Microsoft and Xiaomi have entered into a cross-license and patent transfer agreement. As a part of the deal, Xiaomi is acquiring 1,500 patents from Microsoft and will pre-load Microsoft Office and Skype apps on its Android smartphones and tablets. This is a part of Microsoft’s revised mobile strategy which focuses on getting its software and services onto iOS and Android devices instead of focusing on Windows devices alone.
Beginning in September 2016, Xiaomi’s Android smartphones, including Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3, will come pre-installed with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype applications. These may vary by device, market and mobile operator. Xiaomi had already partnered with Microsoft for Mi Pad running Windows 10 and it uses Microsoft Azure for its Mi Cloud service.
Commenting on the partnership, Xiang Wang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, said:
We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on a broad technology collaboration partnership. As demonstrated by this agreement with Microsoft, Xiaomi is looking to build sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders, with the ultimate goal of bringing the best user experience to our Mi fans.
Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development at Microsoft, said:
People want their favorite apps and experiences to work seamlessly on the device of their choice, and that’s exactly what this partnership offers. Together with Xiaomi, we’re bringing the very best in mobile productivity to millions more customers in China and around the world.