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What Windows users need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S8

This year, the Galaxy S8 is particularly interesting for Microsoft fans for a variety of reasons. Microsoft is increasingly pulling away from Windows 10 Mobile, and is now tying itself closer than ever to Samsung's hardware to push its software.

Here's what you need to know about the Galaxy S8 and Windows 10.

It's still preloaded with Microsoft apps

Samsung Galaxy S8

Just as several other recent phones and tablets from Samsung have been, the Galaxy S8 comes preloaded with a selection of Microsoft's applications. It's also likely that these can't be uninstalled, but then, why would you want to do that anyway?

Here's what you get on the regular Galaxy S8:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Skype
  • OneDrive

That 'regular' is important for a very good reason. There is another way for the Galaxy S8.

The Microsoft Edition

On a hardware level, the 'Microsoft Edition' is exactly the same as the Samsung-sold Galaxy S8. The key differences are that Microsoft will be selling it through its own store and that it's supposedly going to make it "easier" to install and use Microsoft applications beyond the preloaded ones.

Samsung Galaxy S8 'Microsoft Edition' will be available in Microsoft Stores

It's not exactly difficult to install apps from the Google Play Store, but this version of the Galaxy S8 is expected to include this in the setup process in the retail store.

If you're a Microsoft fan and a heavy user of the company's services, this will potentially be the best version of the Galaxy S8 for you. However, it's also not that likely to be much different to the one Samsung sells.

DeX is like Continuum

Samsung DeX

Continuum allows you to connect certain Windows phones to a big screen for a PC-like experience, the same is now true of the Galaxy S8 with DeX. By dropping the phone into the dock, you'll be taken from the small screen to a full PC-like desktop.

Samsung DeX may beat Microsoft's Continuum, but it's still no slam dunk

It's unclear exactly how many apps will be supporting the feature, but importantly for Windows fans is that Microsoft is on board for launch with the Microsoft Office apps. So, with Office preloaded on the phone, DeX will give you a larger, more desktop-like experience to interact with the apps.

So, it's like Continuum, but running on an Android-powered phone. With support from Microsoft.

DeX is like Continuum for the Galaxy S8 and supported by Microsoft

Other Microsoft apps

It's completely possible to go full Microsoft on any Android phone, including the Galaxy S8. If there's something you use and enjoy on Windows, you'll find it over on Android as well.

It's not just about the Windows services, either, Microsoft even has both lock screen and launcher apps for Android, too. Google might be responsible for what's ultimately underneath, but you can easily have a full dose of Microsoft facing front.

The best Microsoft apps for Android

The bottom line

Aside from Windows phones, the Galaxy S8 is looking like the best Microsoft phone that you'll be able to buy in 2017. Samsung and Microsoft have been partnering for some time now, but the Galaxy S8 takes it up a notch with both DeX and the Microsoft Edition of the phone.

Importantly, if you're reliant on Windows and Microsoft's apps and services, with the Galaxy S8 in your pocket, you'll be in good hands.

5 Comments
  • As a first adapter to windows phones. It's kinda sad to watch that os just die like it has. Still have a lumia 1520. I ordered a regular s8 plus. Kinda wished I'd gotten this version now. Posted via note 5 are gs7 edge the beast
  • Microsoft did it to themselves. I do not feel bad for them. Good night sweet prince.
  • Microsoft should have opened their os to developers, and fans like android did. Once they saw that it wasn't going to be as popular as android, they should have open-sourced it, they weren't making any headway in the market anyway. Money rules, and they wanted $ for something that could have worked.
  • Google benefits from it being open sourced, and the enormous amounts of money they spend to support it, upgrade it, and update it. Because Advertising. MS doesn't make money from advertising. The amount of MS/Office subscribers they would gain by open sourcing the OS would be near nothing, since those services are cross platform. It would make no financial sense for MS to open source, then continue spending $$$ to maintain, update, and support it in the same manner that Google does for Android. Additionally, there would be sections that remain closed source related to general windows 10. That would prevent 3rd parties from maintaining it without MS. Also, Windows 10 Mobile may fail on Phones, but its used in small tablets, and connected devices. As this product group expands & new catagories arrive, Windows 10 Mobile may have some success.
  • I already have a Windows phone on my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Downloaded an elegant free launcher called Evie, applied the Pixel icon pack, and got the apps. It's the best of both worlds. One thing that does suck on Android is Groove Music. While on Windows its an elegant experience the app for Android is super crashy and buggy.