Microsoft’s Office product remains popular, unsurprisingly, given its historical record. According to the software company, more than a million folks are using the Office 2016 preview on OS X and Windows.
So, is one million quite a lot, not that many, or something in between? We have some historical parallels to enjoy, so let’s do that. Using the Windows 10 early-access program, we have a number of figures that we can use to scale the one million figure. To begin, some history:
Windows 10 picked up a million testers in two weeks. I called that figure soft, essentially. Over time, Windows 10 has accreted new testers, rising to the figure of “over four million” over time. I asked the company for a new number, which it declined to provide.
For larger context, it’s taken Windows 10 around 250 days to gather what I presume is now north of four million testers. So, that’s around 16,000 per day, on average. Of course, the number is lumpier than a bad oatmeal raisin cookie, but we can smooth it with sheer weeks.
It’s tricky to make apples:apples comparisons here, but we can do a little match and stack some coins next to each other to see how tall things get. Presuming, conservatively, a March 10 average ‘start date’ for Office 2016, there are a total of 86 days that have passed. Simple division yields just under 12,000 downloads per day.
Now we have to caveat in both directions — using an Office preview is lower-impact than picking up a new build of Windows, especially when Windows is released on a more raw and faster rollout basis. At the same time, Office news doesn’t attract the same quantity of press coverage — anecdotal view here, but I think I’ve been around long enough to make it — so we have to handicap there as well.
In aggregate, I think that the Office number is strong. Of course, the usual carrot to that bitchy stick is that the company wouldn’t release the figure if they didn’t agree. I could tell you stories about response to my initial bitching about the Windows 10 one million figure, but that’s for drinks, and not the morning.
All told, Microsoft’s cash source that is the Office franchise seems to still have legs on the desktop side of things. For the corporate stiff, that’s as surprising as a two percent raise. For the rest of us, living in what Jason Rowley calls Silly Valley, it’s something worth keeping in mind.