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Microsoft Inks Deals with Samsung, Dell To Bring Office Apps to Android

Microsoft on Monday announced agreements with 11 OEMs, including Dell and Samsung, in which key Office apps will be preinstalled in those vendors' Android devices.

Dell and Samsung -- along with regional OEMs Pegatron, TrekStor, JP Sa Couto, Datamatic, DEXP, Hipstreet, QMobile, Tecno and Casper -- have agreed to bundle Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Skype apps on their Android tablets and phones.

Samsung, for its part, already said at this month's Mobile World Congress event that it will offer OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. Microsoft said the devices will come with an additional 100GB of free OneDrive cloud storage for two years.

On Monday, Samsung took the agreement a step further by offering the apps via a new Office 365 and Samsung KNOX Business Pack. That news confirms reports from earlier this month that Samsung and Microsoft were working on a deal to bring Office 365 apps to Samsung's portfolio of Android devices with Samsung Knox Workspace security integration.

According to the announcement on Monday, businesses and enterprises that buy Samsung devices through Microsoft's channel partners will have a choice of three Office 365 plans -- Business, Business Premium or Enterprise -- to be 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 capabilities later this year, according to Peggy Johnson, Microsoft's executive vice president for business development who was hired by Microsoft CEO Nadella from Qualcomm last fall.

"These deals demonstrate how we are working with hardware partners in new ways to deliver rich experiences through their scale," Johnson 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."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.