6. Office 365 is Microsoft's fastest-growing product -- ever
Microsoft has made a big bet on cloud-based software. When it comes to Office in the cloud, the bet seems to be paying off.
According to Gregersen, Office 365 (and its forerunner, Business Productivity Online Suite) has experienced 18 consecutive quarters of triple-digit customer growth. Now, such growth isn't that hard when you come from a base of zero, in the initial stages at least, but the numbers it has racked up recently appear impressive.
Microsoft won't discuss hard numbers, but Gregersen did say that about 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies are Office 365 users, including 70 percent of manufacturers and 60 percent of financial companies. (It's important to remember, however, that these figures don't reveal how many users there are within an organization - only that at least someone in the organization uses Office 365.)
When it comes to smaller businesses, the growth rate is even higher, according to Gregerson. SMB customer numbers have grown 250 percent in the last four quarters, he says, with a large proportion of these being one-man bands and very small companies. Hosted email is particularly popular for smaller companies, he adds; overall 15 percent of Microsoft mail users opt for Exchange in the cloud.
7. Low-cost Office 365 packages available via GoDaddy
Office 365 users have been able to sign up for a domain name through GoDaddy for some time, but early in 2014 Microsoft launched a set of three low-cost Office365 packages available only through (and supported by) GoDaddy. The cheapest package reflects the aforementioned popularity among small businesses of email in the cloud, offering 5GB of email storage; calendar, contacts email syncing, and 2GB cloud storage for $3.99 per month with a one-year contract.
Gregerson says GoDaddy came to Microsoft and said that email, a domain name, storage and support would be a "sweet spot" for its customers. The GoDaddy-Microsoft partnership launched in January, and Gregerson says "the take-up has surpassed our expectations." Packages are available in about 40 different currencies and will be rolled out worldwide.
GoDaddy may seem an unlikely partner for Microsoft, given the controversy surrounding the former's sexually charged advertisements, but Gregerson would say only, "We feel that GoDaddy is a great partner for Microsoft."
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