As reported by our pals over at Windows Central, Microsoft announced plans today to sell custom versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, called the "Microsoft Edition," exclusively from its U.S. retail stores.
While the hardware will remain identical compared to the standard Galaxy S8 and S8+, the move appears to be mostly about loading the new Samsung devices with Microsoft apps that won't come standard on the new devices, such as Outlook and Cortana. As reported by ZDNet, the Galaxy S8 will ship with Office basics such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, along with OneDrive and Skype, with the extra Microsoft apps added during the unboxing and initial device set up in the Microsoft store.
While Microsoft fans try to decipher what this move might mean for the future of Windows Mobile, this story takes a somewhat interesting turn when you consider what adding Cortana to the S8 really means.
By adding Cortana to the mix, the number of personal assistants on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition suddenly jumps to three.
Google Assistant and Samsung's own personal assistant, Bixby, will already be vying for users attention on the Galaxy S8. By adding Cortana to the mix, the number of personal assistants on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition suddenly jumps to three. They say two's company and three's a crowd, so it will be interesting to see which AI assistant users lean towards. Microsoft is obviously banking on its loyal fanbase sticking with Cortana and all its cross-platform convenience, but if anything it might end up making the Microsoft Edition of the S8 the de facto device to test out which Android AI assistant reigns supreme.
The two Microsoft Edition GS8s are expected to be available for pre-sale today in the company's U.S. retail stores.
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