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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?