A new survey suggests that free online applications are not proving as successful as had been hoped, and that many computer users prefer to stick with Microsoft.
More than 2,400 US internet users were surveyed by data collection agency ClickStream, which found that more than half of them were still using Microsoft Word, compared to just one per cent using Google's free Docs application.
By far the most popular open source alternative to Word is OpenOffice, which was used by five per cent of the group.
"Of all participants who used Google Docs or Google Spreadsheets during the study, 68 per cent also used Word at least once, indicating that Google Docs has yet to be considered a standalone product by most of its users," the survey found.
"By contrast, only 26 per cent of OpenOffice users also used Word during the six-month study. Although Google Docs and Spreadsheets has been touted as a potential competitor to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is currently the more likely app to take that position, possibly indicating the value of offline and local processing enabled by installed applications."
Google Docs was also barely used offline. Google launched its Gears software in April, which allows online applications like Docs to be used offline, but it seems to have excited little interest.
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