Microsoft is marking the first anniversary of the Office 2010 launch today with a series of stats that show the company’s flagship productivity software continuing to fare well despite the rise of free online alternatives such as Google Docs. Microsoft says its business customers are upgrading to the new version five times faster than they did the previous one, Office 2010.
The company’s recent financial results bear that out, showing an increase of more than 20 percent in revenue in the Microsoft Business Division, largely because of the reception to the Office 2010 release.
The numbers also suggest that traditional desktop software and the cloud can co-exist peacefully within the same product lineup. Microsoft says nearly 50 million people are using its Office Web Apps — basic, free online versions of the programs — every month.
In a post today, Office VP Takeshi Numoto acknowledged that the results might surprise people.
“When we released Office 2010 to the world one year ago, our critics weren’t easy on us,” he writes. “They said we were heading in the wrong direction by continuing to invest in our desktop applications in addition to the cloud. Even more recently, there’ve been more predictions of the PC’s demise. But the reality is, based on the market results we see in our sales and adoption data, people continue to love Office on the desktop and they’re embracing Office in the cloud.”
Microsoft is widely expected to release the finished version of its new Office 365 service later this month, offering Office, Exchange, Sharepoint and related programs to businesses as a monthly subscription.