The Growth of Office 365: 85M and Counting

Blog Post created by user.lD9iBR438k Employee on Nov 14, 2016

Dave Hood is the Director of Technical Marketing focused on Office 365, continuity and the Mimecast API. A Mimecaster since 2015, he’s a frequent speaker and commentator on cloud collaboration.


Microsoft announced that Office 365™ now has over 85 million monthly active users during their earnings call on Oct. 20. This is up more than 40% year over year, and made me think it would be interesting to check out past announcements of users and then project what to expect in terms of user growth.


First off, on earnings calls, Microsoft usually updates the total commercial users every six months. This started back on the FY15Q3 call and has been consistent through the announcement last month. If you are interested, the earnings call transcripts are in the investor section of the Microsoft website.


The chart below shows the growth of Office 365 commercial users and assumes that the 40% growth rate will continue until next October, which would be Microsoft’s first quarter in fiscal year 2018. This is because Microsoft is on a fiscal year that runs from June to June.


From the chart, you can see that in Q3 of FY17 (April 2017), Office 365 will have around 100 million users. And by this time next year, I’d expect that there will be close to 120 million active users on Office 365. That’s about 2X growth in two years!



Actual and Projected Office 365 Commercial Users


More validation

And it’s not just Microsoft crowing about the popularity of Office 365. Gartner research also shows that the cloud collaboration service is showing increasing popularity in an updated 2016 survey, finding that 78% of respondents either use Office 365 or plan to use it in the next 6 months. That’s a 13% point jump from the same survey in 2014. 


In terms of workloads, the research found the following order of importance:

  1. Exchange Online
  2. OneDrive for Business
  3. Office 365 ProPlus


Continued Push Upward

In the last earnings call, Microsoft said that cloud revenue is now over $13 billion, over halfway to their stated goal of $20 billion by 2018. That’s a lot of cloud revenue of which Office 365 and Azure are critical to this strategy.


I expect to see a continued focus on Office 365 and more innovation. Of course, with so many commercial users on the service, it’s imperative for each organization to evaluate Office 365 against their own specific requirements, and make sure to add additional layers of security and protect themselves from events that can impact productivity like the slowdown on June 30.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the e-book, Confidently Move Your Email to the Cloud.