This year, it's particularly interesting for Microsoft fans for a variety of reasons. For the consumer, Windows 10 Mobile is still a tough sell outside of the most committed fans, and so it's not unreasonable to expect a number of Windows users to be looking elsewhere.
If you fall into that category, here's what you need to know about the new Galaxy S8.
It's still preloaded with Microsoft apps
Just as several other recent phones and tablets from Samsung have been, the Galaxy S8 comes preloaded with a selection of Microsoft's applications. It's also likely that these can't be uninstalled, but then, why would you want to do that anyway?
Here's what you get on the regular Galaxy S8:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Powerpoint
That 'regular' is important for a very good reason. There is another way for the Galaxy S8.
The Microsoft Edition
On a hardware level, this is exactly the same as the Samsung-sold Galaxy S8. The key differences are that Microsoft will be selling it through its own store and that it's supposedly going to make it "easier" to install and use Microsoft applications beyond the preloaded ones.
Samsung Galaxy S8 'Microsoft Edition' will be available in Microsoft Stores
It's not exactly difficult to install apps from the Google Play Store, but this version of the Galaxy S8 is expected to include this in the setup process in the retail store.
If you're a Microsoft fan and a heavy user of the company's services, this will potentially be the best version of the Galaxy S8 for you. However, it's also not that likely to be much different to the one Samsung sells.
DeX is like Continuum
Continuum allows you to connect certain Windows phones to a big screen for a PC-like experience, the same is now true of the Galaxy S8 with DeX. By dropping the phone into the dock, you'll be taken from the small screen to a full PC-like desktop.
It's unclear exactly how many apps will be supporting the feature, but importantly for Windows fans is that Microsoft is on board for launch with the Microsoft Office apps. So, with Office preloaded on the phone, DeX will give you a larger, more desktop-like experience to interact with the apps.
So, it's like Continuum, but running on an Android-powered phone. With support from Microsoft.
Other Microsoft apps
It's completely possible to go full Microsoft on any Android phone, including the Galaxy S8. If there's something you use and enjoy on Windows, you'll find it over on Android as well.
It's not just about the Windows services, either, Microsoft even has both lock screen and launcher apps for Android, too. Google might be responsible for what's ultimately underneath, but you can easily have a full dose of Microsoft facing front.
Our pals at Android Central have done a grand job rounding up all the Microsoft apps you need to know about.
The bottom line
Aside from Windows phones, the Galaxy S8 is looking like the best Microsoft phone that you'll be able to buy in 2017. Samsung and Microsoft have been partnering for some time now, but the Galaxy S8 takes it up a notch with both DeX and the Microsoft Edition of the phone.
Importantly, if you're reliant on Windows and Microsoft's apps and services, with the Galaxy S8 in your pocket, you'll be in good hands.
For more on the Galaxy S8 keep it locked to Android Central where you'll find absolutely everything you could possibly want to know.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine