Microsoft allies with Samsung, Dell and other OEMs to bring productivity to Android hardware

24 Mar 2015

Microsoft has forged deals with several OEMs including Samsung and Dell to bring its productivity software and apps to Android smartphones and tablet devices.

Microsoft has partnered with Samsung to pre-install OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. In the first half of 2015, Samsung is planning to pre-install Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on select Samsung Android tablets.

As well as this 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. The bundle also includes a setup service from Samsung to help businesses get up and running with products and provides ongoing support.

Microsoft’s executive vice president in charge of Business Development Peggy Johnson also revealed that Microsoft has expanded strategic agreements with Dell and other OEMs including Germany’s TrekStor, Portugal’s JP Sa Couto, Italy’s Datamatic, Russia’s DEXP, Canada’s Hipstreet, Pakistan’s QMobile, Africa-based Tecnbo and Turkey’s Casper, as well as device maker Pegatron.

These 11 hardware partners will pre-install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on Android devices coming to market later this year.

The move is indicative of a broader approach Microsoft is taking to the mobile ecosystem, bringing much loved productivity software like Office to a broader array of hardware, including iOS and Android.

Hearts and minds

Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of business development

“In the past year, Microsoft has made a series of moves to win over the hearts and minds of customers,” Johnson said.

“We’ve re-engineered many of our flagship products to be more modern, we’ve acquired companies that are rethinking traditional categories of productivity, and we’ve made some of our most popular services more readily available than ever.

“Our aspirations are simple: continue to grow and build a vibrant community of billions of people who love and rely on Microsoft experiences across all aspects of their daily lives.

“We’ve proven that we’re not afraid to look outside ourselves to reinvent ourselves. We’ve received fantastic customer feedback for making Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype available across all platforms.

“But, we’re far from done. Now we see an opportunity to turn our focus to our device partners — easing mobile access to great apps and services for customers by pre-installing them directly on the device,” Johnson said.

Android X-ray image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years