Microsoft and Xiaomi have agreed to a cross-licensing pact on patents owned by both companies. Microsoft, as we've detailed a number of times, has a large number of valuable Android patents
. In addition, Xiaomi will pre-install Skype and Microsoft Office on certain smartphones and tablets. The apps will start showing up on Xiaomi devices starting in September.
The devices that will be pre-installed with the Microsoft apps include the Xiaomi Mi 5
, Xiaomi Mi Max
, Xiaomi Mi 4s
, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
and the Xiaomi Redmi 3
. The exact apps that will be pre-installed might vary by device, and include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype.
"We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on a broad technology collaboration partnership. As demonstrated by this agreement with Microsoft, Xiaomi is looking to build sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders, with the ultimate goal of bringing the best user experience to our Mi fans."-Xiang Wang, senior vice president, Xiaomi.
"People want their favorite apps and experiences to work seamlessly on the device of their choice, and that’s exactly what this partnership offers. Together with Xiaomi, we’re bringing the very best in mobile productivity to millions more customers in China and around the world."-Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development,Microsoft
While Microsoft and Xiaomi may seem like strange bedfellows, the truth is that they have worked together before. Late last year, Microsoft released a ROM that allows the Xiaomi Mi 4 to be powered by Windows 10 Mobile
. And there is a version of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2
that runs Windows 10.
Xiaomi's Hugo Barra announces the deal on Twitter