So, here’s what I found with regards to interest in Office 365 over time:
- The first searches were in January 2005 but those are probably just flukes.
- The first real news articles appear in March or April of 2010. TheStreet.com may have broken the news on the web on 9/12/10.
- Searches started taking off October 10-16, 2010
- Peak interest spiked early on 10/17 – 10/23 in 2010, and again to its highest historic level in 2011 between 6/26 and 7/2. Interest has been steadily gaining throughout the entire period.
Regional interest in Office 365 is fascinating to look at as well. As you might expect, western countries like the US. UK, and Australia have all been intensely interested in Office 365. While other English-speaking countries have been interested (South Africa, India, and Canada), the most interest has actually originated in a couple very small countries: New Zealand and Ireland top the chart. Also interestingly, Dublin and Singapore are the two top cities searching on Office 365.
The terms being searched are about what you might expect:
If you want to compare Office 365 to Google Apps check out this chart:
In it you can see that the search term “Google Business” started out more popular than “Office 365” but that in recent weeks Microsoft has pushed past Google. With the changes in both services over the last several months this shouldn’t be all that surprising. Consider these recent changes in the industry:
- Google announced that Google Apps for Business users that wanted true e-mail archiving (putting them on parity roughly with Office 365) would be charged $10/user/month or $120 per user per year. Previously the pricing was about $60 per year per user for Google Apps for Business.
- Microsoft has cut pricing recently, reducing even the version of Office 365 that includes a subscription to Office Professional Plus to $20/user/month. At the low end, you can get Office 365 e-mail only for $4/user/month or the E1 plan for $8. The Kiosk Worker plans are roughly comparable with Google Apps for Business and start at $4/user/month.
- The Office 365 platform is about to undergo a major upgrade in Q1 of 2013 and will soon add many more advanced features, a streamlined interface and an even better subscription model for purchasing Microsoft Office… including the new Office 2013.
- Google has continued to make “interesting” business decisions that alienate their core users. For instance, they have been aggressively retiring support for internet browsers that many people still use. They’ve also recently announced that Google Apps will no longer support Microsoft Activesync, the protocol that enables mobile devices (your phone or tablet) to synchronize their Gmail. Customers are being forced to manually download e-mail to their devices instead, infuriating and confusing users.
- Microsoft is increasing the length of their free trials from 30 days to 90 days to help disenfranchised Gmail users make the switch, and more and more we hear that they are indeed doing so.
For more about recent changes in the industry check out the news about Office 365.
In summary, there are an increasing number of good reasons to consider Office 365 for your cloud productivity platform. It was designed by the world’s leader in business productivity software for business users. Google Apps is an e-mail system afterthought created by a company that developed a web search service for the purposes of getting advertising revenue.
Which would you trust your data with?