Why it matters: Apple users have long enjoyed being able to use iMessage from their Macs. Microsoft and Samsung are trying to emulate that by enabling RCS support in Windows 10. This would allow owners of Samsung devices to send RCS messages to other devices that support the protocol. While it's limited to Samsung devices, support for other Android devices should come soon.
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is supposed to replace the outdated SMS with one that's similar to internet-based messaging services like iMessage or WhatsApp. Google was even able to finish rolling out RCS in the United States via the Android Messages application. However, it seems that Microsoft is adding RCS support to Your Phone, the built-in Windows 10 app that allows users to link their phone to their computer.
Microsoft is partnering with Samsung to allow the Your Phone app to relay RCS messages sent from Galaxy S20 phones. That said, while Microsoft is starting with Samsung phones, support for other Android phones could come in the future.
Proud to announce that we have partnered with the Samsung Messages team to bring RCS messaging support to #yourphone app via #linktowindows. Starting with the #galaxys20series you will be able to send and receive RCS texts from PC if your default SMS app is Samsung Messages!— Roberto Bojorquez [Microsoft] (@bojorchess) February 15, 2020
There are a few caveats to using Your Phone. First, the default messaging app has to be Samsung Messages. It doesn't appear that it works with Google's Android Messages app just yet. Also, the recipient of the message must support RCS. It's a good starting point and is a great way for owners of Windows PCs and Android phones (albeit Samsung) to gain iMessage like capabilities.
The RCS collaboration between Microsoft and Samsung is yet another example of the two companies working together. Microsoft worked with Samsung to further integrate Microsoft services into Samsung's devices, such as pre-installing Microsoft apps and integrating OneDrive with Samsung's photo app.
Those who don't have a Samsung phone can still use RCS on their computer via the Android Messages web client. However, this is a good first step for improving the messaging capabilities on Windows 10.