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11 Device Makers Will Preinstall Office 365 Apps on Android

In its latest show of support for non-Windows hardware, Microsoft on Monday said that 11 device makers will preinstall key apps from its Office Suite onto the vendors' respective tablets and smartphones for consumers and business users. Leading the pack was Samsung, which said it will preinstall Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote on its tablets in the second half of this year. Microsoft said it will offer the apps via a new Microsoft Office 365 and Samsung Knox Business Pack.

Microsoft also said that Dell, along with original device manufacturer Pegatron, local device makers TrekStor from Germany, JP Sa Couto of Portugal, Italy's Datamatic, Russia's DEXP, Hipstreet of Canada, QMobile in Pakistan, Tecno from Africa and  Turkey's Casper, will preinstall the Office 365 components.

Samsung's latest move follows this month's news at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the electronics giant will offer OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. At the time, reports surfaced that a deal to offer Office 365 apps for Samsung's portfolio of Android devices with Samsung Knox Workspace security integration was in the works -- a scuttlebutt that came to fruition this week. Adding to its Galaxy phone announcement from earlier in the month, Microsoft said the devices will come with an additional 100GB of Microsoft OneDrive free storage for two years.

Microsoft said businesses and enterprises that buy Samsung devices through its channel partners will have a choice of three Office 365 plans: Business, Business Premium or Enterprise bundled with Samsung's Knox, the company's Android-based security platform. The agreement also covers support and setup services.

Samsung and the other 10 hardware providers will offer the preinstalled Office 365 capability later this year, according to Peggy Johnson, Microsoft's executive vice president for business development, hired by Microsoft CEO Nadella from Qualcomm six months ago. "These deals demonstrate how we are working with hardware partners in new ways to deliver rich experiences through their scale," she said in a blog post. "This is a big step forward for our cross-platform and cross-device services strategy, which will bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device."

While this is not a major technical breakthrough but rather a bundling deal, it's likely to attract those who buy Android tablets and smartphones that want to continue using Office to procure new subscriptions or keep users happy with their existing plans.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/24/2015 at 2:41 PM


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