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Microsoft Office to be pre-installed on Android devices

Barry Collins
24 Mar 2015
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Samsung, Dell and others to pre-install Office apps on Android phones and tablets

Microsoft is increasing its cross-platform appeal by signing several deals to pre-install its Office apps on Android devices. Samsung and Dell are among the companies who've agreed to ship apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on their smartphones and tablets. 

Samsung had already announced at this month's Mobile World Congress that it would pre-load OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Now that deal has been extended to bring Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype to selected Android tablets in Samsung's vast range.

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Microsoft has also struck similar deals with a multitude of other Android device vendors, the most notable of which is Dell, which manufactures both Android and Windows tablets. Most of the other companies Microsoft has signed up are regional manufacturers who are little known outside of their target markets, including TrekStor of Germany, DEXP of Russia, and the Taiwanese firm Pegatron, who also makes products for Apple.

Microsoft says it's been encouraged by the reception its Office apps have received on Android. "We’ve proven that we’re not afraid to look outside ourselves to reinvent ourselves," says Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft. "We’ve received fantastic customer feedback for making Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype available across all platforms. But, we’re far from done. Now we see an opportunity to turn our focus to our device partners — easing mobile access to great apps and services for customers by pre-installing them directly on the device."

The apps will still require customers to take out Office 365 subscriptions to unlock the editing features, which is Microsoft's motivation for getting these apps installed on as many devices as possible. Many of the apps are little more than document readers without a subscription, although OneNote and Skype are more fully featured. 

The deals are also indicative of Microsoft's failure to make any headway in the mobile market. Windows Phone has less than 3% of the global smartphone market, according to analysts IDC, which barely makes Microsoft an also-ran compared to Android (81.5%) and iOS (14.8%). Microsoft is bringing Windows 10 to phones, in what is increasingly looking like the last chance for Microsoft to crack the mobile market.  

 

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