Microsoft announced at its TechEd conference today that its Office for iPad apps have been downloaded more than 27 million times since their launch less than six weeks ago.
It’s another in a long line of successes for Microsoft Office’s appearance on Apple’s tablet. When Office for iPad launched, the apps quickly shot up the most downloaded charts. That may have been helped by the fact that Microsoft released the apps for free, so that anyone could use them to view and print documents they created with Word, Excel or Powerpoint. In order to edit a file, users need an active Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft hasn’t released any official numbers on what percentage of Office for iPad downloads have been made by people with active Office 365 subscriptions, so it’s hard to say how much the release of the apps has helped the Redmond-based company attract users to its subscription service.
It’s also unclear how the timing of the apps’ launch may have affected Microsoft’s control on the productivity software market. Users have requested versions of Office for iPad since Apple launched the tablet, but Microsoft didn’t offer anything until this year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said on his company’s earnings call last month that while he’s happy to see Office on the iPad, he thinks that Microsoft should have released it sooner. That delay allowed companies like Apple, Google and others to push their own tablet-ready productivity software in the meantime.