Ballmer, Not Nadella, Gave The Go-Ahead To Ship Office For iPad, Which Has Racked Up 12M Downloads

Update: I’m hearing that while Ballmer did intend to ship Office for iPad, it was Nadella who picked the date. This makes the below comment technically true, but perhaps slightly confusing. 

Office for iPad has seen 12 million downloads to date, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the decision to pull the trigger and release the suite, according to the company.

Microsoft’s Office for iPad team took to Reddit today to check in with the mass-market nerdish culture and answer questions. Here’s the group on the critical question of who signed off on the release of Office for iPad:

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New CEO Satya Nadella is more Ballmer’s amanuensis on Office for iPad than direct progenitor. This is not surprising: Nadella didn’t get a blank slate but rather a company in motion. Also, the above matters for Ballmer’s legacy.

To the other question of how popular Office for iPad has been — Excel, Word and PowerPoint are still the top three in the United States — Microsoft wanted the world to know the following:

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Numbers like that are the sort of things that companies will tell you. Bad numbers they won’t, so Microsoft, we can deduce, is proud of the figure. Also, we now know how many downloads you will collect if your apps take over the top slots in iPad App Stores in more than 100 countries for a week.

What’s next? How many of those people have converted to paying Office 365 subscribers? I’ve asked.

Update: Microsoft declined to comment on subscription numbers, stating merely that it is “extremely pleased with the Office for iPad interest we’ve seen from consumers and business alike.” 

Top Image Credit: Microsoft