Microsoft are a changed business in 2016 compared with just a couple of years ago. The business finally reached the conclusion that pushing the Windows Phone operating system onto customers was not working, although as a cruel paradox when Microsoft took the commercial decision to stop promoting Windows Mobile 8, Windows 10 Mobile was showing much promise! Indeed, Microsoft appears to have changed tact when it comes to the Windows operating system, having offered it free of charge to many customers already using Windows 7 and Windows 8.x on their computers. Instead, the company has reinvigorated its efforts to promote and develop its software products and services, such as Office 365, OneDrive and similar. Microsoft recently blogged on the subject, showing the world that it has made great progress in having its applications pre-installed onto several manufacturers devices – including Samsung, which supplied the 2015 flagship device, the Galaxy S6, with several preinstalled Microsoft applications. As a point of reference, some carriers removed these pre-installed applications before customers received the devices.
Samsung’s relationship with Microsoft has not always been great. In the past, the two companies have clashed concerning Samsung’s payment of royalties to Microsoft. Samsung argued that Microsoft buying Nokia’s mobile division meant that its licensing arrangement with certain Android technologies was null and void. Microsoft sued Samsung for the missing royalties and the argument was settled in February 2015 with a sealed and undisclosed agreement between the two companies. Although we do not know for certain, various Microsoft applications were preloaded onto the Galaxy S6, which might have been a part of the settlement between Microsoft and Samsung. We’ve also seen several Samsung tablets carrying Microsoft applications. This relationship between Microsoft and Samsung has continued into the Galaxy S7 and the new flagship also comes with several core Microsoft offerings: the device will come with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and Skype. There’s no word on if Microsoft will use a similar strategy of offering customers free cloud storage as it did with last year’s Galaxy S6 flagship, although we would be surprised if a similar deal was not on the cards for the new Galaxy.
However and whatever the reasons for the inclusion of Microsoft applications on the Galaxy S7, it means that customers will have a choice of productivity software on their new flagship handset as the software is also sure to include Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. It is not clear if the Microsoft applications will be baked into the software or simply pre-installed, so should customers not wish to use these applications, how easy it will be to remove them.