Samsung has started shipping Android devices with Microsoft apps preinstalled, and now Dell is also planning to do the same. In an announcement today, Microsoft is revealing that Dell will preinstall Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on a range of Android-powered devices later this year. Other regional device makers like TrekStor, JP Sa Couto, Datamatic, DEXP, Hipstreet, Mobile, Tecno, Casper, and Pegratron will also bundle Microsoft’s range of Android apps on devices.
Will Sony join Samsung and Dell?
"For OEMs, these deals will increase the value of and enrich people’s experiences on Android devices," explains Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s head of business development. "Original device manufacturers are important because they extend Microsoft services to the ecosystem." While Dell and Samsung have both signed up to Microsoft's new partnership, it's still unclear whether Sony and others like Acer and Asus will follow. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint appeared on the Sony Xperia Z4 during press briefings, but were suspiciously absent on units at Sony's Mobile World Congress both. A sony spokesperson at told The Verge that a deal to bundle Microsoft's Office Android apps is tentative pending continued discussions between the two companies.
Microsoft is clearly targeting Android device makers in order to get its apps preinstalled on tablets and phones. It’s a strategic plan to slowly pull consumers away from relying on Google’s built-in services on many Android devices. Microsoft’s move is very similar to how Google bundled its search toolbar in a number of popular Windows apps to get consumers using Google search, Chrome, and other Google services. Microsoft has been focusing on cross-platform apps consistently for the past year, with new Office apps for iOS and Android, and a number of improvements to Skype, OneNote, and OneDrive across all platforms.
Verge Video: Windows 10 on a tablet