Microsoft signs agreements with additional device partners on Android

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We chatted about this strategy in the podcast earlier today, so don't assume that any of this is necessarily bad for Windows Phone (to become 'Windows 10 Mobile'), but Microsoft just confirmed all the Android tablet makers it's partnering with. Even though 'tablets' are specifically quoted, I'd seen this sort of partnership for myself on the new Samsung phones (e.g. the S6) and there's a full quoted list of tablet makers on the link below.

From the Microsoft announcement:

In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, it’s devices that enable all the experiences to come together for consumers, businesses, developers and IT. Working with our partners, Microsoft has helped enable an amazing breadth of devices running Windows, desktop and mobile apps and compelling services to make people more productive in their digital work and life. Our aspiration is to continue to build and grow a vibrant community of billions of people who love and rely on Microsoft experiences, on any device, across all aspects of their daily lives. To achieve this Microsoft has made a series of moves to win over the hearts and minds of our partners and customers. We’ve re-engineered many of our flagship products to be more modern, we’ve acquired companies that are rethinking traditional categories of productivity, we’ve made Office and some of our most popular services readily available on more platforms and devices than ever before, and with the earlier announcement of the Phone Companion app for Windows 10, will help Windows, Android and IOS devices work better together.

In March, we made access to Microsoft apps and services on mobile devices easier for customers by announcing strategic agreements with global OEMs Samsung and Dell, eight regional OEMs and top original device manufacturer Pegatron to pre-install Microsoft Office and Skype on Android tablets. Today I’m excited to announce that 20 additional global and local OEM partners, including LG, Sony, Haier, Positivo and Wortman, will make Microsoft productivity applications and services available on their Android tablets. These 31 partners will offer Android tablets pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype in the near future. They will be available on a new LG tablet, and Sony will include them on their Xperia Z4 tablet in the next 90 days.

Our strategic agreements with these partners demonstrate how Microsoft is leveraging the scale of the hardware ecosystem, and working with partners in new ways to deliver rich experiences to our customers. This is a cornerstone of our cross-platform services strategy, to bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device. By pre-installing Microsoft software and services solutions on Android tablets, our partners are able to increase the value of those devices by delivering the rich productivity experiences customers want. In addition, partners will be able to take advantage of opportunities to realize new revenue streams.

See the link for the full list, though it's all tablets, so not that relevant here. Smartphones aren't that different though and there's already some cross bundling going on - the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge that I reviewed recently have a Microsoft folder prominent on the home screens, with Skype, OneNote and OneDrive inside. Now extrapolate up through 2015 with more Microsoft properties (including Cortana and Office) and on more phones.

The prose quoted above states the idea well though. It's about 'hearts and minds', about getting Microsoft's services to be as ubiquitous in the digital world as its operating system was in the world of bulky desktop PCs over the last few decades. With ubiquitous services come opportunities like selling smartphones which have these same things at their very core and whose interface is the same as that on a billion PCs and laptops.

Again, you can hear chat on all this in our latest podcast.

Source / Credit: Microsoft