Microsoft moves deeper into Android territory, 20 new partners to ship tablets with Office apps

A few months back, Microsoft announced a deal that included Dell and Samsung shipping Office apps with their new Android tablets. Today, Microsoft is expanding that effort and has signed up 20 more vendors, including the likes of Sony and LG.

The Android tablets from the list of vendors, below, will now include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype out of the box. While terms were not disclosed, we suspect that Microsoft may be using its royalty position to help persuade these vendors to ship their goods with Microsoft services for some sort leniency on the Android patent issue.

For those not familiar, Microsoft has cornered nearly every single Android vendor for royalties because the software they are using infringes on the company's IP. With this position of power, it could be possible that the company is using its advantage to allow these companies to pre-install Office apps for reduced fees or some sort of other beneficial terms.

The new vendors who will soon be shipping tablets with the Office apps are:

  • Axdia International GMBH – Germany
  • Cube – China
  • DL – Brazil
  • General Procurement – United States
  • Grupo Nucleo – Argentina
  • Haier – China
  • Inco – Mexico
  • Ionik GBMH – Germany
  • Iview – United States and Latam
  • LG – Global
  • Multilaser – Brazil
  • Noblex – Argentina
  • Pacific (Vulcan) – Mexico
  • Philco – Argentina
  • Positivo – Brazil
  • Prestigio – EMEA
  • Sony – Global
  • Teclast – China
  • TMAX Digital – North America
  • Wortmannn – Germany

Microsoft says that Sony's Xperia Z4 tablet will start shipping with the new apps installed within the next 90 days.

For Microsoft, the benefit is obvious; they get their apps pre-installed on a competitors OS which will hopefully turn into paid subscriptions for Office 365. Google, whose Android operating system is the most popular in the word for mobile devices, trumped Microsoft's previous offering (Windows RT) and with Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft will face an uphill battle to claw back some market share.

While Windows 8.1 has been working as a stop-gap until the new OS is ready, it's not a perfect solution for all display types like that of Windows 10.

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