Microsoft’s Office strategy has been fascinating to witness over the past year. After partnering with Dropbox to integrate a rival cloud storage service into Office, Microsoft then decided to make Office free for iOS and Android users. At the same time, the software has been aggressively bundling Office with low-cost tablets and laptops running Windows. The next step is battling Google in its backyard: Office on Android.
After releasing a finger-friendly version of Office for Android tablets recently, Microsoft is looking to Android tablet makers to bundle the software on machines. Sony may be one of the first to bundle Office on its latest Android tablet, the Xperia Z4. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint appeared on the Xperia Z4 during press briefings, but were suspiciously absent on units at Sony's Mobile World Congress both. A sony spokesperson at the booth told The Verge that a deal to bundle Microsoft's Office Android apps is tentative pending continued discussions between the two companies.
If a deal is secured then it will see Microsoft's Office software preinstalled on the tablet, with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint pinned to the home screen. Samsung has a similar deal, with OneDrive, OneNote, and Skype bundled into its latest Galaxy S6 smartphone. While Samsung’s deal doesn’t currently include Office, rumors had suggested the company was planning to bundle the software at one point.
Update (March 3rd): article has been updated to clarify that the apps aren't preinstalled on the Xperia Z4, and discussions continue over a possible deal to bundle them.