Last month, it was rumored that Samsung was going to pre-install some Microsoft software on its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6. Today, with the launch of the S6 at Mobile World Congress 2015, those rumored proved true.
Microsoft has transformed itself into a ubiquitous software services company. It brought software like Office, OneNote, OneDrive, and more to iOS and Android. It made those apps and services unique to the platforms they ran on, and ensured that they were maintained with regular updates. As a result, more people got to experience those services, and they loved them judging by the high store ratings.
Samsung has become the first OEM to bundle Microsoft’s services with its Android smartphones, excluding Nokia of course. Buyers of the very well designed Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be able to use those Microsoft services right out of box. Specifically, Skype, OneDrive, and OneNote will be put in a folder pinned to the homescreen. While there has been no sign of Office on the demo units at Mobile World Congress, the Office app may possibly be bundled on shipping units. Regardless, Office Mobile can still be manually downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. Users of the new flagship devices will also be eligible to 115GB of free OneDrive storage for two years as part of the partnership between Samsung and Microsoft.
This agreement will certainly sting Google should the Galaxy S6 devices prove to be commercially successful, which there isn’t much reason they won’t considering Samsung has finally dropped the cheap plastic for an all-metal and glass enclosure. The deal could prove deadly to Google should Microsoft strike up similar partnerships down the road with other Android OEMs like HTC and LG.
You know what would be even better than this partnership? A fully-backed and supported Samsung Ativ S6. But that’s just wishful thinking right now, so let’s revisit this once Windows 10 comes around.