Galaxy S8 goal is to replace desktops

Samsung Electronics is pushing to blur the boundary between smartphones and desktops by launching a docking station to make its Galaxy S8 handset work like a personal computer.

“In creating Samsung DeX, we focused heavily on how hardware and software will work together to provide a seamless user experience,” Samsung Electronics Executive Vice President Rhee In-jong said on its website.

To expand the DeX ecosystem, the Seoul-based tech titan has formed a series of partnerships with industry-leading software companies including Microsoft, Adobe and Amazon.

This is part of the company’s efforts to develop a more user-centric app-operating environment. Samsung said users do not have the hassle of learning ways to manage and control DeX, as it is compatible with popular software platforms.

“Samsung DeX does not require developers to do anything specific for applications to be compatible,” he said. “Any applications, developed with the Android 7.0 developer’s guide in mind, will run on Samsung DeX, bringing a desktop-like experience to users.”

DeX is the latest in Samsung’s efforts to raise its profile in the software sector.

Samsung is a global leader in most of the home appliance and IT device markets — including TVs, smartphones and other electronics, such as memory chips. But it struggles in software.

Samsung launched its own Tizen operating system in 2011. But it has yet to generate tangible outcomes, with the operating system accounting for less than 1 percent in the global market, due to fierce rivalry from Google’s Android and Apple iOS.

Early this month, the company also started its artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant, Bixby, for its S8 smartphone, to raise its brand identity as a technology giant both in hardware and software. Samsung will offer a full-fledged Bixby service in the latter half of this year after combining core technologies from Viv Labs which Samsung acquired last year.

“When our full vision for Bixby is realized, I believe Bixby will break the boundaries of touch-based interfaces with intuitive voice interactions enhanced by AI,” Rhee said. Last year, he unveiled the firm’s long-term AI vision, noting that all the internet of things (IoT) devices from Samsung will controlled by human voices through the software.

One of the most successful software outcomes for Samsung is its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, which debuted in 2015. The app topped two trillion won ($1.79 billion) in transactions in a year since the company started the service.

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