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​Microsoft Office and Skype find a foothold on Xiaomi's Android phones

With Windows Phone flopping, Microsoft is finding other ways to spread its software to a mobile market dominated by Apple and Google.

​Xiaomi will load Microsoft Office and Skype on its Mi phones.

Xiaomi will load Microsoft Office and Skype on its Mi phones.

CNET

Microsoft's Windows Phone may be a dud in the marketplace, but you will see other software from the company on mobile devices after a deal announced Tuesday with Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.

That's because Xiaomi will install Microsoft Office and Skype on some of its Android phones, the companies said. "Beginning in September 2016, Xiaomi Android devices, including [the] Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3, will come pre-installed with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype applications," Microsoft said.

The company declined to detail financial terms of the deal but said it would first become active in China. Users will be able to use the free Office software features and upgrade to premium features with an Office 365 subscription if desired.

Office and Windows, Microsoft's two biggest sources of profit, historically have been tightly linked. But under the leadership of Chief Executive Satya Nadella, Microsoft has begun trying to spread its software to a mobile market dominated by Apple and Google.

Under the deal, the companies are also licensing each other's patents. Xiaomi also agreed to buy nearly 1,500 Microsoft patents related to including wireless communications, video, cloud computing and multimedia, Microsoft said.

Update, 10:15 a.m. PT with Microsoft comment on some terms of the deal.