Samsung and Microsoft have announced a wide-ranging partnership that looks to unite the two technoloy giants in the battle against Apple.
At the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launch yesterday, the two companies revealed a selection of new apps and services that aim to bring Samsung hardware and Microsoft software closer together than ever.
“From calls and text messages to emails and photos, we're making these everyday experiences great and the interactions between all the devices seamless,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the Samsung's Unpacked launch event.
“This is a new chapter of our long term commitment to improve productivity and eliminate the gap between mobile devices and the PC.”
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Microsoft is looking to address this issue for Samsung Galaxy Note 10 users through its upgraded Your Phone app.
Your Phone mirrors an Android devices' screen on a Windows 10 PC, allowing you access to notifications, text messages and much more, with Microsoft saying users will be able to make and receive calls directly from their PC through the app later this year.
The app will come pre-installed on new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 devices and be accessible in the quick access menu, taking a step out of the process for users looking to sync across multiple devices.
But that's not all when it comes to software, as Microsoft revealed that the main Office apps, included Word, Excel and Powerpoint will all come pre-installed on new Galaxy Note 10 devices.
The company is also promising an “enhanced Outlook experience” through a new standalone Outlook app that includes optimisiation for the new S Pen.
Microsoft also revealed that Galaxy Note 10 users will be able to sync their files directly to its OneDrive cloud storage platform, meaning they can access photos, videos and documents across any device. Customers can get 5GB of free OneDrive storage as standard, but can also purchase 100 GB or an Office 365 subscription which comes with 1 TB alongside additional tools such as ransomware protection and recovery services.
Microsoft will also start selling the Galaxy Note 10 in its retial stores, providing special offers to users that purchase the device there, as well as trade-in deals for those looking to upgrade.
Samsung also revealed a minor surprise in announcing the new $999 Samsung Galaxy Book S laptop, which will run Windows 10, but is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to benefit from built-in LTE conenctivity.
Samsung hopes that the Galaxy Book S can provide another angle to help grow its worldwide business, and it will be able to sync with Galaxy Note 10 smartphones through the Your Phone app.
Elswehere, Samsung also revealed the next generation of its DeX hardware, which turns your smartphone into a fully-fledged computing device. The new version of DeX will let users plug a Galaxy Note 10 into a Windows PC and bring up a window with all of your phone’s apps that is accessible from your desktop or laptop computer.
Unlike previous generations, the new DeX doesn't need to be plugged into a monitor, or be connected to a mouse and keyboard – although those that do want this can still do so. The new system will work across both Windows and Mac, and will work with many current Samsung devices, although some generations (including the Galaxy S10) will lack some features.
All in all, the partnership between Microsoft and Samsung looks to take on Apple's existing stance on marrying software and hardware, which allows users to seamlessly sync files between iOS devices and macOS laptops and computers due to their shared ecosystem.
Doing so between Android and Windows devices, especially across device form factors, has often proved troublesome in some cases due to software interoperability.
Both Samsung and Microsoft will hope that their new partnership, and the new services and tools provided within, will be enough to draw even more users away from Apple's platform.
“Microsoft and Samsung share a long history of innovation and collaboration, and today’s announcements mark the next stage in our partnership,” Nadella added.
“Our ambition is to help people be more productive on any device, anywhere – and the combination of our intelligent experiences with Samsung’s powerful, new devices makes this a reality.”