in cost reduction and in the end revenue will be realized. A new customer base will be realized since social networking sites such as FaceBook and Myspace consists of millions of people from all regions.
Therefore the presence of students in these sites will greatly help in the market expansion of the product. The student population seems not to know the existence of new products in the market. This can be evidenced from the fact that majority of the students are still using outdated versions of the software. The research also shows that these students often consult experts and those individuals that they trust on matters relating to technology. This limitation can be overcome by created a platform through blogging for only university and college students whereby they can interact freely by exchanging views and ideas.
Also they post their misconceptions about the product which can be used by the company in product formulation. The results might lead to increase in sales through the awareness of product availability in the market as well as improving the product to suit the needs of the students. Use of referrals can also be introduced to market the software to students. This will make use of the network marketing criteria whereby rewards will be awarded to those with the greatest network. This is also a form of advertising to the company and also encourages the usage of products from the company through the different lines.
It will help in popularizing the presence of the service pack and in the event generating sales. The competitive advantage of the company will also be pushed to greater heights. Currently, Microsoft office 2010 is facing competition from established products such as open office, iWorks and the Google docs. The new office suite is designed to blow all these products out the water and be in a position to protect its competitive edge in the market. The new web application enables users to edit, save and make all the changes that used to be made offline.
This is the right product that will fight head to head with Google docs (Microsoft books). The ribbon feature on the new 2010 software will allow users to use the application freely and with ease with other browsers such as the explorer, safari and FireFox. Microsoft excel 2010 is also designed to work well online and therefore users will have a simplified online publishing of spreadsheet documents. The auto correct feature on Microsoft Word 2010 gives it a competitive edge over other close competitors.
In terms of security provision, Microsoft is far way ahead. It provides back up for email and also there are less cases of spasm since most of the services on their products is usually charged. Microsoft also has a good track record and is usually ahead in product developments designed to meet the needs of their customers. This is seen in the production of new softwares to their collections, thorough exploitation of their territory and not leaving room for their competitors to outdo them in the field of software developments.
Microsoft is also offering promotions to sell its softwares and it mainly targets students. This is evidenced from the recent sale of windows 7 operating system in which only those whose e-mail addresses contained the domain. edu. ’ were allowed to download the software at reduced prices. REFERENCES Ac Nielson. 2010. Panorama Survey. Retrieved from http//:www. studentmarketing. com. au Alex, C. , Andrea H. and Michael A, 2009. Edu tracker. November research by Microsoft Computerworld, 2010. Google Apps vs. Microsoft Office. Retrieved from http://www.
computerworld. com/s/article/9176096/Google_Apps_vs. _Microsoft_Office? t axonomyId=18&pageNumber=2 Microsoft press books. Retrieved on May 7, 2010 from http://www. microsoft. com/learning/en/us/training/format-books. aspx Murray K. , 2010 First look: Microsoft Office 2010, E-BOOK PC World, 2010. Office 2010: Most innovations are online. Retrieved from http://www. pcworld. com/article/190993/microsoft_office_2010_technology_guarantee_faq. html PC Purchase Process, 5th Dimension research and consulting. Research commissioned by Microsoft. The times100. com
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