BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp and U.S. mobile engineering firm AgreeYa Mobility on Tuesday signed an agreement to allow corporations and other users to connect to Microsoft services from a variety of computing platforms, including phones and tablets running Apple Inc's iOS and Google Inc's Android.
The protocol licensing agreement will allow AgreeYa Mobility to produce a software suite that interoperates with a range of Microsoft applications and services, connecting from Microsoft and other platforms, which also include Research in Motion Ltd's Blackberry and Hewlett-Packard Co's WebOS.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft and Folsom, Calif.-based AgreeYa held the signing ceremony in Beijing to capture the attention of some of the world's largest handset manufacturers and tablet computer assemblers, which are in China, Taiwan and South Korea, said Sandy Gupta, marketing general manager for Microsoft's Open Solutions Group.
The partnership, which the companies plan to launch formally in March, is intended to expand Microsoft applications for enterprises, such as companies, universities and government agencies, across a wide range of mobile devices, primarily smartphones and tablet computers, Gupta said.
The two sides did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.
With about a billion mobile phones and tablet computers sold every year, corporate IT departments are shifting from issuing mobile devices to working with phones and tablets that employees have bought on their own, said Krish Kupathil, chief executive of AgreeYa Mobility.
This "bring your own device" approach means that companies need to make disparate devices running on different operating systems able to access necessary applications, he said.
"Imagine an enterprise with 40,000-50,000 employees spread across the globe," Kupathil said. "Currently the IT team just manages the laptops. With mobile devices coming on, I think that number is going to at least triple. So manageability of these devices is a very important part of this."
(Reporting by Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Matt Driskill)