There was a time when Microsoft wanted to compete in the smartphone business with their own operating system. Even with the latest iteration of Windows Phone, which attempts to unify the platform between desktop computers and mobile devices more than ever, things don't seem to be taking off as everyone expected. A major problem of Windows Phone seems to be that despite Microsoft's efforts, they couldn't get developers to make many popular apps for their OS. Microsoft has now released most of their apps for other platforms so people keep using their products. Now, they are partnering with Acer so their apps are available as soon as users unbox their devices.
Acer might be better known for making Windows computers, but they have also released various mobile products running the Android operating system. The company will begin pre-installing Microsoft's productivity services and apps across their Android smartphones and tablets from the second half of 2016. Their users will benefit from apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. "We're excited to partner with Microsoft to provide enhanced mobile productivity to our products," said ST Liew, president of Acer Smart Products Business Group. "By integrating the Microsoft software suite, Acer customers will enjoy productivity on-the-go along with the familiar computing experience on their smartphones and tablets." The included software certainly benefits those users who buy one of Acer's new products and already own a desktop computer running Windows with Microsoft's services. For example, an Office 365 subscription gets them additional OneDrive storage, which can be used to save their documents online and edit them from any of their devices.
This isn't the first time Microsoft partners with a manufacturer of Android products. Samsung has been preinstalling Microsoft's Office suite in their flagship products for a while and even in a handful of mid-range devices. Additionally, the company partnered with Cyanogen as well so Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant is further integrated into the OS compared to other platforms. The full list of Microsoft's partners include 74 hardware makers that will pre-install the company's software, so expect to see them in more mobile devices in the future. Aside from making their apps available to any Android user through the Play Store, Microsoft is taking the necessary steps to ensure that their apps are seen by as many eyes as possible through hardware partnerships.