Microsoft's grip on the productivity suite market is likely to dissuade it from releasing a pared down version of Office XP despite customer demand, according to resellers.
Jonathan Prew, strategic services manager at Rotherham Borough Council, explained that most users do not use the full functionality provided in Office XP. "We would like to see a light version of the product," he said.
Computacenter has also seen customer demand for a stripped down version of Office. Peter McCartney, .Net expert at the reseller, said: "We've had people telling us that they only use 10 per cent of the features.
"But it won't happen. Microsoft doesn't need to produce one, and the current product set is too tied together to allow a 'light' version.
"In the current market, Microsoft is really the only viable choice. Other options, like Star Office, have too many hidden costs. Until that changes, Microsoft will have no reason to produce a more basic version."
While McCartney acknowledged that alternatives like Star Office have cheaper licences, training and support costs quickly mount up. Also, finding staff with administration skills is tough.
Microsoft dampened any hopes of a pared down version. "Office XP was designed as an integrated product set, with the features designed to improve productivity," said marketing manager Oliver Roll.
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