Microsoft announces 74 Android OEM partners so far to preload its apps

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Microsoft announced this week it has struck deals with a total of 74 Android OEMs to preload the company's mobile applications on their devices.

This announcement fits in with the company's plan to see its software on as many devices as possible regardless of the operating system. The Satya Nadella-driven strategy has seen Microsoft become a force in mobile software despite not having a killer device of its own.

In a blog post, Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the Microsoft OEM division, said 43 of the 74 OEMs had signed on since the company first announced its plans to team up with OEMs last March. Those partners offer or will soon offer what makes up the core productivity apps for the company – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype.

"This is a cornerstone of our broad services strategy, to bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device," Parker said. "By pre-installing Microsoft software and services on Android tablets and phones, our partners are able to increase the value of those devices by delivering the rich productivity experiences customers want."

Parker did not include a list of the OEMs with his blog post and said the specific offerings could differ among devices.

Some note that the move will add to the amount of bloatware that users will have to uninstall from their devices, though Microsoft seems to think that this preexisting access is exactly what customers want.

This software approach to reaching users is one of several irons Microsoft has in the mobile fire. The company is also pushing its newest Lumia phones, and there are reports of a Surface phone in the works. So far, the platform-agnostic route has been working quite well.

For more:
- read the blog post from Microsoft
- read on the bloatware skepticism at ZDNet

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