Microsoft should've made a 'normal' Android phone before the Surface Duo

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's October hardware event was all about dual-screen devices. And unexpectedly, that scaled all the way down to a phone-sized device called the Surface Duo — a dual 5.6-inch display smartphone running full-fledged Android.

Finally, a smartphone with Microsoft's interesting hardware backed up by the most popular mobile operating system and the Google Play Store. It's what everyone's been waiting for since Windows Phone was finally put out of its misery. But there's a problem: this dual-screen form factor is pitting Microsoft against a massive uphill battle that it's destined to lose. It's not Microsoft's fault, either — it's just a little too early to this party. And it could've avoided it all by just making a "normal" smartphone with a single display.

Exactly as I pointed out in my LG G8X hands-on, this two-screen form factor with a 360-degree hinge in many ways makes much more sense than the current crop of foldable displays. (And to be clear, the Surface Duo looks dramatically nicer than the G8X.) The screens are actually glass-covered, they can close perfectly flat, and they don't come with compromises in durability. Considering the current state of display technology (and more importantly, display covering technology), the Surface Duo has the "right" design. But that doesn't mean the Duo is destined for success.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

The biggest problem facing Microsoft is something every other Android phone maker faces: software and app compatibility. Android 10 is the first version of the OS that is actually designed with foldable and dual-screen devices in mind, which is great. But that doesn't mean that apps are — or will be even a year from now when the Duo is expected to go on sale.

All of Microsoft's demonstrations of apps taking advantage of both screens are experiences we've seen plenty of times before with other dual-screen devices. I saw them just a month ago with the G8X. It really isn't hard to get a handful of apps that you make yourself, or made with partners, to work across two screens on an Android device. The interface for moving apps between, and across, two screens is relatively easy to implement. LG did a pretty great job of it even with Android 9.

It's easy to make a handful of apps that work well — the problem comes when you open the Play Store.

The issue is what happens when you get past the 20 apps you've optimized for your device and into the Android app catalog. One of the biggest benefits of the Surface Duo is that it actually has the Google Play Store and access to its millions of apps — but none of them are designed to actually work on a dual-screen device. It won't take but a couple of hours to reach the point where you're just running two Android apps side-by-side with no interaction between the screens, no ability to drag content between, no option for spanning across the two screens, and no concept of splitting content between the screens intelligently.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Those are all experiences that have to be designed specifically for a dual-screen device, and the classic "chicken and the egg" problem will keep developers from spending time doing the work. And to be clear, this isn't Microsoft's fault, or Microsoft's problem to fix — this is something that Google and every smartphone manufacturer making these new dual-screen devices have to face.

I applaud Microsoft for continuing to push the envelope in hardware. Its tablets and laptops are incredible pieces of engineering, to say nothing of these just-announced dual-screen devices that take everything to an entirely new level. But for your first Surface phone, it would've been a smarter move to go with a regular, single-screened form factor. Microsoft can bring a ton of value to an Android phone without trying to innovate so much with a new dual-screen design that doesn't have the software and app support to make it work in the real world.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

This Surface design language, Microsoft hardware quality, and an integrated software experience would make my friends at Windows Central drop their Note 10s like hot potatoes. In a world full of Android phones that are all kinda the same, it wouldn't be hard for Microsoft to really differentiate itself even with a standard rectangular single-screen device. It didn't have to roll out something as ambitious as the Surface Duo to stand out — and it certainly would be more successful commercially.

I actually don't have any problem with the Surface Duo existing as a flex of Microsoft's design muscle. Particularly with such a long lead time (releasing in late 2020), the Duo isn't really a product yet — it could've (and should've) launched in addition to a regular Surface phone. And perhaps Microsoft's expected spring 2020 event will bring that device, providing a Surface hardware experience and Microsoft's apps and services alongside a form factor that doesn't provide so many compromises in user experience.

