Microsoft today announced that it has expanded its partnership with Xiaomi to “provide innovative user experiences” on the latter’s mobile devices. As a part of this agreement, Xiaomi will be pre-loading Microsoft’s Android apps — Office and Skype — on its devices.
This move will allow the Redmond based company to greatly expand its reach in India and China, two of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. The agreement will also see both companies cross-license their patents to each other.
“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.”
The fruits of this partnership will start showing from September 2016, when Xiaomi’s handsets like the Mi 5, Mi Max, Redmi Note 3, and others will start coming with Microsoft’s Office suite and Skype pre-installed.
Microsoft has previously worked with Xiaomi to bring a test Windows Phone ROM to Mi 4 and a Windows 10 build to Mi Pad.
Xiaomi is just one of the few companies that Microsoft has entered into an agreement to pre-load its Office applications on. The company has similar agreements in place with other major OEMs like Samsung, Alcatel, and others.