The Microsoft Edition is likely aimed to maximise the potential of Samsung DeX docking hub
Microsoft is going to offer is own version of Samsung’s Galaxy S8, tweaked to make the best use of the Microsoft Office apps that come pre-installed on Samsung’s flagship smartphone.
“A Microsoft customization is applied to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ Microsoft Edition when the devices are unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.
“This customisation ensures customers a best-in-class productivity experience with Microsoft applications such as Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook and more.”
Microsoft and Samsung DeX
While this may seem like a recipe to confuse consumers, there logical explanation for such a move is likely to be centres around DeX, Samsung’s docking station for the Galaxy S8 that essentially turns the smartphone into a pseudo Chromebook like desktop experience once connected via the station to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.
By offering a version of the Galaxy S8 optimised with Microsoft Office 365 apps and the likes of Skype and OneNote, Microsoft could ensure that people using the Galaxy S8 with DeX and accessing the company’s apps get a fluid desktop experience rather than something stuck between a mobile and desktop interface.
Having seen DeX in action on a standard Galaxy S8, Silicon can safely say that the desktop experience is perfectly slick, particularly with the ability to access a virtualised Windows desktop via Citrix VDIs.
However, Microsoft clearly feels there scope to take this further, though more details on how it will optimise the Galaxy S8 have not been revealed, but additional Microsoft apps such as Outlook and the Cortana virtual assistant will be added to the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition.
At the time of writing there appears to be no sign of the Microsoft Edition of either the Galaxy S8 or its larger sibling the Galaxy S8+ online for pre-order in the UK, meaning Redmond’s take on the Galaxy S8 may be limited to the US, suggesting that the app bundling agreement between Microsoft and Samsung may have expired in the US, promoting the need for a special edition, which the UK deal is all alive and well.
Which ever edition is on offer, both versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 impressed us greatly, and fired a veritable volley of tech shots across Apple’s bow.