“Windows” has one of the five biggest trending topics on Twitter this afternoon. All four of the top iPad apps measured by download volume in America are Microsoft products right now. Even more astonishingly, Microsoft Word for iPad has become the No. 6 highest grossing iPad app in the United States. In productivity-loving Germany, Word is the third biggest grossing app on iPad and it actually just surpassed the mighty Candy Crush Saga in revenue generation. Even in notoriously unproductive countries such as Italy, Word is a top 10 app.
This is sort of astonishing. It’s not surprising that Microsoft’s Office apps are a hit on the download charts but the revenue success really is remarkable. Word is competing successfully against casino games and puzzle apps that have literally 5 million to 20 million active users in America and millions in markets like Germany and the United Kingdom. Generating this kind of first-day gross performance is a real achievement. Of course, Microsoft’s apps have massive built-in brand recognition and many consumers have been anticipating their arrival for literally years.
Nevertheless, the Redmond crew must be feeling a bittersweet mix of emotions. Back in 2000, Apple was teetering on the edge in insolvency and Microsoft’s grip on global computer software market seemed eternal. Apple then shifted consumers from PCs to smartphones and tablets in just seven years with breakneck speed and now Microsoft’s sudden return to relevance has been achieved by renting space on its ancient rival’s fancy new home turf.