Microsoft and Lenovo agree software and licensing deal
Microsoft productivity apps will come preloaded on some of Lenovo’s Android-powered devices, expanding the reach of Microsoft Office, Skype and OneDrive.
Lenovo also owns Motorola Mobility and is one of the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturers, and enjoys considerable popularity in China – even if its market share has been eroded by local rivals such as Xiaomi and Oppo in recent times.
It is expected that Lenovo will sell “millions” of Android units in the coming years, giving Microsoft more people to target with subscriptions to its cloud services.
Under Steve Ballmer, Microsoft had looked to use Office as a key differentiator of its Windows Phone platform and Nokia handsets. However since 2014, Office has arrived on iOS and Android.
The deal also comprises a licensing element. Microsoft has aggressively pursued Android manufacturers in recent years, agreeing patent licensing deals with some of the biggest names in mobile. In total, it has agreed more than 1,200 such contracts since it established a dedicated unit in 2003.
Microsoft’s thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo’s premium devices,” said Nick Parker, head of Microsoft’s OEM Division. “The marriage of Microsoft’s apps and Lenovo’s Android-based devices will enable customers around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more.”
“Our collaboration with Microsoft will create new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft’s most popular apps,” added Christian Eigen, Leader of Corporate Alliances, Lenovo. “Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe.”
Of course, Lenovo customers might be concerned about preloaded software on their machines. In 2015, the company was found to have installed secret adware called Superfish that was deemed to be a potential security risk.