Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, viewed the appearance of Office Mobile on Android as additional confirmation, if any was needed, that Microsoft is serious about pushing Office as a service monetized through subscriptions.
"Microsoft has talked about regular updates to Office 365," said Miller today. "This could be thought of that way."
Microsoft has claimed substantial uptake for Office 365, but it has not released any clear-cut sales figures, often choosing instead to mix Office 365 with other revenue streams, like its enterprise-oriented Software Assurance, an annuity-like program that gives businesses upgrade rights for a set length of time.
"But I can tell you that we've been inundated with questions about Office 365," said Miller, talking about Directions' clients. "They are kicking the tires of Office 365, and there's momentum building [for Microsoft] but most of those calling want help navigating the cumbersome licensing."
Miller said it was impossible to evaluate Office 365's revenue impact without hard data from Microsoft. "We haven't seen any numbers about what the uptake and retention is like," Miller said. "But in the enterprise, it's safe to say that retention rates will be much higher: It's very hard to leave a hosting service [like Office 365]."
The Android app landed on the U.S. Google Play Store earlier today, and is to roll out to more than 100 other markets and in over 30 other languages during the next several weeks.
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