Acer To Bundle Microsoft Apps on Android Smartphones, Tablets
Taiwan-based electronics maker Acer has apparently decided that it might as well join the crowd. The company said this week that it has agreed on a deal with Microsoft to pre-install Microsoft’s services and apps on its Acer Android smartphones and tablets.
Acer will include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on some of its mobile devices beginning in the second half of this year. Acer hasn’t specified which of its devices will come with the bundled applications.
"We're excited to partner with Microsoft to provide enhanced mobile productivity to our products," said ST Liew, president of Acer Smart Products Business Group, in a statement. "By integrating the Microsoft software suite, Acer customers will enjoy productivity on-the-go along with the familiar computing experience on their smartphones and tablets."
The announcement probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has been keeping track of where Microsoft’s mobile productivity applications have been showing up. As of about a year ago, 31 device makers were offering Microsoft's productivity apps and services on their Android tablets and phones. Since then, that number has more than doubled to 74 hardware makers in 25 countries.
Going After Android Users
In a separate announcement, Microsoft said that through its agreements with device makers, Microsoft Services are reaching more mobile owners than ever. The hardware makers are either already preloading or will soon preload Microsoft apps on Android phones (pictured above) and tablets.
Microsoft said that by pre-installing its software and services on Android tablets and phones, its manufacturer partners can increase the value of those devices, and realize new revenue streams in the process.
Redmond will also preload its new Windows 10 smartphones with Office. While Microsoft is still focusing resources on Windows 10 mobile devices, it apparently realizes that encouraging software support for rival platforms could be a moneymaker. In terms of market share, Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the United States, making the strategy of bundling Microsoft applications with it a tempting one.
Office and Microsoft Services apps are already available on a wide range of Android smartphones and tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy S6, the LG G Pad 2, the Sony Xperia Z4 and others.
’Every Person on Every Device’
The strategy is part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to make its software more compatible for users employing competing platforms. As one example, Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant, was made available for both Android and iOS late last year. Microsoft's Office apps for iOS and Android have been downloaded more than 100 million times. Microsoft’s hope is that by bundling those applications, users might like them enough to pay for its full Office 365 suite.
Microsoft is making its ambition clear. The many agreements with hardware makers "demonstrate how Microsoft is leveraging the scale of the hardware ecosystem, and working with partners in new ways to deliver rich experiences to our customers," Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the company’s OEM (original equipment manufacturer) division, said in a statement. "This is a cornerstone of our broad services strategy, to bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device."
Image Credit: Microsoft.