Samsung, Microsoft to Offer Tighter Device-Office Integration
The new Galaxy Note 10 smartphone family, the focus of this week’s Samsung Unpacked 2019 launch event in Brooklyn, New York, will extend many of the device’s features to Windows and key Office services, with the goal of making it easier to tap the features of one device with another.
Microsoft has promoted the Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note smartphone line for several years. In addition to bundling Office on the phones and selling them in Microsoft retail stores, the two companies have adjacent partnerships around integrating Samsung’s Knox management environment with Microsoft’s Intune device enrolment and management tool.
While officials said the full extent of what the two companies will deliver next will unfold over time, Samsung and Microsoft are working to allow users to respond to texts on their Windows PCs and provide tighter integration with key Office features, notably OneDrive.
To emphasize the significance of the companies’ latest partnership, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was a surprise guest of keynote presenter DJ Koh, president and CEO of Samsung’s IT & mobile communications division.
“For years, applications have been purpose-built for single devices, whether it’s the phone, the PC or the TV, or even your watch,” Nadella said. “But in a world of 5G, cloud and AI, we get to rethink it all and reimagine it. We believe in a future that will be multidevice and multisense.”
A new version of the DeX connector now connects natively to Windows via a USB-C connection. Shilpa Ranganathan, corporate VP of mobile and cross-devices experiences at Microsoft, demonstrated how users can receive photos and message notifications from the Galaxy Note 10 on their PCs.
“We’ve also partnered with Samsung on the Note 10 to bring you deeply integrated productivity experiences with OneDrive and Outlook,” Ranganathan said, during her demo on stage. “With OneDrive, you have easy access to all of your pictures across your devices. And coming soon, Samsung Gallery will have an option to sync to OneDrive directly.”
In addition to the Note 10, Samsung rolled out the new Galaxy Tab S6 tablet and a new Galaxy Book S. The latter is a new, thin and light Windows laptop. All three work with Samsung’s S Pen, upgraded with support for gestures and the ability to convert handwritten notes to text.
The Galaxy S Book will include the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx mobile processor, the first 7nm PC chipset, which promises multigigabit LTE communications capability. The new 13-inch laptops weighs 2.2 pounds and reportedly offers 23 hours of battery life.
“The Galaxy Book S is a new mobile computing category for the mobile-first generation,” Koh said.
The combined offerings will give Samsung channel partners a better story and opportunity to expand their mobile practices, according to Michael Coleman, Samsung’s VP of mobile channel sales.
“This is the first time you really sort of demonstrated as a solution that goes with the PC, in tandem with tablet, and the phone,” Coleman told Channel Futures during an interview at the launch event. “With the expanded partnership with Microsoft, I think you’ll see that become a more significant piece of the business that we do.”
The form factor of the new Galaxy Book S and the integration with the new Note 10 and Galaxy 6S tablet will let partners offer solutions that span devices categories, Coleman said.
“Now we’re talking about other things that would be interesting to a B2B customer with a many-to-many approach,” he said.
The new Galaxy Book S will appear in the channel next month, starting at $999.