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Android is Microsoft’s Mobile Trojan Horse

Recent patent licensing agreements see Android hardware makers bundling Microsoft apps.
October 2, 2015, 1:46pm

Don't be surprised if Microsoft apps are bundled with your next Android smartphone.

As part of an expansion of an existing licensing agreement, Asus has agreed to pre-install "Microsoft Office productivity services" on its Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Asus isn't the only Android hardware maker to agree to pre-load Microsoft's apps as part of a patent licesning agreement. Samsung began doing so earlier this year with the Galaxy S6. Dell, LG, and Sony have also begun pre-installing Microsoft apps on their Android smartphones.

The deal between Asus and Microsoft comes just a few days after Microsoft and Google agreed to put a stop to their multi-year patent litigation battle over smartphones and the company's Xbox video game console. (No financial terms of this deal were disclosed, but the two companies said they'd "collaborate on certain patent matters.")

And if you're wondering, yes, Microsoft's mobile productivity apps have actually been well-received by critics, with the company's iOS version of Outlook in particular receiving solid marks.

Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly characterized the impetus for the expanded licensing agreement between Microsoft and Asus.