Lenovo bloats up Android with Microsoft Office and Skype

As part of a patent licensing deal with Microsoft, Lenovo will preinstall Microsoft Office, Skype, and OneDrive on select devices.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

No stranger to the world of preloading software on devices -- especially after the Superfish furore -- Lenovo is back at it, this time teaming up with Microsoft.

As part of a deal signed with Redmond, Lenovo will preinstall Microsoft Office, Skype, and OneDrive onto a number of its Android devices, as an expansion of a patent agreement between Microsoft, Lenovo, and Lenovo's Motorola brand.

The pair did not disclose which devices would get the apps, and said only that Lenovo expects to ship millions of preloaded devices in the next several years.

"Microsoft's thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo's premium devices," said Nick Parker, Microsoft corporate vice president OEM Division, in a statement. "The marriage of Microsoft's apps and Lenovo's Android-based devices will enable customers around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more."

As of February this year, Microsoft had signed up 74 Android hardware manufacturers under similar terms, including the likes of Samsung, ASUS, Acer, and Dell.

Last month, Lenovo said it would not be keeping pace with Google's monthly update cycle for Android.

Following the Superfish security debacle, which saw preloaded adware on its Windows notebooks products be caught out as a man-in-the-middle proxy service that hijacked SSL/TLS connections, Lenovo said it would work on creating a cleaner PC image.

At CES, Lenovo revealed it would combine the Motorola and Lenovo brand names under a Moto by Lenovo moniker.

Last week, the Chinese hardware giant posted a 64 percent bump in net income to $173 million on revenue that dipped 6 percent to $10.1 billion.

Its PC and Smart Device Business Group, which includes PCs and tablets, saw revenue drop 7 percent year-over-year to $7 billion, and the Mobile Business Group sales dipped 6 percent to $1.7 billion.

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