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Samsung groups all its Windows products under the ATIV brand, but still shows lack of support

Samsung has announced that its expanding the ATIV brand to include its Windows based PC products. Originally used for its Windows Phone 8 hardware, Samsung states it will use the brand to represent the convergence of PC and mobile technologies. This will essentially unite all Samsung Windows products under a single umbrella. If you're now looking at Samsung ATIV hardware, it's running a version of Windows.

Sorry, the ATIV brand is here to  stay

The change rolls out today with the official website now listing all products in the new ATIV family. Simon Stanford, VP of IM division at Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, had the following to comment on the announcement:

"We’re excited to announce the evolution of our Windows PC portfolio and are confident the ATIV brand will strengthen our position as the fastest growing PC brand. At Samsung, we are committed to driving innovation in the mobile business based on our multi-platform strategy. Windows is an important part of this commitment. We hope our ATIV brand will see the same kind of traction and awareness that we have seen with our Galaxy brand, with consumers associating ATIV with Windows in the same way they associate Galaxy with Android."

Now we're not ones to read to much into things. Really, we're not. But it's interesting to see Stanford state that the company hopes the ATIV brand will see the same kind of traction and awareness that they've witnessed with the popular Galaxy brand. Now that's something indeed. If Samsung really wants its ATIV brand to kick off, then this would mean the company is looking to take the Windows ecosystem seriously. 

We could look at the rebrand as a restructuring off the family of Windows products to more effectively market both Windows 8 and Windows Phone. If Samsung looks to promote its tablets and PCs, its Windows Phones could well be along for the ride, which would be great for the platform. Could Samsung really be preparing to support Microsoft's mobile platform?


SideSync cometh but not for Windows Phone?

The second part of the announcement somewhat kills that beautiful image we've painted. As well as using ATIV for all its Windows products, Samsung also introduced SideSync technology to all Windows-based PCs. This enables consumers to easily switch from working on a PC to a Samsung smartphone. But hold on one minute before you get excited. We're talking Samsung Android smartphones. Not ATIV Windows Phones.

We've previously gone into some detail about Samsung potentially sabotaging Microsoft's platforms.

It would be a great solution for Samsung Windows Phones. The ability to use the PC keyboard to respond to a text received, view larger maps, photos and multimedia displayed on both devices. It's irritating for consumers as these are features which should be included in its ATIV experience with Windows Phone. It then makes it even harder to recommend Samsung Windows Phones, yet the company hopes to witness the same traction between its Windows Phone and Android hardware? Yeah, we're baffled too.

It's like Samsung are trying, but are heading down the wrong paths. If you're interested, the following products will be renamed today: Samsung Notebooks (Series 9, Series 7 Chronos, Series 5 Chronos, Series 7 Ultra, Series 5 Ultra, Series 5 510, Series 3, 370, Series 3 300); Samsung ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro; and Samsung All in One PC (Series 5, 7 and 3).

