We've heard Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster express his desire to break away from Google on more than one occasion, and it looks like Microsoft will be helping him do just that. Cyanogen OS will soon come bundled with a suite of Microsoft apps and services including Bing search, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Office.

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This is probably part of the same initiative that saw Microsoft's apps built into most versions of the Galaxy S6. Users of Cyanogen OS phones will simply have access to Microsoft's apps without downloading them from the Play Store first.

For the time being, I wouldn't expect Microsoft's apps the be deeply integrated with Cyanogen OS, but that day may be fast approaching. Cyanogen will be working with Blu later this year to make a phone that lacks all the usual Google services. Bing default search, anyone?

Press Release

Cyanogen Announces Strategic Partnership With Microsoft

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - Cyanogen Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership to integrate popular Microsoft services across the Cyanogen Operating System. With offices in Palo Alto and Seattle, Cyanogen is a leading mobile operating system company that is evolving the Android platform to create a more open, level playing field for third-party developed apps and services.

Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft's consumer apps and services across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling a powerful new class of experiences.

"People around the world use Cyanogen's operating system and popular Microsoft services to engage with what matters most to them on their mobile devices," said Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen Inc. "This exciting partnership with Microsoft will enable us to bring new kinds of integrated services to mobile users in markets around the world."

"We aspire to have our tools within arm's reach of everyone, to empower them in all aspects of their lives. This partnership represents another important step towards that ambition," said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Corp. "We'll continue to deliver world-class experiences across productivity and communications on Windows, and we're delighted that Cyanogen users will soon be able to take advantage of those same powerful services."

The distribution arrangement includes a number of Microsoft services: Bing services, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office.