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Google's mobile productivity apps bury Microsoft's

Gregg Keizer | May 20, 2016
In a monthly-active user race, Microsoft gets its hat handed to it

Microsoft has been beefing up the Outlook app with acquisitions of small development firms, including Acompli in December 2014 for a reported $200 million and Sunrise Atelier in February 2015 for $100 million. Acompli made an email-organizing app, and Sunrise a calendar app that Microsoft has since announced it will stop selling.

But although the Office mobile apps have generally collected accolades from reviewers and users, SurveyMonkey Intelligence's data signals that Microsoft's apps are used by far fewer customers than are the Google alternatives.

Microsoft has regularly trumpeted the number of Office app downloads as a sign that they have been successful. During a January earnings call with Wall Street, for instance, Nadella said that total Office app downloads had surpassed 340 million in the last three months of 2015, and claimed that there were 30 million active devices running the Outlook app.

Nadella's numbers were global, not U.S.-only, as were SurveyMonkey's, but the disparity between Microsoft's claims and SurveyMonkey's data was striking nonetheless.

"Downloads don't translate to usage," Yu said when asked about the difference. "A lot of apps gets millions of downloads, but not millions and millions of active users."

Productivity app usage
SurveyMonkey Intelligence Google's mobile productivity apps whupped Microsoft's in a head-to-head month-active user battle, sometimes by a factor of 10x or more. Click on image to enlarge.

 

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