Microsoft and its competitors are big on breaking down sales data in terms of number of units sold per day.
We've heard that Kinect sensors were selling at a rate of about 130,000 units a day. Last fall, the Redmondians claimed that they were selling 657,534 Windows 7 copies per day. There is a copy of Office 2010 sold every second somewhere around the globe, the Softies say.
It wasn't until today, however, that I had heard a comparable statistic about SharePoint.
Microsoft has been adding 20,000 SharePoint users per day, every day for the last five years, according to Jared Spataro, Director of SharePoint product management. That means 7.3 million new SharePoint users every year.
Microsoft hasn't gotten a lot more granular about SharePoint sales beyond that. We heard in 2009 that SharePoint was a $1.3 billion business for Microsoft and that there were more than 17,000 customers with a total of more than 100,000 million SharePoint users out there. The company isn't releasing updated user totals or numbers of SharePoint servers sold. (I asked.)
SharePoint turns 10 years old next week, by the way. The first of the product's four releases was in late March 2001.
SharePoint -- in case you aren't among its customers or partners who are deploying, maintaining and fixing it -- is the server sibling of Office. It is a collection of six different servers bundled into a single back-end that provide content management, enterprise social networking, intranet search, portal creation and management and collaboration.
This year will be a key one for the SharePoint product and team, as Microsoft will finally be introducing some of the new SharePoint functionality that it introduced with its SharePoint 2010 release (in mid-2010) into the cloud. Microsoft will be delivering some of those capabilities with Office 365, the Microsoft-hosted bundle of SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online and (later) CRM Online, which Microsoft is expected to launch around the first week of June 2011, from what I've heard.
SharePoint 15 -- the next version of SharePoint that will hit around the time Office 15 does (estimated to be in 2013, at this point) -- is in the midst of development. I wouldn't be surprised if we got a sneak peek, if not a very early test build, of the next SharePoint in this calendar year, too.
Spataro said that Microsoft is seeing interest from customers in putting portal, collaboration, content management and social-networking functionality in the cloud. But customers who've built custom business applications or who are linking to existing business applications from SharePoint are still more likely to use SharePoint hosted internally.
More SharePoint posts: