Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella points to Office for iPad’s early App Store success

Sure, you could argue that Microsoft’s shiny new Office apps for iPad are only ranking so well because they’re freemium apps since they’re listed for free but require a subscription to fully function, but they are taking up the top four spots nonetheless.

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Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is apparently pleased with this as he tweeted out “looks like it’s a productive Friday for [iPad] owners!’ following yesterday’s friendly back-and-forth exchange with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

What really illustrates early interest in the Office for iPad suite is its ranking in the Top Grossing chart. Currently, Word is ranked #5, Excel is ranked #12, and PowerPoint is ranked #29. (All three are topping the Top Grossing apps in the Productivity category.)

This shows where the money is being spent within each app, and it’s likely users are unlocking the Office 365 subscription in Word and using the other apps as well.

It’s also important to take into account that users can unlock Office 365 outside of the app which the Top Grossing list cannot measure (back to looking at the Top Free list). Amazon, for example, is pushing Office 365 memberships for $67 rather than the regular $99 offer within the app.


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  1. ttss6 - 9 years ago

    Steve (Ballmer) never would’ve allowed this xD

  2. pucagaeilge - 9 years ago

    Is Microsoft testing this section of the In-App Purchase agreement?

    ” If you would like to make a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) subscription price must be offered inside the app for users who wish to subscribe from within the app.”

    How can you get an Office 365 subscription for $67 at Amazon but you have to pay $99 through the App Store? And can Microsoft give away subscriptions at Microsoft stores? Are there loopholes?

    And does this mean there’s no bulk discount to enterprises?

    • Abhinav - 9 years ago

      The App-store price is $99 because 30% of that is going to Apple.

      • johnmap - 9 years ago

        That…doesn’t seem to answer the question of how MS is being allowed to breach the In-App purchase agreement.

    • kpom1 - 9 years ago

      My guess is that Microsoft sells the product codes for Office 365 to resellers for a flat price (likely just below the $67 that the Amazon reseller is selling them for), or perhaps the Amazon reseller got them on the cheap from a store who bought too many. Note that only the physical cards with product IDs on them are available for the sale price from Amazon. The download for Office 365 is $99.99 on Amazon. It was also the physical cards that Microsoft was giving away. I’m guessing Apple isn’t too concerned about Microsoft giving away roughly 4,000 subscription cards yesterday. They are probably more thrilled tha they are getting the opportunity to get $30/pop from what looks to be a popular application.

      Enterprises get Office 365 subscriptions from a different website. They get volume discounts based on what they negotiate from Microsoft. The Office 365 for Enterprise comes with a different feature set, since many enterprises don’t want their employees using stock Skype or OneDrive. The only subscription available for purchase from within the apps is the Home Premium version (and presumably the Home Personal when it becomes available later this year). So technically, they are offering enterprises a different product.

  3. I’m sure many people have downloaded the software… I did, but it’s pretty useless… It doesn’t integrate with DropBox, which is where my documents are stored (neither does Apple’s iWork)… I was able to attach documents to Office manually via iTunes, but that’s cumbersome… I doubt I’ll actually use it, since doing so requires an Office 365 subscription (and you really can’t even see much of the interface without that subscription).

    • valanchan - 9 years ago

      All Apple’s iWork apps can be saved to Dropbox in a variety of formats.

      It may be a change in iOS 7.1.

      Not great, but getting better.

    • valanchan - 9 years ago

      All Apple’s iWork apps can save their documents to Dropbox.

      This may be a change in iOS 7.1.

      Still not great but getting much better.

  4. Johnny Lippeatt - 9 years ago

    Too many free programs to include Apples suite that I use and before that i used Google all for Free.

  5. They are also at the top of the “Top Grossing” list…..

  6. rogifan - 9 years ago

    Is it just me or is that kind of a slap against iPad….as if it wasn’t productive prior to Office apps becoming available?

    • zato (@zatoitchy) - 9 years ago

      I agree. Nadella sounds like Ballmer with arrogant comments like that.

    • iSRS - 9 years ago

      Well, yes and no. But in all honestly, they realized that the iPad is a productive tool, or they wouldn’t have released Office.

    • kpom1 - 9 years ago

      Of course Microsoft’s CEO is going to promote his company’s products. And given that Office has been around in some form for 30 years from a company who specializes in productivity software, I’d expect that it would be better than Apple’s iWork. Keynote is actually quite good. Pages is fine for simple documents, while Numbers is no match for Excel.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple released iWork for free in part to convince Microsoft that Office for iPad was long overdue. iWork isn’t anywhere near as powerful (and they actually regressed the Mac version somewhat), but it put Microsoft on notice that Apple was going to promote the iPad as a productivity tool.

  7. iSRS - 9 years ago

    They want you to use OneDrive.

  8. va1an - 9 years ago

    I wonder how many downloads were converted to subscriptions.

    • Probably not very many. It’s easy to download “free” apps… but not so easy to convince people to spend $100 a year to use those “free” apps.

      At least Apple will be making $30 from each of the subscriptions that are bought.

  9. Apple will need to open a new category. ‘ FREEMIUM ‘
    to put there those apps. man I really hate the In-App purchase system.

  10. Take a look at Microsoft’s own promotional video ( Starting at the 35-second mark look at the terrible word spacing in the text that flows around the image… and this is just a plain square image that is being used to demonstrate text flow.

    Then take a look at the how correct word spacing SHOULD look when flowed around images in Pages for iOS:

    Even with odd shaped images (using transparent backgrounds) the word spacing in the flowed text looks right. Not the abomination that you see in Word for iOS.

    Microsoft has never been concerned about typography in its Office apps. Word spacing, kerning, and leading have too often been completely disregarded.

  11. Victoria Wedyke - 9 years ago

    The expansion of technology has created an even bigger market for Microsoft programs.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.