The [Microsoft] Office team in particular has learned how to enthusiastically embrace alternative platforms. The goal for Office is to become aggressively ecumenical, running on as many platforms as possible. Office on the Mac, for example, is a significant business. The new Office apps on iPad
are excellent and appear to have sold a fair number of $99-per-year Office 365 subscriptions.
If Microsoft's goal is to make it possible for you to run Office on as many devices as possible, then building a first-class Android app is mandatory, even if the unintended side-effect is strengthening Google’s hardware position temporarily.
That certainly means delivering Office for Android through the Google Play store, using the same subscriber-only model Microsoft used for its iPad apps. Whether Google will embrace Office as enthusiastically as Apple did is an open question, but it’s a safe bet that Office for Android will be insanely popular.
But the real game is in the Android Open Source Project, the Android code that Google gives away. An army of small Chinese manufacturers are building handsets based on AOSP. As of the end of last year, BI Intelligence reported that 25 percent of all global smartphone shipments
were running a forked version of Android, minus Google services.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire is based on AOSP and is similarly Google-free. AOSP is also at the core of those Nokia-branded, Android-powered phones now being sold by Microsoft.