Feeling the pressure from sagging Windows sales Microsoft is now working hard to put its software on as many computers as possible after previously only supporting its own Windows operating system.
The company recently announced that its digital assistant Cortana, similar to Apple's Siri and Google's Voice search products, would be coming to Android and iOS later this year.
As part of this initiative, Microsoft today announced on its official blog that it has signed a series of major agreements with hardware partners. Today's announcement confirmed that big players Sony and LG will now be involved with the initiative.
The agreements are for the pre-installation of the core Microsoft productivity apps on tablets coming from key manufacturers. The company is focusing on larger screen tablets, used in business, rather than smartphones at the present time.
The core apps are its Office suite, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. Microsoft had already announced agreements with heavy hitters Samsung and Dell, but the new additions bring the total number of partnered manufacturers to over 30.
LG and Sony are big players. While exact devices the pre-installs will go on isn't fully known, they will include a new LG tablet, and Sony’s Xperia Z4 tablet, within the next 90 days.
Microsoft’s goal is to bring Microsoft services to every person on every device, and partnerships like these are crucial to fulfilling that desire.
It's also useful, at least for the time being, for device manufacturers running Android. Precious little separates one Android device from another, leading to low margins and high competition in the space. Differentiation by compelling software offerings is one way to bridge this gap and Microsoft has a strong portfolio with which to do that. At least until all Android manufacturers are running the Microsoft stack, at which point the benefits diminish.