Acer to pre-install Microsoft apps on select Android phones and tablets

Acer will begin pre-installing Microsoft productivity apps on its Android smartphones and tablets, thanks to a new deal between the two companies. Microsoft made the announcement, noting that Acer tablets and smartphones will come with Microsoft productivity tools on board starting in the second half of 2016.

As for what you can expect to see pre-installed, Microsoft names seven apps, including those from its Office suite: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. The announcement does note that this will be for select tablets and smartphones, so we'll have to wait until the latter half of 2016 to get a glimpse at what portion of Acer's portfolio is affected.

The deal is similar to one struck with Samsung in early 2015, in which the Korean tech giant agreed to pre-install Microsoft Office apps on select tablets. In fact, in a separate release, Microsoft announced that it now has 74 hardware partners around the globe that are offering pre-installed Microsoft services on their devices.

Sources: Microsoft (1 (opens in new tab), 2 (opens in new tab))

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Okay, is MS playing the long game with Android?
  • The company is getting people to use their software and services...
  • No they are putting their software on devices. consumers' using it is a whole other thing.
  • You both are right. The company is getting people to use their software and services. But people using it is entirely whole other thing.   I think MS will manage. Remember MS managed to make Internet Explorer used world wide following same strategy.
  • And it completely killed the perception of IE. Now it is the butt of jokes, even in non-techie circles. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @Spectral Entity I think they're playing the only realistic game there is right now and that is (almost) "everything everywhere".  If they can make the platform irrelevant while providing the best software experiences to everyone, only Google and Apple should be concerned here.  The majority of hardware partners who are mostly Android shops anyway, can only win. It still remains to be seen how this strategy will evolve with the Windows mobile platform though.
  • Essentially, if Microsoft can turn Apple and Android devices into Microsoft devices, at some point, people will realize that they would be better off just buying a Windows Mobile device in the first place. Either way, Microsoft wins. That is, if they can finish Windows 10 Mobile in a timely fashion.
  • Microsoft are too stupid to be able to get hold of Android and IOS and turn them essentially into Microsoft (Trojan) horses.
  • Agreed, they are so stupid that they can't see that they are empowering Android and iOS to eventually take over even on the desktop because just like many are already saying why do we need windows phone when we already have all their apps on Android and iOS? That same question will become a reality on the desktop.... Android is already working on something similar to continuum! Satya is working on ending windows as a whole, not making windows everywhere like people think because apps and windows are independent of one another, so windows isn't needed to have them, just like a windows phone isn't......... Is Satya as smart as some people here think or is he making a grave mistake that will come back to haunt Microsoft down the road???
  • Are you talking about chrome and android being merged...?
  • An Android phone empowered with Microsoft services is not same as that of a desktop. It is like saying iPad with Office is same as that of Surface Pro. There is a world of difference.
  • Been done before see Wordstar and Wordperfect, not to mention Nintendo and Netscape.  I believe its called te "acceptance phase" we are in right now
  • Nintendo is not dead... They aren't in good shape, but they aren't dead (they have basically the ONLY handheld console, since "Vita has no games", the Third home console, and so much money to continue releasing console at loss for 50 years... So no, definitely not dead)
  • No, they wont, thats just the reality of the situation.
  • But then they would find out that those same apps in WP are crap compared to on the other OS's .
  • Not in Windows 10 mobile they aren't. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You're giving Microsoft way too much credit. Essentially, they have to do things like this (and offering Office on the iPad Pro), to remain relevant in mobile.   W10 Mobile and the Lumia division sure isn't cutting it.
  • Won't happen but anyway. What is in our (the users') interest? A limited number of platforms, every platform 100% compatible in itself with every service provider represented on it who wants to compete. That would be a degooglelized Android with a diversity of app shops and services running on it. What is not in our interest? One single company having total control over a single platform. Users of today are much more agnostic swapping services and app stores than migrating to a new platform, I believe. With an Android-of-the-many-vendors not a single transaction in apps or media content is lost for the customer.
  • It's not rocket science, They have to get the suite onto IOS and Android, if they do not eventually an alternative suite may become the preferred choice and thus a big revenue loss for MS, this makes good business sense and will help support the W10m mission... well that's my thought anyway :D
  • Careful, That kind of sensible, rational thinking can get you lynched 'round these parts...
  • Glad to see people with a logical way of thinking on here.
  • It's all about market share. If not handset market share, then software. Eventually peeps will just gravitate towards MS hardware. If not, MS still has them using their core software suite.
  • Why will they gravitate towards Microsoft hardware? Especially when Microsoft phones are not readily available! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • lol i actually just came across a post that says something really wierd about android and the new Surface Phone.  What do you guys think?
  • Surface phone will probably run Desktop Windows
  • I love it when a singel person tries to judge the decisions of a multi-billion dollar company who's decisions are made by a committee of people and are probably evaluated at multiple stages,, from inception to final aproval. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You say that, but big companies have fallen before on the back of bad decisions. Also look at governments, they make bad decisions daily with the same kind of system. You can also refer back to the announcement of the Xbox One...
  • Google will luv this deal...
  • This being Windows Central, why on earth do we care about Android or iOS?
  • May or may not have something to do with Microsoft's apps being preloaded on certain phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Because Microsoft software applications will be running on them.....? This *is* Windows Central, not Windows Mobile Central, and Microsoft is primarily a software company.
  • @ScubaDog  We should care since this is part of Micrsoft's cloud first, mobile first strategy.  There are many Windows Central fans who have lost faith with Windows Phone for whatever reason and have jumped ship back to Android or iOS, this is good news for them. Equally, there are plenty of other people perfectly happy with their other platform but who want to extend their desktop PC software experience.  Microsoft can now offer a decent level of software service to everyone everywhere without having to pry anyone away from anything (unless it's a Blackberry I guess).  It's the 3rd way.  Worringly, it kind of reminds me of the phrase that Microsoft was labelled with by the DOJ all those years ago - "embrace, extend, extinguish". I hope we're not returning to those days and that they play nicely. 
  • So essentially Microsoft has turned into Norton Antivirus and every other spam-ware company we all hated from the XP and Vista eras. Nice.
  • Not really MS preinstalled apps don't bork Android like Norton
  • we still need more things to bork Android???? :P
  • It would be good if Samsung installed service of Microsoft .
  • They do already, since the launch of S6
  • Bundled crap is still bundled crap no matter who its from.