Skip to main content

Cyanogen teams up with Microsoft to offer bundled apps and services (Update)

In the announcement (received by email), the two companies will work together to offer a unique experience for Cyanogen users with native integration. Bing, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and Microsoft Office were mentioned in the announcement.

Microsoft has been pushing hard on competitor platforms, namely Android and iOS, to launch improved experiences for consumers to make full use of the company's array of services. This new partnership with Cyanogen is another step for Microsoft to attract potential customers.

Update: Here's how Cyanogen plans to implement these Microsoft apps and services

Cyanogen Announces Strategic Partnership With Microsoft

Cyanogen Open OS Platform to Offer Microsoft Services Later This Year

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - Cyanogen Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership to integrate popular Microsoft services across the Cyanogen Operating System. With offices in Palo Alto and Seattle, Cyanogen is a leading mobile operating system company that is evolving the Android platform to create a more open, level playing field for third-party developed apps and services.

Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft's consumer apps and services across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling a powerful new class of experiences.

"People around the world use Cyanogen's operating system and popular Microsoft services to engage with what matters most to them on their mobile devices," said Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen Inc. "This exciting partnership with Microsoft will enable us to bring new kinds of integrated services to mobile users in markets around the world."

"We aspire to have our tools within arm's reach of everyone, to empower them in all aspects of their lives. This partnership represents another important step towards that ambition," said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Corp. "We'll continue to deliver world-class experiences across productivity and communications on Windows, and we're delighted that Cyanogen users will soon be able to take advantage of those same powerful services."

The distribution arrangement includes a number of Microsoft services: Bing services, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office.

