On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Samsung announced two new handsets. Called the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, these devices carry within them next-gen technology which provide fantastic performance. Thanks in part to a top of the range chipset, security features, and an AI Assistant which has futuristic comprehension abilities. However, it appears that Microsoft wants to put its own spin on the handsets by creating the Microsoft Edition S8 and S8 Plus.

Microsoft Edition S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus for sale in Stores
efes / Pixabay

Microsoft Edition S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus

Out of the Samsung box, both of these two latest S-Line devices run on Android 7.0 Nougat. However, being Samsung products, it has put its touches to stock Android via TouchWiz its UI that incorporates apps and other tweaks. Many of which can only be seen on a Samsung smartphone or tablet.

However, yesterday in a surprise move, Microsoft announced that it would be selling the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus in its stores. But, that’s not all, it too wants to add something different to the stock/TouchWiz Android experience. Something that it thinks will aid productivity for business users.

Here’s what the company said:

“A Microsoft customization is applied to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus Microsoft Edition when the devices are unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi. This customization ensures customers a best-in-class productivity experience with Microsoft applications such as Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook and more.”

Working Together

Now, if you think a Microsoft Edition S8 is strange, you’d be correct. But it would not the first time the two companies have worked together. Back when the S6 and then again with the S7, Microsoft bundled apps like OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on them. In fact, there’s a deal in place between the two, which right now remains secret. However, what it means for the Microsoft Edition S8 is, it will also get Microsoft apps. With the only difference this year being, the company will further customize them to benefit from the S8’s power.

What’s New?

As further customization goes, there is little to no information available. But we can tell you that new apps like Outlook and Cortana will make an appearance on the Microsoft Edition S8’s only. Unfortunately, that means, other than a basic suite of Microsoft apps. The standard Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will not feature Outlook and Cortana (we think).

We and others have reached out to Microsoft for clarification; however, a response is yet to be received. We will, of course, inform you if an answer is given. In the meantime, let us know what you think of this apparent Curveball, will you be rushing to your nearest store?