In an announcement made today, Microsoft and Acer have come to an agreement whereby a suite of the Redmond, Washington company’s apps will be pre-installed on selected Acer Android phones and tablets later this year. While it is not clear which devices will see these apps installed, it was clear in the announcement which apps are involved. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive will be there along with Skype for voice and video communications.
Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing, said, “We’re pleased that we have been able to enhance the already strong partnership that exists between Microsoft and Acer. Mutually beneficial and collaborative agreements such as this one promote innovation and lead to better products and experiences for consumers.”
The announcement falls in line with the continued “mobile first” strategy of Microsoft who has continued to develop their Android apps at a feverish clip over the past 18 months. Indeed the suite of apps now are almost on par with their desktop counterparts from a feature perspective while remaining free to download. For all of the functionality the apps have to offer, customers will still need to sign up for Office 365 and this deal with Acer is no exception.
The announcement, while short, certainly enhances the company’s position of wanting to be the apps that users access for productivity and Acer joins a growing list of hardware manufactures that are installing their apps on their devices. Equally, it continues to put pressure on Google themselves as they continue to push their own suite of applications, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, as
well as Google Hangouts for voice and video communication.
How effective and successful this agreement between Microsoft and Acer turns out to be is very much a question to be answered. We don’t know what devices are involved for example and “the second half of 2016” is a pretty broad six month window.