The Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition is infused with Microsoft apps

You can only get this specialized phone at Microsoft Stores.

IDG

IDG

Microsoft's invasion of Android phones just took a new turn. Up until now, the company has strong-armed device makers into pre-installing Microsoft apps on Android phones. With the Samsung Galaxy S8, however, Microsoft is selling its own version of the phone called the Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition. (There’s also a Galaxy S8+ edition.)

The specialized phone comes with “Microsoft customization” that is applied when it's unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi. Microsoft says the customization adds a “best-in-class productivity experience with Microsoft applications such as Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook” and so on. 

It sounds like these phones are just generic Galaxy S8 devices with a special script built-in that automatically downloads Microsoft’s various Android apps when you set it up. It’s not clear if Microsoft also downloads its Next Lock Screen as part of the experience.

The Microsoft Edition phones are available for pre-order now and start shipping on April 21. You can’t order them online, however. They're only available from Microsoft retail stores in the U.S. That suggests this is a trial program to gauge public interest in a Microsoft-centric Android phone. It’s not known if Microsoft has ambitions beyond that.

The story behind the story: The Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition is an interesting turn of events for the company’s approach to Android. Samsung and Microsoft first signed a cross-license patent agreement in 2011 that resulted in Samsung paying licensing fees to Microsoft. A dispute over payments in 2015 changed that deal and although the terms of the new deal weren’t publicized, Samsung began pre-loading Microsoft apps on its phones and tablets soon after.

The deal with Samsung may have expired, forcing Microsoft to take a different approach. That’s just speculation, but the reality should become clearer if more Microsoft Edition Samsung phones show up in the coming years.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsungGalaxy S8

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?