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Asus agrees Microsoft bundle deal for Android devices

Asus has joined the growing ranks of Android phone manufacturers to add support for Microsoft’s apps.

The Taiwanese manufacturer joins Samsung, LG, Sony, Dell, and many other companies in signing a deal with Microsoft to bundle its Office apps on their phones and tablets.

As Microsoft itself notes, this is actually a broadening of a pre-existing patent licensing agreement between the two companies. According to ZDnet, however, this earlier agreement did not relate to Android.

It seems Microsoft has found a clever way to spread its software onto rival platforms. The company holds a number of valuable smartphone software-related patents, and appears to be making the preloading of its applications part of its licensing agreements.

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has famously put an end to the company’s aggressive and exclusionary culture, and has embraced a cross-platform, “mobile-first and cloud-first” approach.

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Yesterday, this even saw Microsoft and Google putting an end to their years-long patent war, and agreeing to “collaborate on certain patent matters” and to “working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers.”

It’s highly speculative at this point, but we can only hope that this partnership will involve Google making apps that work with Windows 10 smartphones. There were no such Google provisions for Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 8, other than a basic search app.

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