Unlike Microsoft, Samsung went for the Apple jugular at Mobile World Congress this week, announcing its next flagship phones, the Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 Edge. Both are stunning in their own rights, and I’ll be writing more about them soon, and reviewing the Edge later this year. But a juicy rumor about Microsoft preloading its apps on the phones went largely unfulfilled. Sure, there are a few Microsoft apps on there, but this is nothing to be excited about.
To understand what I mean, consider a stock Android 5.0 home screen like that seen here on my Nexus 5:
What you see here are two things: A clean, Signature PC-like experience without icon/widget bloat and the stock Android apps that Google requires device makers to place on that first home screen.
When rumors of a Microsoft-infused Samsung Galaxy S 6 emerged in the wake of the two firms resolving a long-running patent licensing lawsuit, I became excited by the possibilities. Obviously Samsung has to bundle Google’s Android apps, and as obviously most of its customers wouldn’t want those apps as well. But … what if Samsung eschewed most of its own garbage and actually bundled a ton of Microsoft apps instead?
What if the default home screen looked like … this?
So that when you opened one of those Microsoft folders you were presented by useful and relevant Microsoft apps?
This isn’t what happened. Yes, the Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 Edge will come with OneDrive, OneNote and Skype—and with 100 GB of additional OneDrive cloud storage for two years. And that’s neat. But this is a first step only. And I would love to see what a real Microsoft Android phone might look like. Certainly, with more and more Microsoft-branded Android apps on the way, such a thing is more possible—perhaps even probable—every day.
More on the Samsung Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 Edge soon. I just wanted to throw out this thought.
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