Microsoft is bringing the company's productivity apps to more Android devices by inking some major new OEM deals, announced the Redmond, Wash., software maker this week.
During the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Samsung would preinstall OneNote, Skype, and the OneDrive file storage and sync app, with 100GB of free cloud storage for two years, on the highly anticipated Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. Now, the companies are disclosing what they have in store for future Galaxy Tab tablet buyers.
Samsung will begin shipping select Android tablets with Microsoft's Office for Android apps during the first half of 2015, said the companies in a March 23 announcement. Upon turning on their Samsung Android tablets, users will be greeted with the Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype apps.
Business buyers will be entitled to a setup service provided by Samsung, as well as the company's Knox mobile device management (MDM) platform and access to three versions of Office 365 (Business, Business Premium and Enterprise). Samsung Knox is a mobile app and data containerization technology that enables businesses to secure corporate information on Android devices while maintaining a user's personal data privacy.
Samsung's "goal is to meet the ever-evolving needs of both consumers and business customers and give them more power to discover new mobile experiences," Samsung Electronics Executive Vice President SangChul Lee said in a statement. "We believe our suite of premium mobile products coupled with Microsoft's productivity services will offer users the mobility they need in both their personal and business life."
Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development for Microsoft, said the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, "is emblematic of our efforts to bring the best of Microsoft's productivity services to everyone, on every device, so people can be productive wherever, however and whenever they want." Those efforts include venturing beyond a Windows- and PC-centric product strategy.
"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," said Johnson in an Official Microsoft Blog post, referencing the recent acquisitions of mobile app makers Sunrise and Acompli. Microsoft's new Outlook apps for iOS and Android are based on Acompli's well-regarded mobile email app, for example.
Johnson also revealed that apart from Samsung, the company has lined up several more OEMs, bringing Microsoft Office with Android bundles to more customers worldwide later this year. "I'm pleased to share that we've also expanded strategic agreements with leading global OEM Dell, and regional OEMs including TrekStor of Germany, JP Sa Couto of Portugal, Datamatic of Italy, DEXP of Russia, Hipstreet of Canada, QMobile of Pakistan, Tecno of Africa, and Casper of Turkey, as well as top original device manufacturer Pegatron," she wrote.