Microsoft’s customised Galaxy S8 might be the closest you get to a Windows Phone in 2017
In the last quarter of 2017, Microsoft’s Windows Phone was on just 0.3% of smartphones sold – a sad figure that would have drawn far more sympathetic glances if it weren’t for the fact that BlackBerry managed to hit a figure that could be rounded to 0.0%.
Part of this – although not all, given the company’s share was only at 1.1% a year earlier – was down to the dearth of Windows handsets on the market. Microsoft itself hasn’t released a new phone since the Lumia 950XL, although rumours abound that it will one day make a Surface-branded smartphone. For now, though, it looks like the closest you’ll get to a Microsoft Windows smartphone in 2017 is the Samsung Galaxy S8 – which Microsoft will be selling through their American stores from 21 April, according to ZDNet.
However, this doesn’t mean an S8 running Windows 10, similar to how HTC made a version of their M8 handset that ran Windows Phone. Rather, this is the standard Android TouchWiz experience you get with the Samsung Galaxy S8, but with added Microsoft apps. ZDNet infers from an email via Microsoft that the phone will automatically download a bunch of Redmond favourites – the likes of Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook, LinkedIn and Wunderlist – when opened in store and connected to its local Wi-Fi. No, it isn’t just you: that is a little underwhelming.
It’s only in America for now, and retails for exactly the same price: $750 for the S8 and $850 for the S8 Plus. Okay, it isn’t a Windows 10 device – but, with the DeX dock mimicking Microsoft’s old Continuum feature, it’s probably as close as you’ll get to a powerful handset running it in 2017.