Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has joined a handful of other phones in, of all places, the Microsoft store. Both the online store and the traditional locations have the phones, both unlocked and branded. today, they are $ 780, with a regular price of $ 930.
The Note 8 joins the Galaxy 8 and 8+, as well as the Razer smartphone; Microsoft is selling the four Android phones, along with three Windows Phone devices (including the HP Elite x3, new available for Verizon). Why does Microsoft sell Android phones? Well, says the company, you can run Microsoft Launcher, a home screen replacement / application application for Android, along with all the other Microsoft Android applications, such as Office, Cortana and Skype.
This represents Microsoft's backing position in the smartphone market. If people do not buy phones with the Microsoft operating system, the company will at least try to get people to run Microsoft applications on their phones. Redmond is also trying to use these applications to improve the Windows 10 user experience. If you use the full range of Microsoft software, you get some convenient additional capabilities, such as the ability to open a web page on the PC from your phone, with a much deeper integration promised soon.
While most applications (except the Initiator)) are also available on iOS, they are, at least in some respects, better on Android. This is because Android offers deeper integration and customization capabilities for third-party applications.
Microsoft can also earn a few cents with this; illuminating the full range of Office features for Android requires a subscription to Office 365. But everything is far from using a real Microsoft phone; Launcher is not bad, but it is not a patch in the Windows Phone interface with its live tiles. And on most phones, the design is everywhere; you have Google applications with material design, Microsoft applications with a similar but different Windows style and then any application that your phone's OEM has included. I've been using Microsoft applications on a Huawei Mate10 Pro, and Huawei's built-in software, like its phone dialer, stands out like a sore thumb, with icons and an interface that looks like nothing else in the operating system (other than the other Huawei applications).
The phones Microsoft is selling are otherwise ordinary Android phones. Apart from your unusual salesperson, there is nothing special about them. If Microsoft's prices and availability work well, Microsoft Store is as good a place as any to buy them. But you're not missing out if you do not.