Monday, April 28, 2008

The Market for Older Software is Growing

And we sell it. Like, for example, Microsoft Office Pro 2002 for XP. It includes Access XP, Excel XP, Outlook XP, PowerPoint XP, Publisher XP, and Word XP. Does almost everything you need, runs great on XP, and people are still buying it.

There are a lot of reasons for that. It's a bit more compact that Office 2007, a little speedier on old machines (for the most part, there are some exceptions) and, quite frequently, the revision of specifications for large corporations and government agencies is a lengthy process. And that's understandable--in big organizations with a lot of machines to support, upgrades can be expensive and paralyzing. Yet sometimes they need to expand departments or deployment of software, and even if there is something more cutting edge on the market, it makes more sense to go with what is tried and true. And if those applications or operating systems are not widely available, then it's up to software resellers like us that have inventory or can locate stock for certain products to fill in the gap.

Another reason is that sometimes the upgrades make radical changes to the interface that are difficult for some people to navigate, or might necessitate updating inhouse documentation (which can be a pricey proposition in some places). Office 2007is an excellent example of that. I'm not a big fan of the ribbon interface in 2007, and if it weren't for certain features (a speedy patch available for searching Outlook and, most importantly, Excel 2007's leviathan ability to open gigantic spreadsheets), I probably pick Word XP 2002, or earlier. Just because none of the interfaces in 2007 struck me as a solid improvement--in fact, they mostly just frustrate me, even though some reviewers have praised them as being wonderful and revolutionary, so I suppose it takes all kinds.

With the release of Microsoft Vista, even Microsoft had to acknowledge the increasing size of the "older" software market. Microsoft announced will effectively be selling XP through 2010.

More of this in the future, especially if we get even more popular older software into inventory. :)

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