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Bixby Meets Cortana: Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition on Way

Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ are powered by Android, but that isn't stopping Microsoft from trying to capitalize on what could be a profoundly popular handset.

The Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition will trade carrier bloat for Office and Cortana. Credit: Sam Rutherford

(Image credit: The Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition will trade carrier bloat for Office and Cortana. Credit: Sam Rutherford)

Microsoft on Thursday (Mar. 30) started taking pre-orders on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. But unlike other retailers, like Best Buy or Walmart, the software giant is selling what it calls the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition, a handset that comes with several bundled Microsoft apps.

"A Microsoft customization is applied to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ Microsoft Edition when the devices are unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. "This customization ensures customers a best-in-class productivity experience with Microsoft applications such as Office, OneDrive, Cortana, Outlook and more."

MORE: Best Buy's Epic Galaxy S8/S8+ Deal Beats Everyone Else

Microsoft and Samsung have been quasi-partners in the past. In the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7, for instance, Samsung bundled Microsoft's Skype, OneDrive, and OneNote. The Galaxy S8 will also ship with those apps built-in, regardless of where you buy the smartphone.

According to the spokesperson who spoke to The Verge, the Microsoft Edition essentially adds Outlook and Cortana to the slate of apps bundled with the handset. It's unclear whether Microsoft will make other apps available at some point in the future.

Samsung started offering the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ for pre-order on Thursday. The handset was made available at several retail locations, including all four big carriers, Best Buy, and Walmart. Samsung is also selling the handset on its own site, offering customers the opportunity to get the device a day in advance. Check out all of the ways you can pre-order the S8 and the top Galaxy S8 deals and incentives so far.

The S8 Special Edition is currently only available in Microsoft's U.S. retail stores and isn't mentioned on the company's online page.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.