Update 9 PM EST: A Microsoft spokesperson reached out to us to explain that the Galaxy S9/S9+ won’t come with any preinstalled Microsoft apps. Instead, Microsoft retail employees will offer assistance to customers who purchased the handsets and want to install Microsoft apps on it. We’ve edited our original post to reflect this.
Pre-orders for Samsung’s Galaxy S9/S9+ are now open at the US Microsoft Store, and both Android flagships will start shipping by March 16. The store listing makes it clear that the high-end phones are great for running Microsoft Android apps such as Office, but until now it wasn’t clear if Microsoft was actually selling a customized edition of the S9/S9+.
In a statement shared with Trusted Reviews today, a Microsoft spokesperson initially said that “a Microsoft customization is applied to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus Microsoft Edition when the devices are unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi” (via The Verge). As you may recall, Microsoft used a similar “Microsoft Edition” wording last year when it starts selling the Galaxy S8 and S8+, even though Samsung later confirmed that “there is not a ‘Microsoft Edition’ brand of any Samsung Galaxy products."
Despite what the previous Microsoft statement said, the company has since confirmed that it isn't selling a "Microsoft edition" of the Galaxy S9/S9+. A Microsoft spokesperson shared the following statement with us:
The Samsung Galaxy S9 available at Microsoft Store is the same phone you can purchase elsewhere. Microsoft applications including Office, OneDrive, Cortana and Outlook do not come preinstalled, but when you purchase from a Microsoft Store, our experts can personalize the device with Microsoft’s productivity applications so every customer is able to work, play and connect on their device when they leave.
With the addition of the Galaxy S9/S9+, there are now six different Android handsets available to purchase at the US Microsoft Store. This was completely unimaginable a couple of years ago, but Microsoft can no longer ignore that Android is the most popular mobile OS on the market and that Samsung's Galaxy phones are incredibly popular.