Microsoft Edition Galaxy S8 Is The Brick Wall Windows Mobile Is Heading Into
Microsoft will sell a special edition of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 through its online stores. An extension of the previous agreement between the two companies, which saw Microsoft's apps pre-installed on the S6, S7 and also the regular S8; the Microsoft Edition S8 will receive Microsoft customisations at first boot.
This is almost certainly going to involve replacing much of Google's software with Microsoft's as the default choice. Outlook for email, Onedrive for the cloud and most interestingly Cortana for voice search.
Cortana has grown in capability in its Android version and could, in theory, replace Google Assistant as the default voice tool on your Android phone.
The S8 is a bit different though. It packs Samsung's own Bixby intelligent agent, which promises to move the game on in very specific areas. Is Microsoft going to tie the Bixby button to Cortana by default? Seems unlikely Samsung would allow that, or customers would appreciate it. However bringing the true Microsoft experience to an Android phone must surely mean Cortana in full fat mode?
The Microsoft Edition Galaxy S8 is a very small but very definite step towards a Microsoft Android phone that does away with Google entirely. In fact barring an app store Microsoft has almost all it needs to do this.
For Windows Mobile fans it's yet another look away moment. Even the forlorn hope of a Surface Phone dragging the platform back from the brink of oblivion is now gone. It's impossible to see Microsoft producing anything in a Surface Phone which could potentially compete with the S8. Even Continuum looks weak compared to DeX and its very definite advantages.