Microsoft has forged several new partnerships with tablet makers using the Android operating system, including Samsung and Dell.
Peggy Johnson, executive vice president for business development at Microsoft, said the deals extend Microsoft’s reach in the mobile world and extend its Mobile First, Cloud First strategy.
Apps on Android
Johnson said consumer demand for Microsoft apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint drove the partnerships. As a result of the partnerships, Android users will have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as Skype and OneDrive storage directly from their home screens.
It is also a subtle way to keep users away from alternatives like Google Apps.
Until now, Microsoft Office productivity suite has been largely excluded from the substantial part of the market driven by Android. Microsoft has been holding Office back from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
That may have worked in the past. But it's not going to work now, with so many alternatives on the market.
Along with Samsung and Dell, Microsoft has signed agreements with 11 other regional OEM’s including TrekStor of Germany, JP Sa Couto of Portugal, Datamatic of Italy, DEXP of Russia and Hipstreet of Canada.
"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," Johnson wrote in a blog about the partnerships.
Recent research by Gartner indicates that Android will continue to grow this year, reaching 1.1 billion users by year’s end, an increase of 26 percent from 2013.