Premium Android devices from Lenovo will soon come equipped with Microsoft's productivity apps, following a deal between Lenovo and Microsoft.
Microsoft Office, Skype and OneDrive will be pre-installed in millions of select Lenovo devices that run the Android OS. The worldwide rollout is expected to take place in the next several years, according to the two companies.
'More Productive, More Connected'
Lenovo has yet to announce exactly which mobile devices will have Microsoft apps baked into their system, but the deal will also cover Motorola gadgets since Lenovo owns the Motorola brand.
The patent cross-licensing agreement is part of Redmond's push to inject its software across multiple brands of hardware, and get as many PC and mobile users deploying Microsoft apps as possible. This strategy eliminates the need for partners to pay large sums of royalties to Microsoft.
"The marriage of Microsoft's apps and Lenovo's Android-based devices," notes Microsoft's Nick Parker, "will enable customers around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more."
Under CEO Satya Nadella's leadership, Microsoft is now focusing on customer engagement and usage as "leading indicators of success."
Microsoft's OEM Partners
Lenovo is only the latest hardware manufacturer to join a long list of OEMs partnering with Microsoft. The roster also includes Samsung, Dell, Asus and Acer, among others, which have received the license to use Microsoft's productivity tools on the Android platform.
There are currently 74 OEMs in 25 countries that have signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft.
Bloatware In Lenovo Devices
This is also not the first time bloatware will be pre-packaged in Lenovo devices.
In early 2015, the Chinese PC maker was embroiled in the Superfish controversy: it pre-installed an advertisement software, or adware, that not only served ads to the device user but also made the actual device vulnerable to hackers.
The adware, dubbed Superfish Visual Discovery, was a browser add-on that tampered with a website's security certificates. In bypassing these safeguards, devices with Superfish were said to be unable to determine fake websites from legitimate ones. This made devices open to hackers, Tech Times reported.
Superfish was found in millions of Lenovo laptops. The company ended up relying on Microsoft and security company McAfee to find an early fix against the vulnerability until it was able to develop its own remedy. The OEM was served with a class-action lawsuit nonetheless.
Lenovo has since apologized and vowed to release cleaner devices, without the Superfish adware.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr