Microsoft to pre-install Office apps on third-party devices

Tech giant signs new deal to bundle productivity software with select devices from OEMs

Microsoft yesterday announced a new deal with OEMs to expand its mobile software footprint. The new agreement will see various Microsoft productivity apps preinstalled on devices from manufacturers including Samsung and Dell.

In addition to existing deals announced at Mobile World Congress through which Microsoft will pre-install OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge the company also announced that Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel will come pre-installed on selected Samsung Android tablets.

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As part of the announcement, Microsoft also stated that it was entering into a similar partnership with Dell, in addition to other regional OEMs. Manufacturers in Turkey, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Russia, Germany, Portugal and Africa have all signed up to distribute Microsoft apps with some of their devices.

Some may be concerned that pre-installed Office apps cross the line into bloatware'. Lenovo was rocked by scandal earlier this year when pre-installed Superfish' software caused a security vulnerability across a range of its products.

However, Microsoft is confident that these apps are essential to functionality. Peggy Johnson, Microsoft's executive vice president of business development, said that the partnership was "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."

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Microsoft has said these apps will only be pre-installed on select devices. However, it is as yet unknown which devices will qualify, apart from the S6 and S6 Edge. The company has indicated that Samsung will primarily be putting them on tablets, but just how many remains to be seen. 

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"In the past year, Microsoft has made a series of moves to win over the hearts and minds of customers. 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. Our aspirations are simple: continue to grow and build a vibrant community of billions of people who love and rely on Microsoft experiences across all aspects of their daily lives," Johnson addded in a blog post. 

"We've proven that we're not afraid to look outside ourselves to reinvent ourselves.  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."

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