— Office (@Office) April 3, 2014
While the statistic is impressive considering the suite’s short time on Apple’s iOS platform, it’s unclear how Microsoft tallied it, or how many of those downloads have generated revenue for the company in the form of in-app subscription purchases. Office for iPad is not a single application; the suite consists of four separate apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – that are all available as individual downloads. It’s therefore likely that the 12 million figure cited by the company represents total downloads of all Office apps, making the actual user base far smaller than 12 million.
Further, all Office for iPad apps are currently offered as free downloads which let users view Office documents. The ability to create or edit existing documents requires a subscription to Office 365, which ranges in price from $20 to $100 per year depending on the package. While Microsoft is undoubtedly happy to expand its user base, there’s still no indication of how many Office for iPad downloads turned into revenue for the company.
But 12 million downloads in a week is nonetheless good news for Microsoft, and our brief testing reveals Office for iPad to be the best way for Office users to view and edit their documents on the go. Whether Office for iPad arrived too late to matter in the long run remains to be seen.