Despite a rocky start to the subscription-based Office 365, the cloud-based software that users rent (for a monthly or annual fee) rather than buy physical copies of, Microsoft has already signed up a million Home Premium-edition subscribers in just over 100 days, or about 3.5 months.
We must admit we’re a bit surprised by this achievement, considering that the cloud-based software has only been on the the market since January 29 – exactly five months ago today. While we figured consumers would be turned off by Offce 365’s subscription model, and the debacle over the initially draconian one-install-only license of Office 2013, it seems that consumers aren’t that concerned about renting their software from Microsoft after all.
As the company’s Office News blog post points out, the Home Edition of Office 365 actually reached its one millionth subscriber rather quickly, even beating some of the most popular websites to the milestone. Instagram, for example, passed its one million user in just 2.5 months, while Foursquare took 13 months to establish the same user base as this version of Office 365. We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Microsoft’s comparing the popularity of its office suite to social networks, streaming music and video sites, and a cloud service site, which seems pretty strange to us. To us, it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but Microsoft is proud of its achievement – enough to make an infographic about it.
In addition, sales of all flavors of Office 365 and single-copy Office 2013 – this includes different editions like Home Premium and University – have been strong, selling “more than one [copy] every second on average since it launched,” according to Microsoft. The company is counting the number of copies sold to “organizations and individuals” in its math, so at least it’s not embellishing its number with the students who get to try the software for free for 6 months. That makes the new Office the “best-selling” edition of the productivity suite ever.
After selling 100 million licenses of Windows 8 in six months, and signing up one million Office 365 users in just 3.5 months, Microsoft seems to be having a fine year so far.