Microsoft is not just placating user demand with the Office for iPad apps it launched today; it’s also selling Office 365 subscriptions directly within the app. Those subs are worth a pretty penny to Microsoft, as it collects a recurring revenue stream starting at $99 per year per user from Office 365, but it turns out Apple also reaps a reward from sales made through the iPad app.
Re/code has confirmed that Apple takes its usual 30 percent cut of transactions made directly in its software from Microsoft’s sale of subscriptions made through the new app. That’s not surprising – Apple has held fast on its insistence that companies pay up or ship out, and Amazon couldn’t broker a special arrangement, forcing it to have to scrub any and all links to its Amazon digital bookstore from its iOS offerings.
The Office for iPad apps carry a single in-app purchase for Office 365 Home, worth $99.99, which means Apple gets just under $30 every time someone uses their iTunes account to sign up instead of going through the web. It’s only fair: presumably these subscribers wouldn’t have signed up if they hadn’t downloaded and wanted to use the iPad version of the Office software.
One thing’s clear: It now makes even more sense why Apple CEO Tim Cook was quick to congratulate Office on its arrival in the App Store, aside from the simple fact that native Office support is definitely a boon for the iOS platform, regardless of how significant you think this late entry to the iPad productivity market is for Microsoft overall.