Lenovo to Preinstall Microsoft Apps on Android Devices
As part of a patent licensing agreement, Lenovo will ship Android devices bundled with Office and other Microsoft productivity apps.Android keeps paying off for Microsoft, and a patent licensing pact between the Redmond, Wash., software giant and Lenovo is another step in that direction. The deal, which the companies announced Aug. 23, includes a cross-licensing agreement covering Motorola devices as well as those carrying the Lenovo brand. In addition, the electronics maker has agreed to ship Android mobile devices preloaded with Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype. Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014 in a transaction valued at $2.91 billion. "Microsoft's thrilled that our productivity apps will be preinstalled on Lenovo's premium devices. 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," Nick Parker, corporate vice president of Microsoft's OEM Division, said in a statement. Christian Eigen, head of corporate alliances at Lenovo, said in prepared remarks that the deal offers "new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft's most popular apps" and offer additional value to the company's customers worldwide. In the coming years, Lenovo expects to ship millions of Android devices bundled with Microsoft's apps, the companies said.
Microsoft's massive intellectual property (IP) portfolio includes several patents related to Android, with 310 patents according to a 2014 disclosure by the Chinese government. In the nearly 13 years since Microsoft kicked off its IP licensing program, the company has signed more than 1,200 such agreements.