Samsung, Dell, other OEMs to bundle Microsoft apps, services on Android tablets

Microsoft has struck deals with 11 Android tablet makers, including Samsung and Dell, to preload a number of Microsoft's applications and services on Android hardware.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has announced an expanded partnership with Samsung and new deals with Dell and other OEMs to preload Microsoft mobile apps and services on Android tablets.

The Android preload deals, announced March 23, cover both consumer and business Microsoft apps and services.Samsung, for its part, will preinstall Microsoft services and apps on its "portfolio of Android devices." Samsung committed to offering Microsoft Office 365 and Samsung Knox Business Pack on Android tablets, as well.

Samsung announced last month it would preinstall OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the Glaxy S6 and S6 Edge. In the coming months -- some time in the first half of calendar 2015, Samsung also will preinstall Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on "select" Samsung Android tablets, Samsung announced today.

Users who purchase new Android tablets via Samsung's business-to-business sales channels will have the option of purchasing a bundle of one of three versions of Office 365 -- Businesss, Business Premium or Enterprise, coupled with Samsung's Knox security offering.

Microsoft also announced today it has expanded bundling deals with Dell, as well as regional OEMs including TrekStor of Germany, JP Sa Couto of Portugal, Datamatic of Italy, DEXP of Russia, Hipstreet of Canada, QMobile of Pakistan, Tecno of Africa, and Casper of Turkey, and Pegatron. These hardware partners will preinstall Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on Android devices coming to market later this year.

(Interestingly, Microsoft's blog post on the new bundling deals is authored by Peggy Johnson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Global Business Development, who reports directly to CEO Satya Nadella.)

If the rumor mill is right, Android distribution startup Cyanogen might be next up to forge a similar bundling relationship with Microsoft. A recent Forbes report claims Cyanogen is "close to finalizing a wide-ranging partnership to incorporate several of Microsoft's mobile services, including Bing, the voice-powered Cortana digital assistant, the OneDrive cloud-storage system, Skype and Outlook, into Cyanogen's devices."

Microsoft originally was rumored to be considering making a minority investment in Cyanogen, but supposedly the Redmondians have decided against that, at least for now....

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