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Software & Web Development

Microsoft signs up 1 million Office 365 home subscribers

Over 1 million users have signed up for Microsoft's Office 365 Home Premium service, Microsoft said Wednesday, a milestone that the company touted as a success for the subscription service.

Microsoft also said that the new Office (presumably including both Office 365 and Office 2013) "is officially the best-selling Office edition yet, with more than one sold every second on average since it launched." That works out to 120 days since it launched on Jan. 29, or 10,368,000 seconds, presumably meaning that Microsoft has sold more than 10 million Office licenses.

However, the company didn't say how many users had signed up for the corresponding Office 365 versions for business or education. In March, the company said that more than 1 million workers are now using Office 365 in federal, state, and local government agencies.

Microsoft has been pushing Office 365 as an alternative to the packaged Office suites that the company has traditionally sold. Consumers pay $100 per year for five licenses for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Excel, Access, and Publisher, plus 20GB of SkyDrive cloud storage and 60 minutes of free Skype calls.

Analysts have said that the subscriptions offer Microsoft a stable, repeatable source of revenue; consumers will always have access to the latest tweaks and updates. Office 2013, however, will only be supported and updated for a fixed period of time.

(Should you choose Office 365 or Office 2013? We'll help you figure it out.)

Microsoft said that it had reached the million-user milestone faster than services like Hulu Plus, and Spotify, with only Instagram reaching the plateau faster.

Enterprises are turning to Office 365 as an alternative to the traditional packaged Office suites, Microsoft says. Specifically, Microsoft said that Office 365 "net seat additions" grew five times compared with the same quarter last year, and that 25 percent of the company's enterprise customers now have Office 365, which is now on a $1 billion annual revenue run rate.

Analysts, however, question whether 25 percent of Microsoft's business customers truly run Office 365.

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