Microsoft is planning to win over Android customers by pre-loading some of its productivity apps on Samsung and Dell smartphones.
It is a new effort by Microsoft to have a place in the Android ecosystem, dropping the previous tactic of selling cheap Nokia smartphones with Microsoft apps pre-installed.
Samsung is the biggest partner so far, apparently an Android patent deal allowed Microsoft the opportunity to add OneNote, OneDrive and Skype onto the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. This is prime time viewing space for all the 40 million reported buyers of the two devices.
Dell has a smaller partnership with Microsoft, pre-loading a set amount of applications onto its Android smartphones in the US. This partnership will most definitely yield less views, but cost Microsoft a heck of a lot less to secure it.
Microsoft has not detailed whether it will enter more partnerships with Android manufacturers to get apps pre-loaded. LG would be a good candidate, considering the G4 is reportedly coming in the next few months.
The software giant sells dozens of Android patents at a pretty premium, apparently costing Samsung $1 billion (£670 million) in 2013. It might be able to waive the fee for the patents in exchange for further Android app adoption.
It is clear Microsoft is not bothered about launching smartphones running Android any more. That ship sailed as soon as Satya Nadella took full control of the company.