Microsoft Word Hits 1 Billion Installs on Android

Posted on July 13, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile, Office, Office 365 with 19 Comments

The mobile version of Microsoft Word has hit an impressive milestone: It’s been installed over 1 billion times on Android.

You can verify this number for yourself by visiting the app’s entry in the Google Play Store: Google says that the app has been installed “1,000,000,000+” times. But I first heard about this from Android Police, which tracks this kind of thing. The site notes that Word for Android is the first Microsoft app to hit the one billion milestone, and it was previously the first to hit 500 million installs as well.

Word’s success on mobile—it has no doubt been installed several hundred million times on iOS as well—speaks to the power Microsoft can still wield in ecosystems in which it is just a participant and not the platform’s creator. Microsoft Word, like other Office apps like Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, is ubiquitous in the corporate world and all are widely used by consumers as well. So it’s perhaps not surprising that so many people would want to access this functionality on the go as well. Both PowerPoint and Excel have over 500 million installs on Android, and Outlook is at over 100 million installs.

To put these numbers in perspective, Microsoft Office at its pre-Office 365 height was installed on over 1.5 billion PCs. And Microsoft still uses the 1.5 billion figure to describe the entire Windows user base across all versions. (Windows 10 is likely at about 850 million users by this point.)

It’s worth pointing out, too, that Microsoft Word for Android is very well-received by users: It has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and has been reviewed by over 3.5 million people. So the app itself isn’t just a corporate requirement, it’s a solution people also like to use.

Not bad for an application that debuted in October 1983 on—wait for it—Xenix, a Microsoft-branded version of UNIX that never sold well. The first version of Word for MS-DOS appeared later in 1983 as well, and it was sold with Microsoft’s first mouse so that customers could get used to the then-new peripheral.

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