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August 24, 2016

Lenovo smartphones to get Office and Skype in Microsoft deal

News: Microsoft also signs cross-licensing deal with electronics maker.

By Alexander Sword

Microsoft apps will come pre-loaded on Lenovo’s Android devices as part of a deepening of the strategic partnership between the two companies.

The productivity apps include Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype.

The collaboration will also include a patent cross-licensing agreement.

The new deal will also cover devices made by Motorola, which was acquired by Lenovo in 2014.

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

Microsoft has made similar cross-licensing deals with manufacturers such as Asus, Samsung, LG and Xiaomi.

Such deals are one way for Microsoft to capitalise on the smartphone market.  In May, figures from Gartner estimated that nearly 2.4 million Windows Phones were sold in the latest quarter, around 0.7 percent market share overall. That's a decrease from the 2.5 percent market share of Windows Phone back in Q1 2015.

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However, there is pressure on Microsoft to sign up more companies for deals. Microsoft’s most recent quarterly results showed patent licensing revenue falling 27 percent year-on-year “due to a decline in license revenue per unit and licensed units.”

Windows revenue decreased $871 million or 5 percent, mainly due to lower revenue from patent licensing, Windows OEM licensing (“Windows OEM”), and Windows Phone licensing.

 “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 around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more.”

“Our collaboration with Microsoft will create new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft’s most popular apps,” said Christian Eigen, Leader of Corporate Alliances, Lenovo. “Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe.”

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