78 Comments
  • I'm assuming (hoping) that these will be uninstallable, or at least be able to be deactivated? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why wouldn't they? Posted via the Android Central App from my HTC m8
  • Well, let's see. Cyanogen builds Android from source, yes? So, they could modify the source to prevent disabling/removing the apps, yes? I doubt they would, but it is strictly possible.
  • Now we know that they are removable but for all intents and purposes they are an "oem" now and yes, they could absolutely make it uninstallable if they chose (like every other oem with bloat)
  • Depends on how Microsoft is paying them Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • Cyanogen, wants to be the new Touchwiz its sounds like. But they will use MS apps instead. MS is dying and trying to integrate all their services on Android as we speak because mobile MS sucks and is almost dead. Cyanogen is not the company they once were and are going completely in the wrong direction from which they started, IMO. And that is why I'll never use their products and services ever again.
  • It's like a bad return to the Samsung Fascinate, which only used Bing and you couldn't change that......
  • The option to deactivate will definitely be there even if these apps are uninstallable. I do wish sometimes apps that are bundled come with the option to uninstall. With this, I don't mean just carrier bloat, it includes many Google apps that aren't necessary for device operation. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They are going to be.
  • I hope this isn't part of Cyanogens new "Google free" direction. There's no way in hell I'd want to give up Google Search for Bing. If this is their plan, they are gonna end up driving a lot of loyal followers away from their product Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly! It's like "we want to get rid of Google... Let's team up with Microsoft"
    Dafuq?? Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's more about offering quality services by default from a company which has much better privacy terms. They wanted to be completely free of Google services. There a lot of Android fans... but there's also a lot of people who do not trust Google. In my opinion it was a smart move to partner with a company that can offer all the same services (and more) without the reliance and privacy concerns of Google. Plus the majority of Enterprises utilizes Microsoft services.
  • LMFAO... cause MS is better than google in that regard?? wow.. you must work for MS. Not to mention that you dont get the same experience on an android device not using google services.
  • "you dont get the same experience on an android device not using google services." You couldn't be more wrong lol, I used an Evo LTE for 2 years and I didn't use ANY google service besides Maps. And I loved my Evo, I had every google feedback, tracker, history, and any fetch disabled and my phone worked just as any smartphone would. HTC made that possible idk if maybe other OEMs don't and that was with Jellybean, perhaps google got stricter on their google play services software? but I got the same experience so idk why you say that.
  • LOL... like seriously, none of these companies out looking out for us and our privacy. MS pulls the exact same bs that google, apple & all the rest of them do. dont be fooled by the bs they try telling you.
  • Thinking same thing. If you have to give up google just to go to a lesser competitor in Microsoft and offer their apps, its like why?? I dont think Bing and the microsofts apps will ever be as integrated into the OS like googles Apps. If cyanogen wants to free Android of google, they should also be freeing it from any and all competition. Not signing deals with competitors to make money. The whole thing just seems like a downgraded spin off
  • Really, you think Microsoft have lesser services. Maybe search but the rest by far are superior to Google.
  • What I said was Microsoft was a 'lesser competitor' meaning competitively speaking in terms of numbers of OS users, Microsoft is a smaller player, in comparison, to Google. But to answer your question, in reference to mobile services, yes I do. Everyone is entitled to their opinion though. The integration at the OS level through android and Chrome happen to better suit me for google docs, google drive and Hangouts. However, I do stand by everything else I said.
  • Far superior is very objective. Their apps look like shit on Android, but probably fine for one who doesn't have any design taste. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There are some apps they just don't care about and some they update diligently. I made the mistake of wasting $31.40 on their Music service and the app looks like shit on all my mobile devices. It may have a great music library but what good is that to me when the user experience is painful and frustrating. However, I have MS Office apps on almost all my devices.
  • Thanks for sharing your opinion.
  • Agreed with you. They need to invest time and money into making more of their own products, not teaming up with Google replacements. We've already seen them do a good job with their own apps like file manager and music, so I don't think this would be a far stretch if they are really serious about making Cyanogen without Google.
  • File manager and music? Kid's play. We're talking about replacing Google's services...
  • CM sold out man.. plain and simple. not saying that because just this either. They are Corporate now and that sucks (I wont use their garbage anymore) but you are kidding yourself if you think that 90% of people wouldn't have done the exact same thing in their situation.
  • I thought the exact same thing. If people truly wanted the Microsoft experience, they'd have Windows OS devices.
  • Get that bloatware on bro.
  • Whoa fella! Have you not heard? The term bloatware has been redefined. It is bloatware ONLY if you cannot disable it and/or not one single person finds it useful.
  • I think bloatware should be more subjective per user, and therefore if it's not essential to the OS it should be uninstallable.
  • One more reason I root my phone and keep System app remover installed. Nothing like ripping out unwanted apps you didn't ask for.
  • This is good news imo, just another example for google to use as a defence against the eu lawsuit. Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4
  • Cyanogen isn't part of the OHA. The investigation is about those who are. PS: there are two cases one for Android and one for search.
  • Sad to CM going the bloatware route. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think this a great idea! I have an Iphone 5 and I LOVE outlook.com and OneDrive. I use Bing for internet search on both my IPhone, IPad, and Windows laptop and I have no problems with it. One can't beat all the FREE storage one can get on OneDrive. Skype and Office in the cloud are more than adequate. Google maps is certainly the superior mapping experience however. I don't like paying a premium for Apple hardware and the future of windows phone is uncertain. I HATE the Google business model, however i do like the WIndows Chrome browser and Google maps.
  • Finally, someone with good logic and sense on Android central Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't think people are implying Microsoft services are bad, but to call yourself an OS based off Android and yet have your OS natively integrating Microsoft's apps is an odd thing to do.
