If you have a fondness for both Samsung hardware and Microsoft software then we might just have the perfect pair of phones for you: a Galaxy S8 or S8+ crammed with Microsoft apps, available in store soon for those of you in the US.
ZDNet reports that these “Microsoft Edition” phones will need to be unboxed in a Microsoft-run store, connected to the in-store Wi-Fi, and then populated with Microsoft’s key Android apps, like Cortana and Office.
“Microsoft Store is committed to empowering its customers to achieve more through Office and Microsoft applications,” Microsoft said in a statement. “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.”
While the move may raise a few eyebrows, it’s the next logical step for Microsoft, which has been pushing its own apps for iOS and Android for some time now. The tech giant also develops lock screen and launcher apps for Android that effectively turn Google-powered devices into Microsoft-branded ones anyway.
Apple’s handsets are much more tightly locked down of course but by making apps like Cortana available on multiple platforms, Microsoft is conceding the mobile OS space to Apple and Google while wanting to make sure Windows loyalists can carry on using their favorite programs.
You can pick up your Microsoft-themed Galaxy S8 or S8+ for $749.99 or $849.99 from April 21, Microsoft says, though there’s no word yet on whether the scheme will roll out beyond the US. It shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to achieve the same end result with a quick visit to the Google Play Store anyway.