Microsoft Apps to be Preloaded on Android Tablets
Windows RT is dead. Windows Phone is in limbo. Windows 8 is the new Vista, and Windows 10 hopes to be the new Windows 7 (so to speak).
Microsoft needs a new strategy to increase their mobile reach, and they've found one: Android. No, they're not banking on Play Store popularity to drive app downloads. Instead, they're wielding a well built patent portfolio against Google's Android partners.
Most Android OEM's pay licensing fees to Microsoft to cover a handful of valuable mobile software patents. Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been agreeing to sacrifice short term licensing revenue for preinstalled apps.
We've seen this with, for example, the latest Samsung Galaxy flagship, and now Microsoft apps will be included on tablets from twenty named partners.
In effect, the goal of the new Microsoft is to use Android like a Windows substitute by ensuring their apps are everywhere Android is (or, more realistically, everywhere valuable to Microsoft based on their own internal calculus). Doing so may cost more in the short term, and Microsoft will need to coexist with Google's apps, OEM apps, carrier apps, and bloatware as well as the home team advantage Google enjoys as the platform developer.
Nonetheless the goal is clear: get new Android users seeing and using Microsoft apps from minute one that they power up the device. Whether they'll do any better this way than Samsung remains to be seen.