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Microsoft: Office for iPad hits 12 million downloads after only a week

Microsoft’s Office for iPad apps have only been out a week and they’ve already hit 12 million downloads.

The computer company announced the giant download number via its ‘Office’ Twitter feed, thanking users for grabbing copies of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote from Apple’s iOS store.

It would’ve been interesting to know the download figures for each app, but Microsoft declined to give such information in its tweet. However, looking at their positioning in the US app store, we see Word for iPad leading the pack, with Excel in second, and PowerPoint third. Microsoft’s “digital notebook,” OneNote, is a little behind, in seventh spot.

In contrast, the UK app store shows PowerPoint second and Excel in third spot, with Word again out in front.

Of course, while Microsoft will surely be happy with the initial download figures, what really matters is how many it can convert to paid subscriptions. Users can view documents for free using the apps, but need to hand over $100 annually to unlock the apps’ editing functionality. The subscription also lets you create new documents.

Office for iPad has the potential to be a huge money-spinner not only for Microsoft but for Apple too, as it’ll take a 30 percent cut of every subscription bought from within the app. Of course, if a user takes a subscription direct from Microsoft’s website, or via Amazon, Apple gets nothing.

In an effort to tempt a few extra iPad owners into downloading its new Office apps, Microsoft has also been dishing out free subscriptions for visitors to its retail stores, though presumably the limited-number offer is long finished.

For the Redmond-based computer giant, Office for iPad is a great opportunity to pull more users into its ecosystem, as a Microsoft account is required to use the software, with files saved on the company’s cloud-based OneDrive server.