Microsoft was seen selling a special edition of a new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus at its stores last month. Now it looks like you can buy an Android phone from Microsoft stores not just in the United States but in China as well, according to Neowin.
Is this a permanent strategy going forward?
Microsoft’s Chinese store is selling the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus and has listed the special edition of the handset on its Chinese website. Of course the smartphone does not run on the Windows Phone operating system. Victor Ng at the China-based website VTech was the first to spot the special edition smartphone.
Such Android devices go through “Microsoft customization” in-store when bought. This customization makes sure that customers get a best-in-class productivity experience with apps like Word, PowerPoint, Skype, Excel, Cortana, OneDrive, Office, Outlook and more, the company said at the time of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus release.
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We are not certain whether the Redmond-based company wants to sell more Android phones in China, or any other country or region, for that matter. With rising rumors that the company is giving up on Windows Phone, this move of selling Android phones is presumably confirmed as a new strategy going forward. Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones, which run on Windows 10 Mobile, have been removed from the company’s web stores in several parts of the world.
Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus specs and price
The Mi 5s Plus was revealed last year and comes at an affordable price. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor, features a 5.7-inch display with 1080p resolution, and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The price starts at $334.19 or ¥2,299, while the higher-end 128 GB model is priced at $377.80 or ¥2,599.
The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is available in several colors and configurations. The smartphone has a massive 3,800 mAh battery and a 13-megapixel camera. The special edition Microsoft device is backed by a two-year Microsoft Store warranty as well, notes MSpoweruser. The smartphone comes preloaded with some popular Microsoft apps such as Skype, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and Excel.
Surface Pro 5 delayed, Microsoft to release a different product
In other Microsoft news, the U.S. firm will likely introduce a new product after reports that the Surface Pro 5 release has been postponed. The company will hold its Spring Event next month, which will feature the latest devices that it will be launching in 2017. Forbes notes that the Pro line has not received any significant upgrade for almost two years and suggests that the company seems to be delaying the launch of the Surface Pro 5 so as to upgrade it with a Kaby Lake processor.
Meanwhile, the tech company is reportedly planning to introduce Windows 10 Cloud at the event next month. This new device, which is expected to run on the new Windows 10 software, is seen as a threat to Google’s Chromebook. However, according to BGR, this device will not be related to the cloud, but rather, it will be a continuation of Windows RT.