ASUS Joins Growing List Of Android OEMs Preinstalling ‘Innovative’ Microsoft Software

Tech buddies Microsoft and ASUS have been getting along famously so far, so the two have decided to take their friendship to the next level by expanding upon an earlier patent license agreement. The expanded agreement broadens the cross-licensing pact and, among other things, will see ASUS pre-install Microsoft's software and services on its Android-based smartphones and tablets, Microsoft announced.

Microsoft's Office productivity services will be among the software included, which we presume to mean apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and perhaps Skype and OneDrive as well (neither company has named any specific apps, nor have they said if the deal includes all Android devices by ASUS or just select models).

ASUS ZenPad S 8.0

Outside of strengthening current product offerings, the deal also brings Microsoft and ASUS closer to one another. The two firms have agreed to share technologies toward the development of new products, though what exactly those products are isn't yet known.

"This agreement delivers significant value for both companies. Beyond ensuring continued improvements to our products, it opens the door to the kind of collaboration between Microsoft and ASUS made possible only through mutual respect and alignment on intellectual property," said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC.

It's an interesting arrangement that has obvious benefits for Microsoft. You may recall that Microsoft said Windows 10 will be the last major version of Windows it ever offers. That's because Microsoft has switched to a Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS) business model that will see more frequent security and feature updates rolled out to Windows 10 users rather than periodic Service Packs followed by a brand new release. To keep the money rolling in, Microsoft is focusing on selling supplementary software and services. This agreement helps Microsoft do that on the most popular mobile platform around (Android).

Since software and services like Office and OneDrive are generally desirable, ASUS will benefit from this agreement as well, especially if the pre-installed software amounts to more than just a free trial for customers.