Microsoft is once again selling its own custom version of Samsung’s Galaxy S9.
The handset is available in Microsoft Stores in the US, and will ship with some customizations from Microsoft. “A Microsoft customization is applied to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus Microsoft Edition when the devices are unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to TrustedReviews.
These customizations are likely the same as last year’s Galaxy S8, with Microsoft apps like Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook all bundled on the device. While Microsoft is labeling the Galaxy S9 a “Microsoft Edition,” in its statement, Samsung previously told The Verge there’s no such thing. “There is not a ‘Microsoft Edition’ brand of any Samsung Galaxy products,” said a Samsung spokesperson in November. “Microsoft offers Samsung Galaxy devices configured to showcase Microsoft’s productivity applications including Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook and more.”
The difference is likely related to a confidential deal between Microsoft and Samsung over a bitter Android royalties dispute. The pair settled the dispute in 2015, and Samsung started bundling Microsoft’s Skype, OneDrive, and OneNote apps on the Galaxy S6 and S7 devices. Samsung bundled these apps again on the S8, but Microsoft also started offering its own versions of Samsung’s Galaxy devices with these apps and customizations preinstalled.