Useful software or bloat?
If you're not the type to install a custom ROM on your Android phone, then the first thing you're likely to do when buying a new handset or tablet is see which bits of pre-installed software can be removed. The rest can be tossed in a custom 'junk' folder (out of sight, out of mind, right?), leaving you with a relatively clutter-free device.
That's all well and good, but what about pre-installed Microsoft software? If your phone or tablet came with Office apps already on there, would you remove them or use them? Microsoft's banking on you using them and is therefore making a concerted effort to get its software and services installed onto as many mobile devices as it can, platform be damned.
It's latest partner towards this effort is Acer. Starting in the second half of 2016, Acer will start pre-installing select Microsoft apps and services on its portfolio of Android products. The specific apps include 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."
This is part of Microsoft's 'If we can't beat 'em, let's join 'em' strategy with regards to Windows on mobile devices. With a less than 3 percent share of the mobile market, Microsoft doesn't pose a real threat to Android or iOS. Maybe Windows 10 for Mobile will change that at some point in the future, but it won't happen today or anytime relatively soon.
That's okay because Windows isn't the end game anyway. Microsoft's larger play—and this is true of Windows 10—is to get users hooked on its subscription services. Microsoft would obviously prefer if those users ran Windows on their various devices, and there are benefits to doing so, but for those who choose other platforms, Microsoft will happily take their money, as well. Heck, Microsoft makes a handsome royalty on every Android sold anyway, though that's a story for a different day.
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