    Also this is an Android site, so people here are clearly going to lean toward anything Google as it is their preferred mobile OS designer.
  • Right, because the only people with "good logic and sense on Android Central" are those that love Microsoft and hate Google. You shills are hilarious.
  • yeah, and I wonder what a iPhone user doing in this forum.
  • It is profoundly stupid. They've really changed what they're all about. I don't like the it. I have been using CyanogenMod for years. This makes me want to leave them entirely. I don't know how the hell they can eschew Google only to embrace Microsoft. They are biting the hand that feeds them.
  • You summed up my thoughts exactly here. Been hacking vzw devices for over 3 years to run CyanogenMod just to get away from the nonsense out there. Now they are inviting it in with open arms. I wonder how many steak dinners and bags of cash it took for kondik to cave. IMHO, if they needed the revenue, they should have began charging for the os. I would have paid.
  • Don't ask for a price or an ETA! They'll ban you from their forums!
  • I have abandoned them. let us do it too.
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • CyanogenMod and Cyanogen are not the same thing.
    CM is, and continues to be, an open project that is community developed and driven.
    Cyanogen, Inc. is a private business that builds a custom, AOSP-derived commercial ROM for their partners. They seem to be wildly unhappy with Google for whatever reason, and to that end they have teamed up with possible the only company whose services are roughly equivalent and can give them the private hooks and APIs they need to produce a fully-functioning ROM at a similar level of quality as using Google as the backbone of the OS. Simply put, one strong partnership is better for them to manage than a half-dozen with mediocre results.
  • How about an option to install instead of having the stuff baked in? Posted via the Android Central App
  • They are replacing the basic functions that Google has steadily moved from AOSP into Play Services and their various apps (GMail, Chrome, etc.) with a simlar framework that ties into Microsoft's systems instead. If they weren't "baked in", things like maps, search, email, messaging and location services simply wouldn't work at boot, and apps wouldn't be able to access the APIs they would normally expect to see causing them to crash or simply not work. Google has tied a bunch of basic functionality into Play Services, to the point that about all you can get with a pure AOSP-based ROM is a dialer and SMS.
  • Welp, the last bit of respect I had for Cyanogenmod is now gone. I've been defending their recent business practices. But this now proves it; they've changed. And for the worse. [add signature here]
  • lets teach them a lesson by abandoning them
  • I think I'm going to
  • Just what I always wanted.
  • As long as Google Play Services and the Play Store are still included, I can get all the Google apps I want, and remove/disable the MS ones that I don't want. No problem.
    Look, Cyanogen Inc. is now a business, and they have to make money somehow. They are no longer a simple open source project.
  • You do realize that all the white noise they've been making during the past few months is how they are moving AWAY from google, right?
  • Cyanogen, Inc. is creating a fork of AOSP that is completely stripped of Google-specific references, APIs and services. Think FireOS. That has nothing to do with CyanogenMod, the AOSP-based community-driven ROM project. They are two separate entities. Kind of like how each OEM has their own skin but contributes work to AOSP as well. Cyanogen will contribute code to CyanogenMod, but CyanogenOS is not just a more refined/tested/certified build of CyanogenMod, it is something else entirely.
  • I officially say Fuck CM. Omni rom all the way. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or perhaps, "Fork CM". It is FLOSS software after all.
  • Actually OmniROM did Fork CM. Way to go OmniROM!
  • I'm officially done with Cyanogen. Omni rom all the way. Posted via the Android Central App
  • me too
  • Is this the, taking Android away from Google, I'm paraphrasing of course, that we have been hearing about? So, what? The idea is to swap out Google's services for Microsoft's? I don't get what they are trying to prove over there at Cyanogen Inc. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't care if someone wants to bundle MS apps and make a few bucks, but the talk of the CEO about taking android away from google, blasting them for too much control, etc, like they are on some kind of moral crusade and then add MS stuff. I'm sure the MS stuff isn't crap compared to typical bloatware but still I don't get a good feeling from the direction they are going. Its fine if they want to make some money to fund the company but don't act like google is some bad guy here just to turn to MS.
  • +1... So for cyanogen most evil is better than least evil... Posted from Mi3W via the Android Central App
  • Microsoft is the biggest scumbag in tech always crafting backdoor deals to underhandedly stick it to consumers and the competition.
    I will never buy a device with cyanogenmod nor will i flash it ever again. If they REALLY cared about android and services being SEPERATE things that integrate with the os they would roll their own. Or ATLEAST on first boot give the owner of the device the option to install microsoft, google, or other services OR choose NONE!
  • 1. You don't know what a backdoor deal is cause this isn't one.
    2. They care about making money not making android better for YOU.
    3. Do you give Google shit for not offering the ability to choose services on boot?
  • How will CM replace Google Play services?
  • F**k ME. Thank God I never really got into the whole CM daily driver testing crap. Seriously what the hell. I'll say it again "CyanoSellout" Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do you remember that part on Stars Wars when Darth Vader asks Luke to join the Dark side... If you ever wondered what if Luke accepted the offer. Well... would feel like this...
  • Microsoft, "We won't collect patent royalties if you put our apps front and center. Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • This is so it. This is the only reason. They are being arm twisted. Via Nexus 6: "Takin updates for granted."
  • MS doesn't collect from CM team as far as i know. Do you have a reference to that?
  • My question is
    - Will this change also be present in CynogenMod?
    If so then
    - What happens to those ROMs built on top of CM? Will they also be pulled into this collaboration unwillingly?
  • No CynogenMod will remain unchanged from what i've read.
  • Yes! I use most of these apps anyways, except for Outlook Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • I definitely won't be buying any Cyanogen devices and won't recommend them.
  • Me neither Microsoft is a hell of a greedy and desperate company i've never imagined. Now they wanna force us to use their premium bloats
  • Does anyone have the wallpaper from the phone in that screenshot?
  • Microsoft just shot itself and its anti-Google monopoly lobbying in the foot
  • A reason to actually use lagdroid again, scroogle is the most unethical advertising company out there. Finally some decent services available from a tech company.
  • They're shooting themselves in both feet.
  • Since Cyanogenmod relies on Google giving them the baseline of their work, is it wise to bite the hands that feeds you?