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Study: 73% of Americans have never heard of Google Docs

We spend a lot oNPD studyf time talking about Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Zoho, and other online office suites. For the most part they don't have all the features of Microsoft Office, but they attempt to make up for that in convenience (access them from any computer) and price (usually free). But we've always had a suspicion that most computer users have never heard of these web based office suites. And if you believe a recent NPD survey of 600 PC users, we were right.

According to the study, 94 percent of US computer users have never tried a web based productivity suite. More than 20 percent say they've at least heard of Google Docs or other suites, but have still never tried them. And only 0.5 percent of users say they've replaced Microsoft Office with an online office suite.

So while online office suites are perfectly serviceable replacements for Microsoft Office if you don't need advanced formatting options or other fancy features, the simple truth is most people just aren't ready to let go of Microsoft Office. That makes Microsoft's online Office strategy a bit more understandable. We may have slammed the company for failing to offer a standalone word processor, spreadsheet app, or presentation platform online, (Office Live Documents simply provides a way to access documents created on your desktop from the web), but Microsoft isn't worried about the competition from Google, Zoho, ThinkFree, or anyone else at the moment. Not in the short term anyway. Office Live Documents is just a new bonus feature for many users, not an alternative to Google Docs.

Tags: google-docs, online-office, thinkfree, zoho