One of the latest attractions of the Microsoft Store is none other than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
From the look of things, this is how the company intends to move forward with its ailing mobile business: Use the Android platform to push its apps or, in other words, hitch a ride with an OS that's going somewhere.
Microsoft Goes With Android
Now the Galaxy Note 8 is joining Android phones the likes of the Razer Phone and even its siblings the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, as well as four Windows mobile devices including the HP Elite x3 at the Microsoft Store.
The question is, why is Microsoft selling Android now? It's pretty much common knowledge that Windows phones are dead or, at the very least, dying. Even the much-rumored Surface Phone is no longer in the cards, and it was considered by many as the company's last glimmer of hope to revive its mobile segment.
That said, these Android phones are Microsoft's way to get users in on the Microsoft Launcher, an app that can replace the Android home screen with a Windows-flavored version. This is evidenced by the landing pages of the Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, and Razer Phone that have sections dedicated to the Microsoft Launcher to "unlock true mobility."
Interestingly, the home-screen replacement app even comes packaged with Word, Cortana, and Outlook, to name a few, indicating Microsoft wants Android users to have an ecosystem of its apps. That's not surprising since the company can earn some cash from all this, as signing up for a subscription to unlock every feature of Office on Android comes at a cost for users, for instance.
In short, what's the next best thing for Microsoft if Windows 10 mobile phones won't sell? Get users to switch their Android home screen to a launcher integrated with Windows 10 mobile elements and apps.
What You're Getting
Just to be clear, if you do buy, say, a Galaxy Note 8 from the Microsoft Store, then you're getting an ordinary unlocked version of the Samsung phablet. And in case you're wondering, it's nothing like the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition.
Put differently, it doesn't really matter whether or not you buy the Android phones from the Microsoft Store since you won't be getting anything special out of the whole deal. It'll be the same thing if you bought a Galaxy phone from Samsung, for example.