Microsoft is no longer making its own phones. But that doesn't mean it isn't selling other vendors' phones in its own stores.
The latest model to make it into Microsoft Stores is the Samsung Galaxy S9, which users can preorder from Microsoft now for March 16 shipment. The Galaxy S9 is available via Microsoft's Online store, as well as some brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores in the US.
An unnamed Microsoft representative told Trusted Reviews on March 9 that there's a "Microsoft Edition" of the Galaxy S9 available in the US. Trusted Reviews said the Microsoft Edition phones come with "Cortana, Excel, Skype, OneNote, PowerPoint, Word and Microsoft Launcher, plastered atop Android 8.0 Oreo, out of the box."
There's no mention of a Microsoft Edition of the Galaxy S9 on Microsoft's Store page. I asked Microsoft to confirm such an edition exists and have heard nothing back so far.
Update (March 12): A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed Microsoft is selling the Galaxy S9 and that its store employees can customize these phones with Microsoft apps if customers want, but did not confirm that there's anything called a "Microsoft Edition" of the Galaxy S9. The official statement:
"The Samsung Galaxy S9 available at Microsoft Store is the same phone you can purchase elsewhere. Microsoft applications including Office, OneDrive, Cortana and Outlook do not come preinstalled, but when you purchase from a Microsoft Store, our experts can personalize the device with Microsoft's productivity applications so every customer is able to work, play and connect on their device when they leave."
This isn't the first time we've heard about a "customized" Microsoft Edition of a Samsung Galaxy phone. Last year, Microsoft officials announced they'd sell the Galaxy 8 phones that would be "Microsoft Edition" models. Later, Samsung told some sites and publications that no such Microsoft Edition phone existed, even though the company did acknowledge there were Galaxy phones available with a "unique Microsoft experience."
Microsoft and Samsung aren't the best of friends. The two settled a long-standing Android patent dispute in 2015.
Up until recently, Microsoft has been touting deals it struck with OEMs to bundle various Office apps and services with their Android devices. And Samsung was one of the companies on that list.