Microsoft is taking Android seriously, and that means more than sticking quality apps on Google Play. The tech giant is partnering with whomever it can to make its software the first you see when you power on your phone. Lenovo is the latest Android manufacturer to agree.

The partnership includes a patent cross-licensing agreement that includes Lenovo and Motorola devices. Presumably part of the price for access to Microsoft patents includes getting the latter's apps in front of more faces. Expect to see the likes of Microsoft Office, OneDrive, Skype, and other apps appear on your latest Lenovo or Motorola device.

Microsoft sees this as an opportunity to strengthen its foothold in China and other Asian markets, similar to the deal it signed with Xiaomi earlier this summer. A year before that, Microsoft made arrangements with Samsung and other OEMs. As for your Nexus, you can probably hear a Googler somewhere saying over his dead body.

Press Release

Lenovo and Microsoft deepen strategic ties across devices

REDMOND, Wash. and BEIJING, Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. and Lenovo announced on Friday a deepening of their strategic relationship. Lenovo will load Microsoft's productivity apps — including Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype — on select Lenovo devices that use the Android™ operating system. Lenovo expects to ship millions of these Android-based devices worldwide over the next several years. This expanded collaboration between Microsoft and Lenovo also includes a patent cross-licensing agreement that covers Lenovo and Motorola devices.

"Microsoft's thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo's premium devices," said Nick Parker, corporate vice president OEM Division, Microsoft. "The marriage of Microsoft's apps and Lenovo's Android-based devices will enable customers around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more."
"Our collaboration with Microsoft will create new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft's most popular apps," said Christian Eigen, Leader of Corporate Alliances, Lenovo. "Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe."

Microsoft's commitment to licensing IP

The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements. More information about Microsoft's licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$45 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode YOGA brands), workstations, servers, storage, smart TVs and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including Motorola), tablets and apps. Join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@Lenovo) or visit us at www.lenovo.com.

About Microsoft Technology Licensing

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft's patent portfolio.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

LENOVO is a trademark of Lenovo. MOTOROLA is a trademark of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc.