Microsoft made waves in March by announcing new partnerships that would bring preinstalled Office apps to Android tablets from Samsung and Dell. Now, the Redmond, Wash., tech giant is announcing that many more OEMs, including Sony and LG, have signed up to bundle the company's mobile productivity suite.
Nick Parker, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, revealed in a May 26 announcement that "20 additional global and local OEM partners, including LG, Sony, Haier, Positivo and Wortmann, will make Microsoft productivity applications and services available on their Android tablets." Combined with 11 existing OEMs, "31 partners will offer Android tablets pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype in the near future."
Office, once a major pillar of the company's PC-centric Windows software ecosystem, has expanded its reach of late. The software is now available on the Web and for smartphones and tablets running rival mobile operating systems (OSes) like Apple iOS and Google Android.
Last year, Satya Nadella, in his first major press event after being appointed CEO of Microsoft, ended the long wait for owners of Apple's popular tablet by finally launching Office for iPad. The company followed up on Jan. 29 of this year with the general availability of Office for Android tablets apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
"We've re-engineered many of our flagship products to be more modern, we've acquired companies that are rethinking traditional categories of productivity," noted Parker. In December, Microsoft acquired mobile email startup Acompli, leading to the company's new Outlook app for Android and iOS. In February, the company snapped up Sunrise Atelier, makers of the popular Sunrise calendar app.
With the software sorted out, the company is working to turn Office into the default productivity experience for owners of Android-based computing slates.
"Our strategic agreements with these partners demonstrate how Microsoft is leveraging the scale of the hardware ecosystem, and working with partners in new ways to deliver rich experiences to our customers," stated Parker. Echoing the company's new OS- and device-agnostic approach, he described the move as a "cornerstone of our cross-platform services strategy, to bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device."
Of course, OEMs stand to benefit from their Office-bundling agreements, Parker said. "By pre-installing Microsoft software and services solutions on Android tablets, our partners are able to increase the value of those devices by delivering the rich productivity experiences customers want," he asserted. "In addition, partners will be able to take advantage of opportunities to realize new revenue streams."
Microsoft Office apps will feature on Sony's Xperia Z4 tablet within the next 90 days as well as a new LG tablet, Parker revealed. Other companies bundling the apps with their Android tablets include Axdia International, Cube, DL, General Procurement, Grupo Nucleo, Inco, Ionik, Iview, Multilaser, Noblex, Pacific (a.k.a. Vulcan), Philco, Prestigio, Teclast and TMAX Digital.