Surface Duo. © Microsoft.
When it introduced its latest Surface products, Microsoft saved the bombshell for last: its return to the smartphone market. The Surface Duo, to be released at the end of 2020, will not run some operating system descended from Windows Phone, but rather… Android! Further, it is a foldable device, opening up like a notebook to uncover two 5.6-inch screens. The Duo screens display two different applications, but optimized applications could display across both screens. When the device is in landscape mode, the second screen can be used as a keyboard or game controller. The Duo will support a stylus, like other Surface products, as well as an optional, magnetic Bluetooth keyboard. Its price and specifications are as yet unknown. Another thing we don’t know is why Microsoft announced this product a full year ahead of time.
⇨ YouTube, “Introducing Surface Duo.”
Surface Neo. © Microsoft.
Microsoft also introduced the Surface Neo, a two-screen, foldable tablet similar to the Surface Duo, but much larger, with two 9-inch screens. Beyond size, another major difference is the operating system: the Surface Neo will run on a new version of Windows, called 10X, that we don’t know much about, except that it’s specifically optimized for dual-screen devices. And as for its little brother the Duo telephone, the Neo will only be available at the end of next year.
⇨ Ars Technica, Ron Amadeo, “The Surface Phone is real! Microsoft surprises with a dual-screen Android phone.”
⇨ Wired, Lauren Goode, “Microsoft Surface Duo will be a dual-screen Android ‘device’.”
⇨ Cnet, Dan Ackerman, “Microsoft Surface Neo is the foldable, dual-screen tablet you didn’t know you needed.”