Microsoft has snagged another important partnership with the makers of CyanogenMod, a ROM for Android that has become extremely popular in places like India.
The partnership will include CyanogenMod 12 with Microsoft Office, OneDrive, Outlook, Bing, OneNote, and Skype coming preloaded on the update. It is a big list, one certain to annoy Google who adds its own service package.
Cyanogen has been critical of Google in the past for not open sourcing a lot of its services, forcing ROM makers and manufacturers to preload quite a bucket load of apps in order to access the Google Play App Store.
Microsoft made a similar agreement with Samsung to add OneDrive, OneNote and Skype onto the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. This move was apparently in exchange for one year of Android patent agreements, valued at $1 billion, showing Microsoft is serious about getting its services onto mobile platforms.
Even though preloading apps might not be the most friendly way to make users adopt services, it is potent. OneDrive offers 25GB of storage free, Skype has free calls and messages as an alternative to WhatsApp and Office is the best productivity suite in the world.
Recently, Cyanogen went into a partnership with Micromax, the largest mobile phone vendor in India. The exclusive deal meant OnePlus could not launch the One in the region, due to it also running CyanogenMod—this went against Micromax’s exclusivity agreement.
Micromax might not be happy with the incoming suite of Microsoft applications, but it is clear Cyanogen is looking for new partnerships to fund its ROM growth. Microsoft was apparently involved in one of Cyanogen’s recent funding rounds, in order to grab this deal.