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Microsoft’s genius plan for China expansion: Buddy up with Xiaomi

by Todd Haselton | June 1, 2016June 1, 2016 1:00 pm PDT


xiaomi mi5 9

Microsoft created a pretty compelling partnership with Xiaomi recently that will help it spread its wings in China. The company sold about 1,500 patents to Xiaomi, and, as part of that sale agreement, Xiaomi will pre-load Microsoft software on its Android smartphones and tablets. If Microsoft can’t attract Chinese consumers with its own smartphones, chasing after one of the country’s largest smartphone makers is a great plan B.

Xiaomi will pre-load Skype and Microsoft Office on its products, putting Microsoft’s services in front of millions of people in China and India who may not have had access to that software before. The first devices will ship in September and include the Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3, Microsoft said, noting that “specific offerings may vary by device, market and mobile operator.”

It’s a rather brilliant plan by Microsoft whose end goal, it always seemed, was to use its Windows smartphones as mere portals into its ecosystem. Now Xiaomi can do the legwork. Of course, there’s no value in this partnership if consumers in China and India ultimately snub Skype and Office.

Microsoft

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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