Microsoft's big plan to dominate Android and win mobile is coming together
Microsoft has signed up more than 70 smartphone manufacturers to preinstall its services onto phones, up from 20 in May last year.
In a blog post announcing the milestone, Nick Parker, the man in charge of relationships with smartphone makers, wrote that Microsoft had been "working hard to win over the hearts and minds of our partners and customers," culminating in 74 original equipment manufacturers signing up.
The partners, which include Acer, LG, Samsung, and Sony, will ship Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on devices starting soon.
Essentially, Microsoft will have its most important products on millions of new phones.
This is an important move for the company because it means the failure of Windows Phone matters less, and it aligns with CEO Satya Nadella's vision for how Microsoft will function in the future.
Nadella told BuzzFeed that individual sales did not matter if other people supported Microsoft's services.
"If you think of this more like a graph," he said, "these [devices] are all nodes. Sometimes the user will use all of these devices ... sometimes they'll use only one or two of our devices and some other platforms — so be it."
Windows Phones have shipped just 110 million handsets in their lifetime, while Apple's iOS and Google's Android have shipped a combined 4.5 billion units.
This is a problem for Microsoft as, by and large, it's easiest to get people to use a product if you can just bundle it on a phone. Apple Maps, which is the default app on iPhone, is beating Google Maps for precisely this reason.
Parker wrote that bundling Office on smartphones was "a cornerstone of our broad services strategy, to bring an array of Microsoft services to every person on every device."
Microsoft, according to Parker, is encouraging its partners with "opportunities to realize new revenue streams." He does not elaborate, however, on where these will come from.
For Microsoft, the incentives are most likely a small price to pay.
The company announced that about 340 million people were using Office on iOS and Android devices in the three months leading up to January, while a further 900 million were using Skype in total.
Microsoft now charges users for a subscription to Office, called Office 365, which totals about $90 (£62) a year. The company is also giving away Windows 10 free, rather than charging customers for a license per copy.
Analysts, however, are positive about the new Microsoft.
Pacific Crest released a research note after Microsoft's earnings that described the company as "a safe haven in an uncertain market," while Goldman Sachs reiterated its opinion that the company was successfully negotiating a turnaround.
More on BusinessInsider.com:
3 huge 'risk-off' trades are going crazy right now
How to answer the 'When is the 3 o'clock parade?' question
Here's what coco bonds are and why investors are freaking out about them