Microsoft may have its own smartphone operating system, but it’s not exactly widely used. So in an effort to meet its customers where they are, the company has been releasing apps for Android and iOS… and now Microsoft is even planning to start selling Android phones.

Paul Thurrott reports you’ll be able to buy a customized version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ from Microsoft retail stores soon.

The phones will feature all the software and features you’d get if you bought elsewhere. But when you set up the phones, you’ll also get Microsoft apps, including:

  • Cortana
  • Office
  • OneDrive
  • Outlook

Sure, you could also just download any of those apps from the Google Play Store and install them on just about any Android phone. But it’s noteworthy that the next time you walk into a Microsoft Store you might find an Android phone alongside Windows laptop, desktop, and tablet computers.

The Microsoft edition Galaxy S8 smartphones will be available April 21st, just like other versions of the phones. Pre-orders should start soon, but I don’t see any mention of the phone on the Microsoft Store website. You may have to go to a bricks and mortar store to pre-order.

Or you can just order the standard Galaxy S8 from just about anywhere else: if you pre-order by April 21st you get a free Gear VR headset, and some retailers and wireless carriers are offering other promotions.

Best Buy may have the best deal: customers who pre-order can save up to $100 and still get the free Gear VR.

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11 replies on “Microsoft to sell Samsung’s new Android phone (with MS apps)”

  1. I was hoping that Microsoft would buy CyanogenMod in an effort to strip Google from Android, but I think Samsung will do for now. Don’t get me wrong, I love what Google is doing with their phones. I just don’t want them to be the only company to invest in Android. I am heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem in the corporate world. How cool would it be to get an Android phone catered to my Microsoft enterprise-based applications?

    1. The big problem of ‘Striping Google from Android’ is that then there will be conflicting Android API (Application program interface ) made by this various distros and for that an app developer will have to make multiple version of same app for this various ‘Android distros’. Which will create a huge Fragmentation (the current fragmentation will be nothing compare to this) issue and we will see a another J2ME like situation.

      1. Anyone can update Android, “fragmentation” is not such a bad thing when everyone is making viruses for Stock Android. Being a version behind the Pixel phone just means that you are less of a target thus you could say, “more secure” version of Android.

        1. You don’t get my point.
          Let say ‘Finger Print Scanner’ for example, before Lolipop added ‘official’ Support for Finger Print Reader every OEM had their own Custom API for it so it was very very difficult for developers to adopt it to their app. Because if a develop used Samsungs Finger print solution it won’t work on LG or HTC phone and it goes vice versa.

          After ‘Google’ added official support for Finger Print in Android then every OEm started using same API and life became easy for developers.

          But if Microsoft and others starts forking Android then the situation will get much much worse then this.

          1. I see. thanks for the explanation. But this issue you describe can be fixed by the vendor with an update. If you don’t believe me look at Amazon. The Amazon Fire is a fork of android and gets OS updates all the time over-the-air. And that product has largely benefited from stripping Google away from Android.

          2. FireOS has benefitted only Amazon by stripping Google’s services away.
            There’s still some angry developers that their ported Play Store apps are buggy without Google’s services.

            I think porting Android would’ve been a bad solution for Microsoft.
            The only thing they could’ve done would be to back someone like OmniROM, and to try and get an Android-Fork to become easy and popular and mainstream. All to simply disrupt Google.

            As it stands, Google has a tight-grip on Android internationally… except in China and Russia. And those are two markets Google is conceding defeat.

          3. The fact is the Amazon products are hot. They are the only Android tablets that still sell to the mass today. Forking Android made them successful and any theory of fragmentation doesn’t negatively affect the Amazon OS sales at all. Obviously not all developers are angry because the Amazon ecosystem brings in millions of cash while also competing with Google. Perhaps, Microsoft could do something similar. I am not making predictions, just observations.

    1. I think they are testing the waters with Android. MS will not give up on the phone market in my opinion. They are busy fixing their brand at the moment, then they will get back in the game. How they get back in the phone game will be interesting to see.

      1. Placing their apps on a competing platform only hurts any chances MS might of had in bringing back a MS phone. Why go with MS when all the apps are on Android or iOS (including MS apps)? The only way I can see MS getting back in the phone game is if they bring out a phone that can run “legacy” X86 code programs. MS is in the middle of trying to depreciate those programs in favor of “universal apps” so I don’t see that happening.

        1. Yeah MS has a decision to make. Do they drop their OS or use Android to get people into the MS ecosystem then offer better services on their C# based windows phone. And that is how I think they can win me back. For enterprise, Windows services are incredible so I am using them on my Android platform. Now, if sometime in the future a Windows phone came out that let me use continuum with ALL my needed applications, I would drop Android in a second and move to a Windows Phone. But that is just me I guess we’ll see what they do.

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