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There’s already quite a few Android devices that come with Microsoft’s apps preinstalled, and that number is going to get bigger. The company has revealed that several smartphones and tablets from Xiaomi will soon ship with MS Office and Skype preloaded.
Microsoft announced that as it expands its global partnership with Xiaomi, the firm’s productivity suite of apps - Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Skype - will come preinstalled on a number of devices from the Chinese manufacturer, including the Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3, and Redmi 3, starting this September.
The move comes as part of a patent deal between the two companies, the details of which haven’t been fully disclosed. Some reports say Xaiomi purchased the 1500 patents from Microsoft, while others claim it was a traditional licensing agreement.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the patents include those for wireless communications, video technologies, and cloud computing. Xiang Wang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, said they represent “an important step forwards to support [Xiaomi’s] expansion internationally."
Expanding the Xiaomi-Microsoft partnership: new deal for Office & Skype pre-install, IP cross-license and patent transfer agreement— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) June 1, 2016
"We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on a broad technology collaboration partnership," Wang said in a statement. "As demonstrated by this agreement with Microsoft, Xiaomi is looking to build sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders, with the ultimate goal of bringing the best user experience to our Mi fans."
Despite a recent IDC report that showed Xiaomi has been pushed off the top five biggest smartphone makers list, the company still holds a huge share of the worldwide market, mostly because of its popularity in China.
Microsoft will no doubt be happy with its part of the deal, as it means the company’s apps will now get more exposure in China. For Xiaomi, the patents look set to aid the company in its overseas expansion plans.