30 Million or a Billion PowerPoint Slides?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:00 AM IST

Since 2001, we have heard the 30 million figure as the number of PowerPoint presentations created each day. Now it has been 15 years, and no one has provided a new, updated number—but someone did provide a number that was largely unnoticed as the figure was a passing reference in a keynote that spoke about so much more.

During Microsoft’s Build 2015 event, Satya Nadella said:

This fundamental change that we are making to Office; this fundamental platform shift of Office, where the users—the 1 billion plus users of Office are available to you as developers.

The slide at that time mentioned that Office has 1.5 billion users.

1.5 billion Microsoft Office users

Now certainly this does not mean that PowerPoint also has 1 billion plus or 1.5 billion users. But it does mean that PowerPoint could be installed in many of those devices. And this figure is not the number of presentations created each day, but the number of PowerPoint and Office installations.

If you want to hear the entire keynote, here is an embed. Go to 1:28:49 to hear the part where Satya talks about “the one billion plus users of Office.”

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4 Responses to “30 Million or a Billion PowerPoint Slides?”

  1. Nice find Geetesh. Thank you 🙂

  2. If you accept the 1.5B Office installations and assume that 50% are active PPT users, and that each user gives 15 presentations per year, the result is only 31 million per day if my arithmetic is correct.
    I think these assumptions may actually be high, given the number of students, home users, etc., who may not use PPT at all. And, the perspective of this forum may be biased.
    It may be that 30M per day is right after all?

  3. @Konrad — thanks for the calculation. I entered a few formulas in my Excel sheet and ended up with 30.8 million presentations each day for a normal year — a leap year would have an extra day and would yield 30.7 million presentations each day. And these calculations are strictly for fun.

    So when you are saying the same as what I am reporting here, then how could I be biased? : )

    At the end of the day, we all know that these are huge numbers, and more worrying is the fact that billions are being bored by uninspiring slides and monotonous presenters. So let us all try and make better slides and try to be interesting speakers.

  4. Maybe 30 million per day is reasonable(?)now but may not have been years ago when the figure first appeared. Unless, of course, there has been zero growth in Office installations (??!). And you're right, just for fun.
    By the way, I meant that this group may be biased since we eat and breathe presentations, and the rest of the world is not so afflicted.
    Thanks for the post and your response. Onward and upward!

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