Arrangements between big businesses to pre-install software on our devices is nothing new: bloat dates back far before this mobile-centric age in which we find ourselves now, after years of bogging-down new PC installs. It’s such that any time we find ourselves hearing about a new deal it’s all we can do to not immediately go on the defensive. But there’s a whole spectrum of software out there that we might find pre-installed on new hardware, ranging from the annoying, to the innocuous, to the legitimately useful. And when we heard earlier this spring that Microsoft was hooking up with Samsung and other OEMs to pre-install things like Office and OneDrive, we could imagine many users placing this software in some of those latter categories – it certainty wasn’t the worst pre-install deal we ever saw. Now Microsoft is back with some more partners lined up, making similar arrangements with some other big Android manufacturers.
While the full list is quite long, there are a couple names that immediately jump out: LG and Sony.
Both companies will start selling their Android tablets (this deal doesn’t appear to affect phone software) with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. For Sony, that means outfitting newly sold Xperia Z4 Tablet models with that suite within the next few months. For LG, it means that a still-upcoming tablet will be available with the apps from day one.
None of this is likely to sway the decisions of tablet-buyers one way or the other, but it’s the latest step in a broader plan of Microsoft’s to make its mobile ecosystem felt across platforms. More so than Apple, and arguably even Google, Microsoft doesn’t want you to have any excuse for not using its software and services – no matter which hardware you choose.