Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft will demonstrate Office and Your Phone integration at the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launch next week.
“Samsung and Microsoft have … recently updated their partnership agreement, which ultimately could result in Samsung selling some of its phones pre-installed with Microsoft Android apps, including Your Phone for connecting phones to Windows 10 PCs,” Foley writes.
As part of this friendlier new partnership, Microsoft will demonstrate how Note 10 users can utilize its mobile Office and Your Phone Companion apps to integrate the device with Windows 10 PCs. Foley wonders aloud—as I do—if this will result in versions of these apps specially tailored for the Galaxy Fold and its unique folding display as well.
Microsoft has at times sold Galaxy handsets in its retail stores, and it has offered an optional service by which customers could download a software image that installed various Microsoft apps. And Samsung has bundled small numbers of Microsoft mobile apps on select handsets and tablets. But the partnership has never really resulted in the broad distribution of Microsoft apps on Samsung’s phones. So any escalation of this bundling could be a big deal for Microsoft in particular.
That said, the software giant is no failure in mobile, despite the defeat of Windows Phone. Microsoft currently has several mobile apps that have received 500 million or more downloads on mobile. And as of this moment, it has the top-downloaded app (Mixer) and game (Minecraft) on mobile, thanks to this past week’s partnership with game streamer Ninja. Getting more Microsoft apps preinstalled on Samsung handsets could provide a similar bump.
I also know that there is a faction within Microsoft that has the political clout to push a Microsoft-branded Android phone line forward to production. Whether that happens or not is very much in the air, but it is clearly a concern for certain parties within the company. It is likewise clearly not a concern for many others. But a successful partnership with Samsung could perhaps negate the need for a Microsoft-branded phone, since Samsung is the world’s biggest maker of smartphones.