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Is the SideSync issue their game plan or a limitation of WP?
  • There are very few limitations on Windows Phone 8 for syncing info.
  • Really hope devices like the Surface and Helix are what people associate with Windows and not Samsung's plastic offerings.
  • I don't believe in the Sabotage argument. Samsung making a single initial WP8 device based on its then top selling S3 is just a low risk decision. Samsung has also put out more apps then HTC. Samsung has however been slow as it waited for Portico to be released before it started shipping the Ativ S. To me it feels more like Samsung is upset that MS selected Nokia to promote WP and not Samsung. Kind of hard to blame Samsung when their Ativ S is one of the best thought through WP8 devices out there which also offers the most for the money in the case of purchasing a phone outright. To be clear... Samsung would be pleased if Nokia just was no longer around. Normal, Nokia competes with them.
  • As a lumia owner, I kind of agree with your statement. The ATIV S is a nice phone, more importantly, it just worked right from the word go - instead of getting patch after patch as my Lumia did. Now I know some of the patches were new features, but most fixed things which should have been done right at the first place. Competition is never bad, especially from a company like Samsung which has been making high end smartphones for a while now.
  • It's too bad. Ativ is such a crap name.
  • Thought the same thing...Its like they were going for Vita, but then Sony (PS) took it and they were not creative enough to come up with something proper.
  • And not only that, but it's never good when it's not clear on how to pronounce the name unless you hear someone else of authority pronounce it.
  • Ummm, Nike and Audi seem to have done okay imo ;)
  • Yeah, but those are companies. And you can pronounce Ativ like 4 different ways and none of them sound good. But we'll see...I just think it would have been better if they went with a name that sounded good.
  • Are Samsung at least aware that they produce a windows phone...? ;)
  • Nice haha
  • Go Sammy, you can do it!
  • They make really stylish appliances, tv, and quality components. But they really suck at mobile decision like LG.
  • I think it's all about keeping Nokia from getting too much traction. 
  • Agreed, now that windows phone is getting a bit of traction, they don't want nokia to completely dominate that platform. It'll be simply too risky for samsung to put all eggs in one basket!!
  • I think that they started with the Galaxy phones for compatibility with side sync but I do think that they will or have recently included Ativ phones. They have just makes sense...
  • Change the name, ATIV is horrible. And after using a Nokia Windows Phone I would never dream of switching to Samsung as Nokia actually keeps your phone updated constantly and you know Nokia care is there if you have a problem.
  • I think it's a good strategy. Samsung may try to push Tizen for their phones as time goes on, but they'll likely still offer Android and WP offerings for at least a few years. For the foreseeable future, the Galaxy brand will be sticking around. Maybe with a little less advertising as resources gradually move to Tizen. But Galaxy will be expected to sell on the brand name alone. Samsung may not have much confidence in WP by itself, but it doesn't expect the Windows 8 OS to go away. So if they're going to support Windows 8 PCs, they might as well tie in their Windows Phones too. It can only help.
  • Tizen is only replacing Bada
  • SideSync is a great feature, I'd hope this is something planned to be built in to the 'Blue' wave of updates to Win8 and WP8 later in the year. Rather that than a third party app but Samsung have been making some very cool software recently.
    They've done the same with their education apps, btw. They have initially been shown off on Android but they've said they will come to Windows 8 next.
    Android is huge for Samsung so while it is annoying they're going low-risk with Windows Phone at the moment it makes sense. I'm sure if/when WP gains more traction and there's more potential for profit, Samsung will step in but until then there's no real reason for them to divert too much attention away from their lucrative Android devices.
    HTC, on the other hand, really don't have as much of an excuse to have just dropped the 8X and 8S in the market and then forgetting about them. That company has a heck of a lot more to lose right now and they had the option to use some of the good will still available to them from their WP7 devices (or from people like me who had a HD2) but the lack of exclusive features and apps, lack of accessories, has potentially soured people on them vs. Nokia.
  • Samsung just released today an update for MiniDiary... They're updating their apps and HTC doesn't really do that !! (I had before an HTC Titan and there wasn't all apps of HTC that was still working...)
  • I'm going through that now with the 8x but I don't think I will ever buy another HTC phone..
  • Samsung really lost all WP customers after its continued failures to support the platform. It is kind of suprising after the great reception the Samsung Focus got, one would think Samsung would make more of an effort.
    My first WP was the Focus and its a great device, despite the lack of WP7.8 on ATT, but there is no way I am sticking with Samsung, next WP is definitely a Nokia.
  • I migrated to WP8 from 4 years of android. But I had no doubts when I made up my mind and went with the ATIV S. Beautiful hardware, just Nokia has the minor edge on their support in minor things. I'm glad Nokia released the HERE collection to all WP8 phones, ever since then, not much to whine about to Samsung.
  • minor edge on minor things???! have u compared the 920 hardware to the ativ s hardware??! optical image stablizer ,the puremotion screen ,wireless charging ,dolby headphones and lots of others not mention the 100 times better build quailty than that of samsung!! i could really go on on the hardware side!
    on the software side, nokia is flooding lumia users with dozens of new features like recently the lumia storage app ,on screen clock coming soon ,the smart cam lenses, nokia music (which is alot better than xbox music and it had alot bigger catalogue) + exclusive nokia apps that really has lots of good stuff that can't even be found in playstore or itunes appstore. i could really go on and on the software side too
