May 12th is when Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 were slated to be released by Microsoft. These products would be first introduced for professional use and about a month later they will be made available for personal consumers. With this launch,  Microsoft hopes that Office 2010 will grab a hold of the current market mostly the office productivity market. However there are two known challenges that Microsoft faces: firstly the cloud-based productivity apps, which are similar to the Google apps. Second factor that can influence sales is the condition of the world economy.

Cloud based applications are now earning a lot of attention not only from businesses but also from general consumers who want to enhance their experience. This application has  enabled businesses to cut down on their expenses and has in turn affected other business like the Windows 7 that Microsoft wanted to bring out. It is therefore without a doubt that Microsoft will ensure that Office 2010 gets due publicity and try and sell it off to as many consumers and businesses as they can.

During the Professional Developers Conference that was held in 2009 November, Microsoft had released the beta versions of a number of their applications like, SharePoint Server 2010, Office 2010, Visio 2010, Project 2010, Mobile 2010 to complete the group Office web Apps. These would have been a part of the Windows 7 ramp up. The company had hoped that the beta test alone would help to tweak these products according to users’ demands.

Microsoft will now have to work extra hard to overcome the bad publicity it got with Windows Vista. However, Office 2010 seems to be in a much better position. However, with Office 2010 Microsoft will need to convince businesses and consumers to give up using the older versions for a much new and improved version. However most businesses and consumers still think that whatever older version of the Office suite they currently use, meet their requirements and hence find no need for an upgrade. Microsoft is facing the same situation with  Windows 7, where it is trying to convince users who are still faithful to Windows XP (considered old but stable).

The cloud apps have been designed to give  stiff competition to Google Apps, and has  found its niche with both consumers as well as businesses. According to information released by Google apps, Google mentioned that they had acquired DocVerse that would work online with all Office applications. Google is also looking to make this available in their Apps store so that users can use it without any hesitation.

If Microsoft manages to convince its consumers that Office and cloud will be versatile instead of complex, then half battle would be won.

Apart from this the other factor that could influence office 2010 sales is the economy. Unlike the other Microsoft verticals, Microsoft Business division showed earnings of $4.2 billion every year from  2009. With the economy just picking up and the businesses only beginning to spend now,  sales have not yet picked up as anticipated. And if sales continue to be slow, then over the medium term Office 2010 uptake could suffer.