Samsung and Microsoft first signed a cross-license patent agreement in 2011 that resulted in Samsung paying licensing fees to Microsoft. The two reworked their deal in 2015, and though details were not made public, Samsung began preloading Microsoft apps on its phones and tablets. That’s been the case with Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 too but Microsoft is doing things differently this time around.
The company has announced that it will sell a ‘Microsoft Edition’ of the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus, beginning April 21 at brick-and-mortar Microsoft Store locations across the US. Interestingly, the device will have to be unboxed in-store and connected to the retailer’s Wi-Fi, which will start loading Microsoft apps into the device. The customization “ensures a best-in-class productivity experience with Microsoft applications such as Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook and more.”
"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," the company said.
It’s worth noting that regular Samsung Galaxy S8 devices still come bundled with basic Microsoft apps like OneDrive, Skype, and Office. Microsoft Edition devices include a few additional apps, arranges those productivity applications on the home screen and provides additional accessibility to other Microsoft owned applications such as LinkedIn, Wunderlist and more.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ Microsoft Edition devices will retail for $749.99 and $849.99, respectively, just like the normal carrier versions, with pre-orders beginning today.