    hmm,being happy with ur ativ s and not complaining is one thing (and a nice thing too) but saying " Nokia has the minor edge on their support in minor things"  over samsung is totally another thing, after all De Nile is not a river in egypt. hmmm but i really can't blame u since u would never know what's inside the party if u have never entered the party!!
  • yea samsung lost wp users and will lose. i use focus flash and think switch nokia wp device
  • I love my ativ s and wouldn't hesitate to buy another Samsung WP8 device. Also, people keep saying Samsung build quality is poor but I've seen a few of reported build issues with Nokia and my ativ s has been rock solid. Visually tho, I must say the Lumias do take the cake.
  • Perhaps they should have named their PC line galaxy too. When they only sync with that. Its a cooler name than Ativ, and they don't support WP much anyways... Ativ! - god bless you!
  • The anti-Samsung is strong with this site.  But really, Nokia is going to have to prove to me they can deliver a reliable product before I go back to them.  So many problems reported with the 920...  In 1.5 years my Focus S has only ever had one minor problem I could attribute to Samsung: speaker volume too high at low volume settings after they released a firmware update.  Other than that it's worked flawlessly and remains in as good shape as the day I bought it.
  • My take is that Nokia has ultimately burned fewer people. When there were problems, Nokia tended to visibly do what they could to fix the problem, even if it wasn't their fault or the issue should have been handled by the carrier. It is hard to say that about any of the other OEMs.
  • hmmm, my 920 has no problems so far!! so stop generalizing where u didn't experience the device urself. the 920 have alot less problems compared to galaxies and iphones. ofc i won't compare the 920 which has been produced in millions to ur focus s which i don't think passed the 1 million mark since less numbers lead to less issues. but let's face it nokia in general has alot better build quality than samsung, and u simply can't deny that. i can appear now like a nokia customer defending my phone but i had a galaxy s2 b4 the 920 so my words don't come out of the blue + the s2 came in the era of the focus s so i assume that the quality and issues r on the same level(hardware ofc not software) and nokia is miles better, i also had a nokia c7 b4 the s2 and the c7 was better in quality and issues control than the s2 but still i didn't experience the focus s so i will give it the benefit of the doubt. there's no such thing as anti-samsung because simply u can see the same level of complaining about htc. its pretty simple. nokia provides an amazing support while samsung and htc don't so u do the math. its such a tragedy that a beautiful device like the ativ s(i see it currently as the most beautiful samsung device ever built opposed to the recent galaxy clones) crippled with a horrible support!!
  • Ok, I'll put it this way.  The guys who run this site are the most pro-Nokia folks on the planet.  You might as well call this site Nokia Central.  And they still had problems with the 920 and wrote articles on them, like dust in the camera for example.  As I said before, there are zero physical problems with my Focus S.  You're right that it's bad to generalize, but since there's no scientific data available on failure rates we as consumers have little choice but to base our purchases on anecdotal evidence.  And yes, support.  But I'd much rather have the product built right in the first place and never have to deal with troubleshooting, exchanges, or repairs.  That's what I got from Samsung this time around, and that's what I'd like to get from Nokia some day in the future.  All of my previous (3) phones were Nokias and they were great, reliable products.  If they can make a strong Windows Phone like that, I'll buy it.  Right now I'd buy an ATIV S over a 920 though, even though my carrier (AT&T) doesn't offer the ATIV S.  But I think I'll wait one or two more generations anyway.
  • I have an ativ. Starting to look like either a Nokia or an "official" MS phone is what we need to get the best for our money
  • samsung still shows lack of support ( windows phone 7.5 / 8 ) 
  • Samsung is in competition with Microsoft via Smart TVs vs XBox, in competition developing its own device OS, and in competition with its proposed store and that revenue stream.
    Microsoft had 3 reason to release Surface and partner with Nokia
    A) Competition from channel partners like Samung who were foot dragging their support for MS products.  MS needed to create and market reference architecture during this transition.
    B) Euro courts can't sue MS for distributing their own browser and software on their own products or with one closely held partner (Nokia).
    C)  Apple infringments against Samsung (and other)  tablet and phone products left MS at the mercy of the courts in each country, Surface and Nokia don't have this issue.
    D) Look towards Lenovo as the preferred business OEM partner until Dell figures out its strategy, Samsung is raking in the bucks under its current strategy, Lenovo and Nokia and Microsoft have a mutual need. The budget guys (Acer and Asus) are tag alongs necessary to penetrate the sub $400 market. HP is still somewhat clueless and still riding the PC train but positioned to do well with MS products as Win 8 demand evolves..
  • I really do hope that by having only one Windows brand, they see potential and start putting weight behind the platform. When they do that, they get it right.
  • Samsung could care less about Windows phone. Don't know why they even made one
  • Couldn't... Is it that hard to understand?...
  • I mean really!? They are talking unified Windows brand and they can't even get the Ativ S released in the states? And no, I am not interested in purchasing it unsubsidized as I used to be a very, very strong subsidy free phone buyer from 2004 through 2010 when I got my subsidized Focus.
  • Pity about the side sync not yet supporting ativ s but very glad to finally see some progress from Samsung. I hope they keep it up, go Samsung!
  • Interesting to note here, is that the "Easy Mode" that will be found on the Galaxy S4 is basically a WP skin ripped and applied to Android.  It's a surface-level option, but what gets a lot of seniors and smartphone-fearing people excited about Windows is its ease-of-use.  "Learning" about it's features and applying it back to their Money-printing phones seems to fit the theory of Samsung working against Windows.