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Patent licensing deal will see Microsoft Office apps pre-loaded on ASUS smartphones

Microsoft and ASUS have announced a broadened patent licensing deal that will give ASUS access to more licensed technologies from Microsoft in its Android smartphones and tablets. According to the press release, it also appears that Microsoft Office services may come pre-installed on some ASUS devices as part of this deal as well. From Microsoft and ASUS:

The deal includes a broad cross-license covering, for example, ASUS Android-based phones and tablets and Microsoft software, devices and services. It paves the way for closer integration between the two companies, including pre-installation by ASUS of Microsoft Office productivity services on ASUS Android smartphones and tablets.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has struck a deal to have its Office suite pre-loaded on Android devices. Earlier this year, Microsoft also struck a deal with Samsung to have a swath of its services pre-loaded onto "select Android tablets," along with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

Source: Microsoft / ASUS

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

45 Comments
  • Just build a Windows Mobile device already, no patent required.
  • You really aren't paying attention, are you?
  • Microsoft is not a device company, it's a software service based company...always was first and foremost. Microsoft makes its money from services and not Windows licenses.
  • Android and IOS are soon gonna just be MS phones but WP is where lag doesn't live and everything is native.
  • I bought moto x play for my bro. I used skype in android. OMG!! how beautiful the experience was. From that time I was unable to use skype in my lumia 720! Seriously.... Microsoft needs to give us also such experience.   Now the lumia 720 is 2 years old. I want to upgrade but no phones. I want a midrange phone with continumm , I guess I have to wait till feb! Can't wait as my phone is lagging!!
  • I wonder if this approach may encourage more cooperation between Microsoft and the OEM's, potentially leading to more Windows Mobile devices.
  • Not gonna happen. Manufacturers want to differenate their devices from each other to gain more recogntion as a brand. That's precisely what seperates Android from Windows. 
  • Will with them all running Android, how is that different? Design is the only differentiator because fragmentation is already out there with the Android OS.
  • The best thing about WP Is the fact that OEMs are forced to be innovative with features not crap UI/Skins like on Android. HTC for example bringing boom sound...Lumias with their superb cameras. They are competing and differentiating in areas where you rarely see on android. The differentiation comes from the UI they use...hardware aspects rarely ever are anything amazing.
  • So access to infitite malware is a differentiating feature now, is it?
  • None of Microsoft's approaches will ever lead to more WM devices.
  • Much dense. Wow
  • Lenovo, for example, doesn't make Windows phones because of Microsoft making its services on rival platforms. Said Lenovo's representative: “I use an Android phone and a Windows laptop and now I can open all my Office documents on my phone in a Microsoft app. The fact that it isn’t a Windows Phone is irrelevant, so the move by Microsoft has made it far easier for us to sell a combined solution to business.” http://www.windowscentral.com/lenovo-microsoft-has-made-it-easier-sell-o...
  • Or their approach is like the Borg, assimilating other technologies into their collective making everything a WM device. ;)
  • @maktaba, you're looking at a snapshot where MS is looking at the long-term. Microsoft was starting to lose real numbers of users to Google Docs, not because it was preferred, but simply because of lack of availability of MS Office on other platforms. Yes, in the short term, this probably is a boon to Android, but it's already dominant. And yes, probably a blow to Windows Phone, but it's already at such a low percentage of market share, any further harm in the near term is immaterial. On the other hand, by making the applications people want (without question, Microsoft's biggest competitive draw), MS accomplishes 2 big developments that are long-term HUGE for Windows Phone: 1) it liberates users from the attachment to the device and keeps the focus on the applications on that device, and 2) it increases brand affinity and loyalty, so that users have a fond feeling of a friendly universally supportive MS (MS has an uphill fight to replace its image as the big bad guy on the block). With both 1 and 2 in place, MS has a real shot at winning not just a handful of short-term users, which they might do by limiting Office to Windows Phones, but gaining real market share over time. Further they do this without risking Office to Google Docs at the same time. MS is pursuing the ONLY logical strategy I've heard articulated that has a real chance at success. Having said that, and I suspect we agree on this part: it is encumbant on them now to ensure, as Nadella said, that Windows on all platforms will provide the best experience for those MS applications and services. So the Android or iOS version of Office should never be better than the Windows Phone version (unless it's taking advantage of unique feature of those other systems that are not available on Windows Phone).
  • Cynicism!
  • Ahh I thought that meant we would be getting Asus windows phones :(
  • F-Android......they need the OEM's to flood the markets with Windows 10 Mobile phones........time to start waiving developer fees for certain amount of time on the store.......get the missing apps published asap.
  • Developer fees hardly is the issue, I am afraid. Sure it could help a little in getting small/"hobby" developers on board. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Now make a licensing deal to have W10M pre-installed. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Haha.. That would be nice. Android phones with Microsoft apps preinstalled and W10M variant of the same handset
  • Aren't those apps free anyway or do they mean free subscriptions?
  • They mean come ready out of the box for the final regular user. I'm over the common user knowledge in technology, but I find myself using several preinstalled app on my devices just because is ready out of the box. And that's the behavior that makes sense for Microsoft doing that kind of deals, and I'm not the only one.
  • I just got a zenfone 2 for my job (great phone except for Android) and instantly set Microsoft apps as defaults. Hopefully this leads to Asus releasing a WP version or at least supporting W10m for current phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Mayhaps someday windows will be installable on and android phone. I mean hardware in a lot of cases is identical sans camera.
  • How's the performance and what model are u using?
  • Wow, that's like 1-1.5GB of bloatware preloaded on the phone.  This is not good for users, IMO. Microsoft is a third party ecosystem on Android.  A lot of consumers won't even care about these apps.  They're the losers in this deal, especially on 16GB device...
  • I disagree. I tend to think that when people think of productivity, they think of MS Office, so having an instantly recognizable brand on your phone would be a plus.
  • Yeah. MS Office = productivity. 
  • Just not for you.
  • But on your iphone you should be used to 1-1.5 gb of bloatware. ;-) I kid because I love.
  • Another win for them, however I hope the US carriers don't start removing them like they did with the samsung phones...    
  • What's wrong with your carriers? It seems that they pretty much control everything.
  • I don't live in the US lol, but it's antagonising to see these "should-be-dumb-pipes" control too much of the market. The US is I believe ranked 55th in terms of LTE coverage - above Indonesia and yet they fleece the general populous left, right and centre.Edit: correction, it was speed not coverage - brain fart lol. http://www.networkworld.com/article/2986155/mobile-wireless/us-rank-drops-to-55th-in-4g-lte-speeds.html  
  • They shouldn't be allowed to have more power than other carriers in other countries, but nobody seems to be stopping them. It just shows that the consumers have little to no priority to them.
  • Asus has stolen our Double Tap To Wake feature and can be found on its ZenFone 2.
  • That feature debuted on the LG G2 back in 2013 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And the N9 had it in 2011. Today a lot of devices have this feature. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Watch AT&T and Verizon remove it from their carrier-branded smartphones.
  • How about collecting the fees a little longer and using them to pay develops to make apps and to make more attractive phones for your own platform first!
  • You want to use our patents on Android? Preinstall our ecosystem and we're all good.
    -- Microsoft It's a great strategy, really.
  • How can you patent a license? Isn't licensing a universal tool?
  • You license patents, not the other way around.
  • Still, Microsoft should keep certain things (services or parts of some services) specific for their platform. Letting people know, "Do you want more? Try Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile"
  • A better approach would be: You want the best experience of this? Try it here. Nadella has gone on record saying that while they want their services everywhere, the best experience will always be on Windows.