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Microsoft has revealed that it expects usage of Office 365 to surge over the next couple of years, with two thirds of its business Office customers using the cloud-based service by early- to mid-2019.

The take-up of Office 365 is clearly running well ahead of earlier projections. Indeed ZDNet, the respected business technology news website, reports that Microsoft’s head of Office business, Rajesh Jha, is confident that whilst around half of all commercial Office users currently use Office 365, this figure will grow to two thirds in the first half of 2019.

There are currently over 100 million active business users of cloud-based Office, which they access via multiple operating systems including Windows, iOS and Android.

According to Jha one of the key reasons behind many organisations opting for the Office 365 approach is that it’s easier to take advantage of some of the more advanced features added to the package.

And the growth figures don’t stop there, with the likely business adoption of the company’s cloud-based Exchange services projected to be even greater at around 70% of all business users over the same timeframe.

However, despite the increasing cloud adoption, it’s not all doom and gloom for the on-premise Office users. As we reported recently, Microsoft plans to release the next generation of the standalone Office productivity suite, called ‘Office 2019’ in the second half of 2018.

This will provide those organisations who are not yet ready to move to the cloud with access to the usual Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook client apps, alongside server versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business.

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