Microsoft, Lenovo cross-licensing love-in: Android mobes knocked up with... Office apps

Locked and loaded baby

Patents, image via Shutterstock

Lenovo’s signed a second patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, loading Redmond’s productivity software on its Android devices.

Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype will come pre-installed on unspecified Lenovo devices packing Google's Android.

Lenovo expects to ship “millions” of Android devices over “the next several years” the pair said.

The deal follows a patent cross-licensing deal covering Lenovo and Motorola devices.

The wording of this deal is careful and there’s no reference to patent infringement, however, Microsoft has been on a march among OEMs over the years, knocking on doors and signing up vendors in to cross-license its technology.

The crux of such deals has invariably been the various hardware firms’ use of either Linux, Android or Chrome with Microsoft dangling in front of them the prospect of unspecified patent infringements of Redmond's patents.

The announced deal between Microsoft and Lenovo was dry and economical on detail, however Microsoft did point to the existence of more than 1,200 licensing agreements since December 2003 when it launched its IP licensing program.

Microsoft has been calculated to make $5 on each device shipped running Android.

There are a reported 74 makers of Android devices who’ve signed deals with Microsoft to preload the firm’s apps and services on their machines.

Lenovo is the world’s largest seller of PCs in a shrinking market: 12.48 million PCs shifted out of a total of 64.7 million in the first quarter of 2016, falling seven per cent from the year before.

Of the PC makers, only Asus and Apple saw growth during the quarter – 1.5 and 1.0 per cent respectively in a market that saw a 9.6 per cent sales drop-off. ®

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