Forget about Candy Crush, Facebook, Snapchat and Yahoo Weather. The real action in software is in so-called office applications: spreadsheets, word processors, presentations graphics and other tools that are essential, even if unexciting. That’s what your employees care about most for their mobiles, desktops and notebooks, even if they rarely talk about it.
In mid-April, Microsoft Word for iPad was the No. 2 free app in Apple’s iTunes store. (The No. 1 app is a game called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.) Microsoft Excel for iPad was No. 10 and PowerPoint was No. 11. Not bad for software introduced only a couple of weeks earlier. Of course, the Microsoft Office apps are only free to use for reading documents; if you want to create or edit documents, you have to buy an annual subscription to Office 365.
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The company has also released Microsoft Office Mobile for Android to generally positive reviews.
On April 17, the Apache Software Foundation said that downloads of OpenOffice had hit 100 million. Now, we don’t know how many of those downloads correspond to continuous users vs. those who didn’t stick with the software.
OpenOffice has been around for a long time; it used to be called StarOffice. Apache describes it as:
Apache OpenOffice is the leading Open Source office document productivity suite, available in 32 languages on Windows, OS X, and Linux. OpenOffice includes a word processor (“Writer”), a spreadsheet (“Calc”), a presentation editor (“Impress”), a vector graphics editor (“Draw”), a mathematical formula editor (“Math”), and a database management program (“Base”). As Open Source software, Apache OpenOffice is available to all users free of charge; the C++ source code is readily available for anyone who wishes to enhance the applications.
In any case, 100 million is a pretty impressive number, even if you compare it against the 1 billion people that Microsoft says use Microsoft Office.