As it was expected, the South Korean smartphone maker Samsung launched their flagship models Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus last week, but what came as a real surprise was the launch of Microsoft's own variant of the Galaxy S8, which is going to be available directly from Redmond through its Microsoft Stores.
First reported by ZDNet, the "Microsoft edition" of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be available in the US from April 21 in all the Microsoft stores. As far as the specifications are concerned the publication reported that the OS and UI layers of the new device are going to be the same as Samsung's Galaxy S8 phones. However, there will be some additional pre-loaded software in the Microsoft version.
"Based on an email I received from a Microsoft spokesperson, I believe this means these phones will need to be unboxed inside a Microsoft Store, connected to the Microsoft Store Wi-Fi and automatically populated with Microsoft apps, including Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook, and more Microsoft apps," reported Mary Jo Foley in ZDNet.
This can be seen as an initiative by the company to bring the glory of Windows as operating systems, as it's been reported recently that Android has already surpassed Windows and now it's the most favourite OS across the globe. While Android and iOS, with the help of their respective operating systems, have established a strong presence in the cloud computing generation, it seems like Microsoft is emerging as one of the most formidable challengers, according to Forbes.
It's already possible to install Microsoft's suite of mobile apps on iOS and Android devices without limitation but not enough people are aware of the same and that's exactly where the challenge lies for Satya Nadella and his team. This is what Microsoft is trying to do by launching their own version of Galaxy S8 – to make windows popular.
"Microsoft Store is committed to empowering its customers to achieve more through Office and Microsoft applications. The new device customization is an example of bringing together Microsoft applications on more devices so customers can work, play and connect from their pockets," said company officials in a prepared statement, reported ZDNet.
However, it's clear that launching this new Microsoft edition of Galaxy S8 only in the US will not make a big volume of sales. But definitely, it's yet another sound strategic move by Nadella in the battle for the next generation of users in the cloud.
While Samsung did the big lift of showing the Galaxy S8 as its own flagship and one of the top Android handsets, Microsoft, apparently, made its apps and services available on Android and the perception can be sold that the S8 runs 'Microsoft'.
At CES 2016 Microsoft had announced its partnership with Samsung and launched new Samsung Galaxy TabPro S with Windows 10. Only the year before, i.e. in 2015, the two companies finally settled over their longstanding Android patent-royalty suit.
As of May 2015, Microsoft claimed to have deals with 31 partners offering Android tablets pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype. Samsung was one of the companies on that list.