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Samsung and Microsoft extend Windows and Office 365 integration

Samsung fleshes out OneDrive, Outlook and OneNote integration. Microsoft offers Link to Windows, to extend phones to Windows 10 PCs

At the recent Galaxy Unpacked 2020 live-streamed event, Samsung announced an expansion of its relationship with Microsoft, along with several new smart devices.

Experts believe the integration that this relationship now offers puts Samsung devices combined with Windows PCs on par with the Apple IoS/macOS ecosystem.

Samsung launched five devices during the event: Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ and Galaxy Watch3.

Conor Pierce, corporate vice-president UK & Ireland, Samsung Electronics, said: “Technology has played a vital role in keeping us connected during these unprecedented times. Our customers are looking for products that deliver against this and work seamlessly together. Whether it’s through work or play, the ecosystem we have launched today is designed to help you get the most out of life.”

Along with the devices, Samsung expanded the integration between its smart devices and Microsoft productivity tools and the Windows 10 operating system.

In a blog post, Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice-president of modern life, search and devices at Microsoft, discussed the new integration between Windows and Samsung devices. He said that Microsoft’s Your Phone app and Link to Windows integration on select Samsung devices, enables users to take calls, check notifications, see photos and messages, all from their Windows 10 PC.

Describing how the integration works, Mehdi said: “When you launch an app, it opens in a separate window, allowing you to multi-task and saving you the time and hassle of sign-in or set up. You can also pin your phone’s Android apps to your Windows 10 taskbar or Start menu for quick and easy access, making things like checking out your social feed or ordering your lunch while you wrap up a conference call even easier, without ever picking up your phone.”

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Since last year, Samsung has offered Outlook as the app for personal productivity on new Samsung phones. “We’re excited to announce today that we’re extending this integration to include Samsung Galaxy watches, including the new Galaxy Watch3, said Mehdi.”

There is also integration between the devices and OneDrive. “You can set your phone’s camera roll to automatically sync to OneDrive with Gallery, so your photos and videos are protected and always accessible,” he said. “And with OneDrive Personal Vault you can store and protect important files with peace of mind behind an extra layer of identity verification.

“You can keep digital copies of your passport, ID cards, insurance, taxes and other sensitive files in OneDrive and access them securely on your device wherever you are,” said Mehdi.

Commenting on the update, PP Foresight’s tech, media and telco analyst, Paolo Pescatore, said: “Microsoft and Samsung continue to further deepen their relationship beyond the enterprise and now into the consumer space with cloud games. It is a match made in heaven given Samsung’s scale in consumer electronics powered by Microsoft growing suite of cloud based services.”

Forrester vice-president and principal analyst Frank Gillett, said: “Samsung’s expanded partnership with Microsoft to integrate Microsoft 365 apps with Samsung smartphone users is the biggest news from the Galaxy Unpacked event.

“Samsung and Microsoft have moved strongly to create an integrated experience between Galaxy smartphones and Windows PCs in ways that Apple or Google won’t match,” he said. “The ability to seamlessly take multimedia notes, respond to messages, manage notifications, sync photos, and even take calls across Galaxy phone or Windows PC is very powerful. These features start to match the integration of Apple's iPhone, iPad, and macOS experiences.” 

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