Company Partnership: Microsoft Announced Partnerships With 74 Android Device Makers

By Staff Writer

Feb 11, 2016 05:20 AM EST

Microsoft announced that the company has formed partnerships with 74 Android hardware manufacturers that would pre-install Microsoft apps on their Android smartphones and tablets. Some of the OEMs, including Samsung, had already pre-install the apps on their devices. In addition to existing partnerships, Microsoft also formed new partnerships with OEMs that were just about to start to do so.

ZDNet reported that the list of partnership had been expanded from just 31 OEMs per last May. Samsung, Dell, and Pegatron were among the first device manufacturers to pre-install Microsoft apps and services on their products. Today, the partnership with Microsoft involved 74 hardware manufacturers in 25 countries.

Acer is reported to be the latest big OEM to join the partnership, closing the deal last October. Not only Microsoft Office app licensing, the partnership also reportedly covers Android patent deal. Acer is not the first Android device manufacturer to sign patent deal with Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft has been expanding its patent royalties from Android device makers in addition to form partnerships regarding the company's app.

Microsoft included most of its productivity apps in the agreement with Android device makers. The OEMs involved in the deal have pre-install, or will pre-install Microsoft Word, Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Skype in their devices.

In the partnership deals, IP alignment is an important feature, as Nick Parker, Corporate Vice President, OEM Division, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. He also stated that the agreements demonstrate how Microsoft is leveraging the scale of the hardware ecosystem and working with partners in new ways to deliver rich experiences to their customers. "This is a cornerstone of our broad services strategy to bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device," Parker wrote.

NDTV reported that OEMs could see the partnership with Microsoft as a way to establish additional revenue channel. That is important, considering the increasingly competitive markets of Android devices, whereas OEMs are often forced to sell products at a lower price to be able to be compete with other device makers.

On the other hand, Microsoft also has been eager to embrace Android. According to Venture Beat, Microsoft had also brought Cortana personal digital assistant to Android. The company also launched Arrow Andriod in beta last October. It's also widely speculated that Microsoft has adjusted its approach in making Windows Phone to focus more on software for iOS and Android.

Microsoft's partnerships with 74 Android device makers mean that most Android smartphone and tablets would already have Microsoft apps pre-installed in the devices. As OEMs embrace the partnership perhaps as an alternative revenue stream, Microsoft is also showing its ambition to embrace the Google's mobile operating system. 

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