Samsung and Microsoft have not always seen eye to eye. In the last twelve months, the two businesses fought and the reached a settlement over an Android-related licensing issue. The terms of this settlement are being kept private but now it seems that some of the terms of this settlement are associated with Samsung incorporating elements of Microsoft software both into Samsung Knox and pre-installed on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. It appears that Microsoft’s culture change of providing applications and services that people want rather than trying to force upon us an operating system that people don’t, is being used to good effect. We’ve news today that Microsoft and Samsung are planning to bundle Microsoft Office into the secure Samsung Knox Android application container. Microsoft’s cloud storage application, OneDrive, is believed to also be included. Samsung Knox is designed as a secure container built into a number of Samsung’s Android powered smartphones and tablets. It includes hardware and software components and is designed to allow businesses to separate and protect corporate data.
The Register quoted Samsung’s Senior Vice President of the KNOX group, who said: “Today I’m going to tell you about additional productivity applications from Microsoft. We have a deal with Microsoft which will be announced in a week or so, we’ll have a big announcement, so you have a sneak preview. We’ll have Microsoft OneDrive, and OneNote, and Office 365 come with Knox Workspace. When you download Knox Workspace, this comes pre-loaded.” Samsung declined to comment other than stating, “Samsung has been working closely with Microsoft to incorporate productivity services and solutions into Samsung devices. Additional details on the partnership are expected to be announced soon.” This deal is important to Microsoft because it will bring their products and services to a large number of potential customers, as the Galaxy S6 is likely to sell in high numbers and it will encourage customers to use Microsoft Office. This, in turn, may ultimately drive Microsoft’s subscription numbers. We know that Microsoft’s new tactic is to build numbers of subscribers for the portfolio of products related to Office 365 so this appears to be a good compromise for Microsoft.
The deal also appears to highlight the competition between Microsoft Office 365 and Android for Work. Android for Work uses Google Drive technology, which incorporates QuickOffice to provide file compatibility with Microsoft Office. Android for Work does not have support from many enterprise mobility platforms although it does not necessarily need it, as Google provide their own infrastructure. Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Activesync, however, is supported across the industry. Samsung does not own an office productivity suite so the tie in with Microsoft, owners of arguably the most well known Office suite, is a good fit.
Do you currently use Microsoft Office? Does your workplace use Office or Office 365? Would bundled Office 365 sweeten the deal for you and could it make you pick the Galaxy S6 over and above a competing device? Let us know what you think in the comments below.