All aboard the Samsung Galaxy S8 train!
After years of trying and failing to get anyone to care about Windows Phone and then Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft’s finally making a smart move in mobile: It’s partnering with Samsung for a “Microsoft Edition” of the new Galaxy S8.
What makes the Galaxy S8 and S8+ Microsoft Edition, uh, Microsoft-y? For starters, the phones will only be sold at Microsoft Stores in the U.S. starting on April 21. They’ll still cost the same as the regular versions, though: $749.99 (S8) and $849.99 (S8+).
Aside from that, the only new additions to the Galaxy S8 appears to be the Microsoft apps that are installed after connecting the phones to a Wi-Fi network for the first time.
Apps that’ll be installed include “Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook and more” according to ZDNet.
That’s all fine and dandy, but you’re probably thinking right now, can’t you just buy the regular version of the S8’s and install the Microsoft apps yourself?
Yes, you 100 percent can do that, but how many people will? One of the first things most people who buy new Galaxy phones do is replace the default Samsung apps with Google’s. How many people swap Samsung’s apps for Microsoft’s? I’d wager, not too many.
The Microsoft Edition of the S8 is less about having any exclusive features, and more about putting Microsoft’s suite of powerful productivity services in front of more eyeballs on mobile — something it just doesn’t have considering what a steaming failure Windows 10 Mobile is.
Bundling its apps and having them front and center on the Galaxy S8 — a phone that’ll no doubt sell very well — is also another chance for Microsoft to keep the phone-transforms-into-a-desktop dream alive.
With a Microsoft Edition, sold at Microsoft retail stores, Samsung and Microsoft can easily showcase the benefits of getting a desktop-like experience with the Samsung DeX dock.
Microsoft Continuum was a cool idea and it could have really morphed into something serious, if not for the fact that it was stuck on a virtually non-existent platform. The Galaxy S8 is Microsoft’s best shot at realizing the promise of Continuum. Samsung will get the credit and Android is the interface (not Windows 10), but at least Microsoft’s apps will be there leading the charge.