Download Gold: Office for iPad Strikes it Rich

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For those who thought Office for iPad was too late to the party, the numbers tell a different story. Today Microsoft announced that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote combined have been downloaded a staggering 12 million times in one week.

If you doubt that number, then just take a look at the App Store charts.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are still ranked as the top three free iPad apps, and they have sat there comfortably for a whole week. Apple was very welcoming on Microsoft’s launch day with big banners advertising Office’s arrival in the App Store.

Another approach that is certainly helping Office’s downloads is Microsoft’s decision to go freemium. The apps are free to download and view documents in, but to edit you need an Office 365 subscription. The base cost for Office 365 is $10 per month, and Apple takes its normal 30% cut of in-app subscriptions that are purchased.

The camaraderie between Apple and Microsoft over Office has been so strong that Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella even shared on the love on Twitter. For companies that have historically been at odds, it’s all a little weird to observe. I guess Google and Samsung has taken the top spots on Apple’s list of hated competitors.

Maybe Apple and Microsoft are entering a new age of respect for each other? Well… minus the Surface tablet ads.

  • bondr006

    Been waiting for this for a long time. I knew I wasn’t the only one. So, no I am not surprised at the turnout for Office on the iPad.

  • Joe Ridler

    The 12MM figure is COMBINED downloads, which means there were really only 3MM of each on average. Seems like someone’s thinking their 4 inches is really 1 foot. Just saying.

    • lucascott

      While you are correct about the averages thing, keep in mind that that’s in one week. That’s still rather stunning.
      What will be more telling is if we get numbers about existing account sign ins, new subscriptions etc

      if it turns out that there were a combined 12million downloads representing say 9 million users (cause some folks got more than one) but 7 million were folks that signed up via app for a single month and then never renewed, well that would be a ‘fail’. But if 8 of those 9 million were existing 365 users or new signups that went for yearly or renewed past the first month then that’s not to shabby for a brand new product

  • lakersfn4lif

    I’m a huge fan of Apple products but silly comments such as “only 3MM of each on average,” are poor in taste. Let’s be real, Apple uses many gimmicks to report earnings, subscribers etc. Office is far superior to any product. Pages, Numbers, Google Docs are good products but they simply do not present a match to Office. In case anyone was wondering, I use a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5s, and an iPad.

    • bondr006

      Amen brother. People are just a little insecure around here. BTW….I’m also a huge Apple fan with several Apple devices in my household. In fact I have a collection of over 30 Apple stickers from Apple product purchases.That does not make me biased and childish when it comes to other good products though.

  • lee scott

    I downloaded it on day one. But when I was asked to signup for an account I deleted them. I’m not interested in that – I’d like to know how many others did the same? Not knocking it – if you want that then fine. I don’t. Also, the curiosity factor was huge here. Don’t think the numbers will match up once people get the login prompt…

  • makeittalk

    People have been waiting for Office on iOS for so long that I’m not surprised at all to see the high download rate. Quality apps from a legitimate contender. However, I would be equally surprised to see many, expect those already with Office 365 subscriptions, keeping it. I too downloaded them all immediately. Tried them and found them useless without a subscription so deleted them. Wonder what the actual usage rate will be after the novelty wears off.

  • peteywheats

    I downloaded office for iPhone and deleted it 10 seconds when I found out it requires a Microsoft Cloud account to do anything.

    • Windlasher

      I download it because it will let me look at word docs without screwing with the formatting. I have NO intention of paying to use it on a subscription. I am betting that I am not the only one doing this.

  • Matthew Lowthian

    How many of those downloads are like myself, downloaded the apps to have a mooch round as they are free but then deleted them as not willing to shell out for a 365 subscription?

  • ocaveney

    Wonder if they will ever release figures of how many people have signed up to Office 365 or logged into these app with Office 365 since these apps launched. Bet it is no where near 12 million!

  • iPhil

    Would be interesting to see the data on how many times it has been uninstalled after finding out that is useless unless you have an Office 365 subscription.

  • Mykeljon

    The number of free downloads is almost meaningless. The number I want to see is how many people hand over $100 for only one year’s use. My guess is less than ten percent but even then, it’s a fair bit of income for Microsoft and Apple.

    • lucascott

      I rather have to agree. This has been so long time coming that I”m sure many folks downloaded it to check it out, perhaps even signed up for a month to try it out, etc.
      So I would be curious to know how many of those downloads signed up for service, how many were one month and don’t renew etc.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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