As part of Microsoft and Lenovo's ongoing partnership, the former has agreed to preload its Android devices with Microsoft productivity tools. Lenovo expects to ship millions of the devices worldwide over the coming years.
The deal is a patent cross-licensing agreement which also covers Motorola phones. It continues Microsoft's commitment to licensing IP, which has created more than 1,200 deals since 2003.
The patent cross-licensing also means Microsoft will give up the right to royalties for the bundling of their products. This follows Satya Nadella's vision of customer engagement above all.
Microsoft's thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo's premium devices,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice president OEM Division, Microsoft. “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.”
Lenovo's Leader of Corporate Alliances, Christian Eigen, also had something to say about the decision:
“Our collaboration with Microsoft will create new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft's most popular apps. Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe.”
The news is positive for both companies, but it remains to be seen how customers will react to the changes. Assumedly, most will be happy with the inclusion of the apps. However, those that use rival services could consider them bloatware.
Microsoft's previous IP initiatives have garnered a positive reaction in the past. Most recently, the company came to a similar deal with ASUS, which will preload Office on its tablets and phones.
Other similar partnerships include Xiaomi, LG, Sony and Dell. This year we'll see a range of devices with the software built in, which should bring thousands of new users to the Office platform.
The full details of the deal are not yet available, but we'll update you with new information as the situation develops. In the meantime, you can read Microsoft's official blog post here.