Towards the end of August 2016, Microsoft announced that it had signed an agreement with Lenovo to offer some of its key apps on the company’s Android handsets.
This is being done targeting those Android customers who enjoy using Microsoft’s software. While Microsoft’s vice president Nick Parker expressed happiness about being able to launch their apps on Lenovo’s premium smartphones, Lenovo’s OEM division counterpart Christian Eigen said that this would give more value to users all over the world. In short, this patent cross-licensing agreement will enhance the productivity of customers and help them to achieve more with their handsets that target at offering the best of both worlds.
The exact terms and conditions pertaining to the deal have still not been let out. Also, there is no information about which handsets will get these updates first. Yet, these apps are most likely to initially find their place on select Lenovo branded Motorola devices before certain models of Lenovo’s own brand.In a press statement, Nick Parker declared that these select gadgets would be chosen from among Lenovo’s higher end smartphones. Lenovo, on the other hand, did not have anything to comment supporting this statement.
There is no clear indication as to what apps can be expected. However, Microsoft’s Office suite, Skype and OneDrive are among the apps that are expected to make their presence felt. It is worth noting that signing this deal is going to make a major impact for Microsoft by giving it opportunity to plunge into a large market. This is because Lenovo is one of the biggest smartphone players in the Chinese market. Over the years, the manufacturer hopes to ship a large volume of devices with the preinstalled apps. According to a Fortune report, Microsoft’s licensing program is one of its major moves, which will in turn help Lenovo to boost its revenues and increase its profit.
Like any Android app, these apps have to be downloaded from Google’s Play Store. However, in the long run, Microsoft plans to make these apps preloaded on Lenovo’s handsets to save customers the trouble of having to download and install them. It is not clear at the moment if these apps can be deleted without having to root the devices when they start coming installed out of the box on them. Yet, there appears to be no satisfactory reason why a user would want to delete them. This is considering the fact that all the three above mentioned apps – Skype, OneDrive and Office – are all proven to be handy and useful apps and there is nothing that the user will actually stand to gain by deleting them.
Going by past experiences, most people may not like it when the Microsoft apps start appearing preinstalled as they can appear to be bloatware. Nevertheless, as far as both Microsoft and Lenovo are concerned, it is most definitely a win-win deal pact for them. The advantage for Lenovo is that it can preload Microsoft’s services on their smartphones without having to make royalty fees as payment to the latter. This can be a really huge benefit as the royalty fees charged by Microsoft are usually high. As for Microsoft, this can be a big step in getting its services and apps to a bigger group of people after having faced a tough battle in the mobile industry in the recent past.
As CNET points out, before Microsoft ventured on signing such agreements with other smartphone partners, its software products were obtainable only on Microsoft owned hardware products like Nokia Lumia smartphones and Apple’s Mac computers. Since this venture was not profitable, Microsoft has decided to foray into providing its products and services on Android handsets developed by other manufacturers.It must be noted that this is not the first time that Microsoft is signing an agreement with an Android smartphone company to target its apps. There have been similar agreements in the past with other big names like Xiaomi, LG, Samsung and Asus with their gadgets offering the Microsoft apps out of the box.One of the recent noteworthy deals before Lenovo was the pact with Samsung last year.
According to a report in late August 2016, Microsoft has roped in slightly more than 70 Android manufacturers to promote the sale of their apps.