Over the last couple of years, the software giant has also shown a strong interest in drawing closer to companies that might be unlikely to partner with one or more other major tech companies due to competitive concerns.
The recent expansion of Microsoft's partnership with Samsung, which was revealed at last week's Galaxy Note 10 launch event, is a good case in point. Samsung, which had previously bundled Microsoft Office apps on some of its Android phones, will also now bundle Microsoft's Your Phone app, which lets users automatically see a phone's text messages, notifications and photos on their Windows PCs, and support the direct syncing of photos from Samsung's Gallery app to Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service. And notably, Samsung is updating its DeX device mirroring software to let users access a phone's apps via Windows.
For obvious reasons, it's unlikely that Apple (AAPL) will be partnering with Samsung to enable similar features on macOS systems anytime soon. And though one can't rule out the possibility of a Chromebook-related partnership with Alphabet/Google (GOOGL) , the fact that Samsung has been trying to lower its considerable dependence on Google might have left it more keen to partner with Microsoft.
The partnership that Microsoft announced on Monday with upstart Indian mobile carrier Reliance Jio is another deal involving a firm that's competing against a fellow tech giant, given that Jio's parent company (Reliance Industries) is also the owner of Indian Amazon.com (AMZN) rival Reliance Retail -- Amazon has reportedly held preliminary talks to invest in Reliance Retail, but for now the companies remain staunch rivals. Among other things, the Jio partnership calls on Jio to make extensive use of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, and to resell Office 365 to small and mid-sized Indian businesses.
Over in the U.S., Microsoft has drawn very close to Walmart (WMT) , which last year committed to migrating thousands of internal workloads to Azure and set up a joint engineering office with Microsoft in Austin, TX. Walmart, which was reported in 2017 to be pressuring its suppliers not to use Amazon Web Services (AWS), is also leveraging Azure's IoT services to track various objects within its bricks-and-mortar infrastructure.
Media and marketing software giant Adobe (ADBE) has also drawn closer to Microsoft in recent years: In addition to making Azure its "preferred" cloud platform, Adobe has worked to integrate marketing software apps with Microsoft's Dynamics 365 for Sales app, and (along with SAP (SAP) ) has teamed with Microsoft on an initiative to ease data-sharing between corporate apps. It's worth noting here that Microsoft and Adobe have a common CRM software rival in Salesforce.com (CRM) .
And though Verizon's online media struggles appear to be impacting this partnership's results, Microsoft has been closely partnering with AOL/Yahoo parent Verizon Media (formerly known as Oath), which (like Microsoft's Bing search engine) counts Google as a major rival. In January, this alliance was expanded to give Verizon Media more access to ad inventory on Microsoft properties.
As Microsoft tries to expand its reach in everything from gaming to business apps to public cloud services, look for the company to ink more deals with companies that feel it's worth making the enemy of their enemy their friend.