Samsung-Microsoft partnership will benefit end users

The capabilities that come with connecting your smartphone to your PC can have substantial benefits for end users, according to analysts, as Samsung and Microsoft partner.

The Samsung-Microsoft partnership announced at Samsung's Unpacked event has the potential to close the gap between an end user's smartphone and PC, according to analysts.

The partnership brings hardware and software together and makes it easier for Android and Microsoft users to transition from using Microsoft apps on a smartphone to a PC, according to Bob O'Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, a technology consulting firm in Foster City, Calif. Other common use cases for end users include moving documents from their smartphone to their PC, pulling up their smartphone screen onto their PC and better security capabilities through multifactor authorization that comes from connecting the two devices together.

"The ability to run Office 365 and OneDrive on your phone and sync it to your laptop is valuable," O'Donnell said.

The partnership was unveiled with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage, which analysts said signifies the depth of this partnership.

"Nadella showing up may show that Samsung is reducing its software ambitions and will partner with Microsoft and focus on hardware and design," said Holger Mueller, analyst at Constellation Research Inc. in Cupertino, Calif. "It may not be a bad focus. The future will tell."

The Samsung Galaxy Book S
The Samsung Galaxy Book S is a 13-inch touchscreen PC that has both a CPU and modem installed, giving it 'always-connected' capabilities where it can connect via Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity.

Microsoft's Your Phone App, an app that enables smartphones to sync with PCs, will be preinstalled on Samsung's Galaxy Note 10, according to Samsung. The app will enable a mirror image of a Microsoft app on a Windows 10 PC. Samsung is also adding Microsoft OneDrive sync support to the Gallery Android app, enabling users to sync directly to the cloud storage provider.

Being able to bring smartphone applications onto a PC can also occur when users connect their Apple iPhones with MacBooks, but that device pairing is much rarer in the enterprise than a Windows PC and an Android smartphone, according to O'Donnell.

Samsung's PC could rival MacBooks

Aside from the Samsung-Microsoft partnership, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Book S. The laptop will also come preequipped with Windows 10 and include screen-mirroring capabilities.

The ability to run Office 365 and OneDrive on your phone and sync it to your laptop is valuable.
Bob O'DonnellFounder, Technalysis Research

The company described the laptop as a PC with 23-hour battery life and as having a lightweight design. It also includes a built-in modem and mobile application process developed by Qualcomm, enabling the laptop to connect to the internet when Wi-Fi networks are not available. Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation, said the combination of Windows 10 and Qualcomm processors is unprecedented.

"Devices like the new Galaxy Book S give enterprises an option on the higher-end of the PC spectrum," Wang said. "Qualcomm processors and Windows 10 creates an enterprise standard."

But the new technology comes at a steep price. At $999 a laptop, Wang said the Galaxy Book S may scare some enterprises away from deploying them out to every user. But he noted it puts Samsung -- and Microsoft -- in rival territory with Apple's MacBook and the new Dell Latitude PCs at a comparable price.

"The price point keeps it on the higher end of the enterprise but not out of the range of MacBooks and will give the latest Dell computers a run for their money," he said.

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