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Microsoft and Lenovo deepen strategic ties

Microsoft announces another cross-licensing deal that will see its software pre-installed on millions of Android devices

Microsoft and Lenovo have announced a deal to deepen strategic ties between the two companies, but gave no financial details of the agreement.

Under the deal, Lenovo will load Microsoft’s productivity apps, including Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype on select Lenovo devices that use the Android operating system.

Microsoft did not say which devices would be affected, but said Lenovo expects to ship millions of these Android-based devices worldwide over the next several years.

The deal is the latest in a string of similar deals by Microsoft with more than 70 Android device makers, including Samsung, HTC, Asus, Acer and Xiaomi.

Microsoft has a large portfolio of patents related to Android, and makes more money licensing these patents than it makes selling Windows Phone handsets, according to phoneArena.com.

The expanded collaboration between Microsoft and Lenovo also includes a patent cross-licensing agreement that covers Lenovo and Motorola devices.

Microsoft said in a statement that the patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a “healthy and vibrant” technology ecosystem.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements.

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“Microsoft’s thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo’s premium devices,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice-president OEM division, Microsoft.

“The marriage of Microsoft’s apps and Lenovo’s Android-based devices will enable customers worldwide to be more productive and connected and achieve even more,” he said.

Christian Eigen, leader of corporate alliances at Lenovo, said deeper collaboration with Microsoft will create opportunities for customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft’s most popular apps. “Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe,” he said.

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