Last month, Microsoft announced an interesting deal to pre-load three of Microsoft apps onto Samsung’s new flagship Android phone, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
But it looks like two of the nation’s largest carriers, Verizon and AT&T, were not totally cool with the arrangement, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The apps in question are Skype; Microsoft’s note-taking app OneNote; and Microsoft’s cloud storage app OneDrive.
Verizon’s S6 phones won’t include the Microsoft apps, sources tell the WSJ. And the ones sold by AT&T will include OneNote and Skype but not OneDrive.
If users want them, they will have to download them from Google’s app store.
Microsoft, naturally, would prefer that the apps wind up automatically in front of all those people who buy Samsung’s Android devices.
In fact, it also struck up a deal to include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, as well as OneNote, Skype and OneDrive preinstalled on Samsung tablets as well as a bunch of other devices by nearly a dozen other Android device makers.
Spokespeople for Samsung, Verizon and AT&T wouldn’t explain to the WSJ why they won’t pre-install the apps. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment, but the company didn’t illuminate why in its comment to the Journal, saying it’s “working with its partners” to “bring the best of its productivity services to everyone.”
However, we do know that smartphone users are not especially keen on having a bunch of pre-installed apps on their phones, just like PC users are not thrilled with a lot of unasked-for apps on their computers. That kind of thing is often called “bloatware.”
Samsung had promised users it was going to let people delete unwanted apps from its Android devices. And according to a developer who claimed to have an early version of the S6 Edge, Samsung seemed to be serious about that promise.
The developer’s phone was letting him delete just about all of the pre-installed apps, including Gmail, Drive, even Google search, pictures posted by the developer showed.
Google doesn’t sell the Android operating system. It gives it away to device makers and makes its money on search, shopping and other apps baked into Android. So if users delete its apps from Samsung phones that would not make Google happy.