Microsoft Office 2010 sales results "a bit disappointing"

This according to a report by research group NPD. It's kind of a mixed bag report, really, nothing apocalyptic for MSFT. But it does get at a really fundamental question about personal computing heading forward: do we need to pay money for productivity software? The strength of the Office suite of products has always been their power, their muscle, their ability to do more than anyone else. They've always been the Hummer of software. But Hummers are big and expensive. Maybe people are going to start wanting a Prius. Google has long offered Google Documents, a free cloud based productivity suite. Even Microsoft introduced a set of web based versions of Office for free a while back. If you don't have Word and Excel weighing down your computer's real estate and you don't have to pay for it, isn't it a matter of time before that just becomes standard?

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John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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