Microsoft lead designers discuss developing for the Surface Duo

Surface Duo Press Hero 2hands
Surface Duo Press Hero 2hands (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's head of designs and lead of the design team for Office discuss developer experiences for the Surface Duo in a new post.
  • Friedman explains that the Surface Duo's form factor provides a unique opportunity for development.

Microsoft's Surface Duo has a unique form factor that creates new ways for people to interact with apps. In a blog post, Jon Friedman, head of Microsoft designs, shares how designing for the Surface Duo created an opportunity to create for a new category of device.

"For a designer, such an opportunity is rare and exciting. It's like discovering a new room in the house you've lived in for decades" says Friedman in the post. The dual-screen nature of the Surface Duo led Microsoft figuring out how to best take advantage of the larger and more versatile space.

The bulk of the post is a question and answer session between Friedman and Deepak Menon. Menon leads the design team for the Office app.

Menon explains in one response that to him, the Surface Duo "Isn't just the "smartphone experience" with two screens. It's not just a "folded tablet." It's something new, with experiences that are made possible because of the seam, not in spite of it."

Menon also goes over how the increased screen real estate of the Surface Duo allows people to be more productive and more creative. He also covers how Microsoft views the seam between the Duo's screens "as an opportunity, not a constraint" because it reduces people's cognitive burden.

You can read through all of Friedman and Deepak's interview to gain greater insight into the development of the Surface Duo.

Microsoft Surface Duo


Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • Hey when I pre-ordered it went over the connections and features, USB 3.1 Said video output? So a new version of continuum? Like Samsung Dex?
  • No reports or rumors suggest that is the case.
  • Sorry I posted this in a couple threads, some seemed busier with comments and I was just curious and kind of hopeful, thanks for your replies.
  • Most likely just means you can use a USB-C to HDMI adapter for video out to a display, standard screen mirroring.
  • I need my cognitive burden reduced.
  • Unfortunately due to the Duo running Android its always gonna be classed as a Phone specially when its shown in promotional material 😕. Being a Surface fan i understand to a certain degree there strategy behind the missing features but the PC market is a lot different than the smartphone one but like its been stated before it will get better with each upgrade & prices will drop also with better adoption 👍 Im excited to try the Duo & can't wait for news on the Neo.