Launching the Microsoft Office 2007 system alongside Vista might have been a brilliant idea after all: Office 2007, the first version of Office to ship alongside a Windows version since 1995, is off to a strong start, with sales in its first week double that of previous Office versions during the same time period.
According to NPD Group, Office sales rose 98 percent during Office 2007's launch week, with retail sales more than doubling. These numbers represent almost twice as many sales as were made during Office 2003's launch week, NPD said.
"With almost zero advertising and marketing until the January 30 retail launch, I expected US commercial license sales of Office 2007 to be significantly below the sales of the previous version," said NPD Group's Analysis Director Chris Swenson. "They weren't. Sales of Office 2007 were significantly better. This was probably one of the most successful retail launches of Microsoft Office ever." Swenson said that NPD Group's figures for Office 2007 were, if anything, conservative, because one of its participating retailers didn't provide sales data for the week of the launch.
NPD also noted that the average selling price of Office rose 23 percent, or $55.62, to $301.33 per unit. This suggests that Microsoft's decision to ship multiple product versions, or SKUs--which it's also doing with Vista--was sound. Despite some confusion in the market about the differences between the many product versions, Microsoft has maintained that a diversified product lineup will result in stronger financial returns.