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Microsoft today announced partnerships with 11 hardware makers to preinstall its apps on select Android devices that will ship “later this year.” The deals encompass Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), OneDrive, and Skype.
While all six of these Android apps are already free and can be downloaded by anyone with an Android device that includes Google Play, this is nonetheless a massive boon for Microsoft and its ecosystem. Furthermore, it once again underlines how much the company is dedicating to pushing its software and services cross-platform.
Partners include Samsung, Dell, and Pegatron, as well as regional hardware makers TrekStor of Germany, JP Sa Couto of Portugal, Datamatic of Italy, DEXP of Russia, Hipstreet of Canada, QMobile of Pakistan, Tecno of Africa, and Casper of Turkey.
We don’t know which devices all these deals apply to, but this is to be expected since they will be shipping later in 2015. Most, if not all, haven’t yet been announced.
The biggest name here is naturally Samsung, though we already learned at Mobile World Congress 2015 that the Korean company would preinstall OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones. Yet today’s news goes further: Samsung also plans to preinstall the aforementioned six Microsoft apps on select Android tablets “in the first half of 2015.”
In related news, Samsung is also planning on releasing a new Microsoft Office 365 and Samsung KNOX Business Pack. Businesses that purchase devices through Samsung’s business-to-business sales channels will have access to three versions of Office 365 (Business, Business Premium, and Enterprise) coupled with Samsung’s KNOX security solution.
“Great things happen when you converge services and devices,” Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of business development, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Samsung is emblematic of our efforts to bring the best of Microsoft’s productivity services to everyone, on every device — so people can be productive wherever, however and whenever they want.”
One major app seems to be missing from all of these announcements, despite the fact it is part of the Office suite: Outlook. This is likely because Outlook for Android is still in preview; we’ve reached out to Microsoft for confirmation, and we’ll update you if we hear back.
Update: Confirmed. “Outlook for Android is not included in today’s agreements because the app is still in preview,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “The teams will continue to evaluate new opportunities as they arise.”
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