Microsoft Apps To Be Bundled on Cyanogen Android Devices
Android operating system vendor Cyanogen is teaming with Microsoft to integrate Microsoft apps and services. The deal had been rumored for several weeks, but was officially announced Thursday. Terms were not disclosed.
Cyanogen is a mobile operating system company that works within the Android platform to promote third-party developed apps and services. The deal with Microsoft will help Cyanogen wrest Android away from Google and offer Microsoft another way to bring its apps to Android devices.
The arrangement calls for Cyanogen to integrate and distribute Microsoft's consumer apps and services, including productivity, messaging, utilities and cloud services, with the Cyanogen Open OS Platform. Open OS is due out later this year. Microsoft will create "native integrations" of its apps and services for the Cyanogen OS. Microsoft also builds custom distributions of various core Microsoft apps for Amazon's Kindle Fire.
"People around the world use Cyanogen’s operating system and popular Microsoft services to engage with what matters most to them on their mobile devices," stated Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen. "This exciting partnership with Microsoft will enable us to bring new kinds of integrated services to mobile users in markets around the world."
Will this deal help Android users? Maybe, but that’s not the main point, Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told us.
"First and foremost this helps Microsoft," said Moorhead. "Users could download the apps on their own if they wanted them. With that said, the Microsoft apps are pretty good, particularly OneDrive."
The specific services Microsoft will make available for Cyanogen include Office, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and Bing services. Last month, Microsoft announced similar deals that would involve the bundling of Microsoft services, including Office, Skype and OneDrive, on Samsung and Dell Android tablets.
Cyanogen began as a custom service for the Android ROM. Since then, the company has grown to the point where it is now looking to partner with smartphone vendors to embed its OS on their devices.
Recently, Microsoft and Samsung agreed that the latter would bundle a number of Microsoft apps and services on its new Galaxy S6 phones. But Verizon and AT&T are removing some of those Microsoft services from the Samsung Galaxy S6 devices that they are selling at retail, while Sprint and T-Mobile are keeping them.
Previous reports said that Cyanogen was close to closing a new round of funding, but Microsoft decided not to invest in the startup. Bloomberg reported in March that Cyanogen was close to an agreement that would see it raise $110 million from a group of financiers. Cyanogen eventually racked up $80 million in funding.
"We aspire to have our tools within arm’s reach of everyone, to empower them in all aspects of their lives. This partnership represents another important step towards that ambition," said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Microsoft.