Soon, Lenovo devices will come preloaded with Microsoft apps including Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype, reports the Verge. The companies have signed a new patent cross-licensing agreement to add Microsoft products to both Lenovo and Motorola devices.
The agreement will allow Microsoft to market its apps to a new user base, while Lenovo will be able to offer extra features. This is not Microsoft’s first such agreement – in June this year, the company signed a similar deal with Xiaomi, which would let Xiaomi acquire 1500 Microsoft patents as well as preload Office and Skype.
Other than this, Microsoft has similar agreements with LG, Samsung, Sony Dell and Asus among others. Usually such deals focus on offering Microsoft apps on Android devices without royalty charges for manufacturers. Licensing software to manufacturers makes sense for Microsoft as it had dumped its phone hardware business in May.
Lenovo-Jio tieup: In September last year, Lenovo launched Vibeo Shot, an Android phone that came installed with 13 Reliance Jio apps. At the time, we mentioned that such a move set a precedent for Indian telcos to install bloatware on user’s phones before users can lay their hands on them. The practice is extremely common in the US, where users buy phones on a contract basis from telcos. Note that while the Jio apps were uninstallable, it’s not clear if the Microsoft ones will be.
Single brand license: Earlier this month, Lenovo reportedly applied for single brand retail license for opening company owned showrooms in India. The company’s Indian turnover from smartphone sales has been on the rise – from $700M last year to $1.3B this year, and it expects company operated showrooms to help make a bigger impact.
As of now Lenovo sells various laptops, netbooks, tablets, desktop PCs and smartphones in India. The company also owns Motorola, which sells its own handsets. Lenovo also manufactures smartphones in India – it had started in August last year in a partnership with Flextronics at its Sriperumbudur plant. At the time, it said it planned to manufacture six million units of smartphones by both Motorola and Lenovo during the fiscal.
– In May last year, it launched its low-cost Google Chromecast-like media streaming device called Cast.
– In June last year, the company appointed Rahul Agarwal as the managing director for India operations, taking over from Amar Babu who was promoted as the chief operating officer for the Asia Pacific region and chairman for India.