Microsoft was a latecomer to the cloud-based business tool market, with Google Apps having already been around for several years.
However, in June when the company finally launched its ubiquitous Office suite in the cloud – in the form of Office 365 – its brand familiarity was always going to ensure a rapid adoption.
Five months later, Microsoft has released its first major service update, and announced it will offer the service in 22 new countries, including Argentina, Iceland, Indonesia, South Africa and Taiwan.
Kurt DelBene, president of the Office division at Microsoft, says the company is seeing very positive momentum for the suite.
"Customers are adopting Office 365 eight times faster than our previous service [the Business Productivity Online Suite, or BPOS],” DelBene says, "and the solution is on track to become one of our fastest-growing offers in Microsoft history.
"We are also seeing great traction with small businesses, with more than 90% of our early Office 365 customers coming from small businesses.”
Among the updates are the inclusion of support for Lync on Mac, support for Windows Phone 7.5, and new SharePoint business connectivity services.