In a press release today, Xiaomi and Microsoft announced a new long-term partnership in which Xiaomi now owns 1,500 of MS’ patents. In exchange, the Chinese manufacturer agreed to preinstall Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Skype on their Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3, and Redmi 3 Android devices starting this September. As senior VP of Xiaomi Wang Xiang stated to Reuters over the phone,
This is a very big collaboration agreement between the two companies.
Exactly what patents in question are being sold aren’t known, however they reportedly cover voice communications, multimedia, and cloud computing.
Financial aspects of this agreement don’t want to be discussed by either Microsoft or Xiaomi, so we’ll have to see if any new details leak out in the future about the partnership. However, this deal does let Xiaomi be more well-suited in western markets such as the US, so this could mean that more of their devices will be available for sale from retailers such as Amazon or even carriers like AT&T or Verizon some day.
For reference, below is where you can find the full press release about Microsoft and Xiaomi’s partnership. We’ll update this post if any new information is obtained.
REDMOND, Wash. and BEIJING, May 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. and Xiaomi Inc. have expanded their global partnership to provide innovative user experiences on mobile devices. As part of the agreement, Xiaomi will ship Microsoft Office and Skype on Xiaomi Android smartphones and tablets. As a result, tens of millions of consumers and business customers in China, India and around the world will have new ways to work, collaborate and communicate. The companies’ new collaboration also includes a cross-license and patent transfer agreement.
“We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on a broad technology collaboration partnership,” said Xiang Wang, senior vice president at Xiaomi. “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.”
“People want their favorite apps and experiences to work seamlessly on the device of their choice, and that’s exactly what this partnership offers,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development at Microsoft. “Together with Xiaomi, we’re bringing the very best in mobile productivity to millions more customers in China and around the world.”
Beginning in September 2016, Xiaomi Android devices, including Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3, will come pre-installed with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype applications. Specific offerings may vary by device, market and mobile operator.
This agreement builds on the companies’ partnership with Windows 10 on Mi Pad and Microsoft Azure powering the Mi Cloud service. Partnerships with companies such as Xiaomi are central to Microsoft’s strategy to work with industry leaders around the world to meet the needs of joint customers.
About XiaomiXiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, who believes that high-quality technology doesn’t need to cost a fortune. We create remarkable hardware, software, and Internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range, which currently includes the Mi Note Pro, Mi Note, Mi 5, Redmi Note 3, Mi TV, Mi Band and other accessories. With more than 70 million handsets sold in 2015, and products launched in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia and Brazil, Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.
About MicrosoftMicrosoft (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.