Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition: Here’s Why 2017 Flagship Android Device Will Get MS Productivity Tools

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ is about to get a significant productivity boost owing from Microsoft. Partnering with the South Korean company, Microsoft is about to infuse a slew of special productivity enhancement and virtual workspace tools into the 2017 flagship Android smartphone. The Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition smartphone will be an exclusive in-store device.

The latest iteration of Samsung’s mobile device has been setting and breaking records for the highest pre-booked device in the company’s history without even landing in physical stores yet. It seems the device’s appeal, especially in the corporate sector, is about to shoot even higher thanks to Microsoft. The Windows OS maker that incidentally also makes Windows 10 Operating System (OS) for mobile devices as well has partnered with the South Korean company.

As part of the partnership, Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition smartphone will come with Microsoft’s office productivity suite Office 365, cloud storage solution OneDrive, virtual assistant Cortana, email platform Outlook, and other apps. Interestingly, these latest smartphones with “Infinity display” will run on Android and not Windows 10 OS. Peculiarly, those interested in these devices will have to head over to select brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores.

Why is Microsoft offering its premium office tools exclusive to Windows OS for an Android device?

As expected, the news about Microsoft offering exclusive Windows OS tools to an Android-powered device exploded on social media sites. Many called the strategy a sign of defeat for Microsoft. Others claimed the partnership heralded the demise of Windows Phone. While Microsoft certainly doesn’t own as much market share as Google’s Android or Apple Inc.’s iOS, the latest strategic move isn’t an indication of Windows Phone’s failure. Instead, it indicates how Microsoft is now playing on a much bigger and broader platform that revolves around the growing world of software services.

With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft abandoned the concept of trying to make money upfront by outrightly selling software licenses. Instead, the company practically gave away a thoughtfully crafted OS that was clearly designed from the ground up. The painstakingly created piece of software is still easily available through multiple channels without paying much. Under current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the company appears to have realized that the true competition was never over the hardware. Rather, the real battle that would continue to make money in the long run was over the different software that ran on those devices.

Specifically speaking, Microsoft knows that the cloud-based as well as subscription-based services that mobile devices depend on is the future of consistent and long-term revenue generation. Essentially, Microsoft has now decided to make money by offering the tried and tested software-as-a-service technique that companies like Google, Spotify, Dropbox, Netflix, and many others have long adopted.

The decision to offer Windows OS exclusive software for Android smartphones implies Microsoft isn’t fixated on which OS the smartphone is running on, as long as it runs the services that it offers. While the company would certainly prefer that Windows Phone’s market share and user base rises, Android’s grip on the smartphone industry is quite strong. Moreover, with Google regularly releasing newer iterations of the OS, users have come to rely on Android blindly.

What to expect from Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition smartphone?

Details about the device haven’t been made public, but industry experts indicate the devices will be identical to the regular S8 and S8+. However, those who wish to have Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook, and more Microsoft apps will have to head over to the brick-and-mortar stores of Microsoft starting April 21. They will have to purchase and unbox the phones within the stores. Thereafter, the devices will be connected to the Microsoft Store Wi-Fi and automatically populated with the productivity apps and cloud-based services.

The Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition smartphone marks a new beginning for Microsoft as this will be the first time an Android smartphone will be on sale inside Microsoft Stores. As reported by ZDNet, the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition smartphone will be sold at $749.99, while the slightly larger variant, the S8+, has been priced at $849.99.

[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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