Andrew Martonik
  • I disagree here. There are tons of normal Android phones already. And manufacturers have gotten foldable devices massively wrong. MS are about to show how to actually build a foldable device that is robust, looks sexy and has amazing features. That's its draw. You can bet Apple will be annoyed about this. Because the Surface team build devices that match or better Apples.
  • +1 There are enough normal phones out there. Doing another one is not an option for MS. Using Android as a basis is the right move. Windows is not the system for such device. And why doing another OS? Android is available free and could be customized. As there will be more dual-screen/foldable Android phones I guess the ecosystem will adapt. MS has on Android: A launcher, Office Apps, OneNote, Skype, ... So there are enough developers available.
  • I want to love this device, but I just can't. Windows CoreOS is setup to run so great on this device, that I'm disappointed that it will be Android. I want nothing to do with Google's ecosystem, and am all in on Microsoft's ecosystem. While it is possible to be all in with Microsoft on Android, it isn't a native experience, and can never be a native experience. Thanks, but no thanks Microsoft.
  • I see what you are saying but I am on the other side. Yes I loved Windows phone but lack of apps killed it. This is now where Microsoft can power on especially in business. This is not a iPhone want to be its a new tool. This is for me a Note rivel and I have said from the start this is the industry Microsoft need to be in. As a note user who is due an upgrade next year unless Samsung come with something to counter this this will be my next phone.
  • I'm interested to see what they come up with. Perhaps it will be dual OS.
  • My thoughts exactly, we have no idea what OS is really under it, android could be running with an emulator
    under a windows 10X variant. it can have all the google apps while the NEO builds up support for the MS store
  • I totally agree. I want to love this device. But Android? Seriously?
  • I don't see any other choice. The Microsoft Store has almost no apps, so any devices running Windows are only useful for running legacy programs. And the need for these legacy programs is disappearing day by day. The only device I have that runs Windows now is my corporate laptop, which I hardly ever use. I do most of my work on my iPhone. Since there is no way Microsoft can access the Apple Store, the only logical thing to do is go Android and give users the Play Store. Not even Amazon was successful with the Kindle Fire having a different store. No one publishes apps there.
  • It would be better to stay out of the phone business altogether then. Nobody was expecting the "one more thing"... here's a phone thing. We all would have probably been happy as a clam with just Neo news. I've learned in 25 years of development that setting expectations is everything. When I heard that phone ring from that purse on that video I was for lack of a better word... giddy. It meant that maybe just maybe that UWP mobile app I've left on the MS Store since 2015 might just stand a fighting chance again. But to to quickly find out that their all new "Surface" phone runs ONLY Android and ONLY the Play Store? It's rubbing salt in still open wounds. Had they released a dual screen device that ran... both... Android and MS Store apps I'd still be giddy. Had they only released Neo, I'd probably be okay with that. But outright surrendering to Android? Cowardly. There's cross-platform... sure... but outright surrender? Shameful. To me it made the following statement loud and clear (as aptly phrased by @Eingoluq)... Microsoft: "We want developers to make apps for our windows based dual screen device running our dual screen platform."
    Also Microsoft: "Releases smaller android dual screen device, encouraging developers to ignore their dual screen platform."
  • I agree it's frustrating, and Microsoft has certainly set a bad example. They prioritize their own apps for iOS and Android over Windows. If they won't even put their own platform first in their app development, I think that's clear enough what the future holds for Microsoft Store.
  • I've been saying they need to prioritize their own platform if they wanted anyone to follow in their footsteps for years. Instead they led everyone to develop on iOS and Android because they kept launching apps only on iOS and Android and any updates for Windows (UWP) either came late or didn't arrive. I don't care how much they said they tried, they didn't. If they were actually trying, then they would have forced all their teams including Skype, etc to either hold the release of an update until the Windows counterpart was complete or maybe even launch on Windows (UWP) first and then say a month later on iOS and Android. If you prioritize your own platform, maybe people would have actually did the same. Instead, Android on their new mobile device is the result of this failure. Why am I going to develop an app for UWP if Microsoft themselves are only focusing on iOS and Android? I'm not because to me that means they don't care about it so I'm not going to invest the time and money to do so. They blasted their own feet off and said they tried with mobile. No, Microsoft tried with Android and iOS since I hopped on board during Windows Phone 8.1 and was frustrated with it all. Skype was the perfect example. Should have been company policy that all development priority was for their own platform.
  • I totally agree. Putting Android on the Duo means that they will never get native apps for the Neo (or other Windows devices). Might as well just shut the Windows Store down and install Android on all of their devices.
  • I think they should do that. They will never get developers to publish in the Microsoft Store, regardless of whether they put Android on the Duo or not. They already tried with Windows Phone, and it was a huge failure. There is no other way forward, iOS and Android are the only platforms anyone is willing to develop on in this day and age. The only thing you can do with Windows today is run legacy programs, and that need is going away. Microsoft has already passed the point of no return, they were too late to the modern app model, and there is absolutely no way they can change that now. That's why they are focusing on areas that have a future, such as Office, Azure and other services. I think the focus on Windows as a platform is waning.
  • Actually, I think their whole strategy is to keep Duo in the hearts and minds of consumers as an Android device while using Neo to build up a robust mobile ecosystem for Windows. If and when they feel the ecosystem has grown well enough they can release a Windows 10X Duo and - why not? - an Android Neo. Best of both worlds for us consumers.
  • But, for a small device Microsoft doesn't have the apps for it. All of Microsoft apps are on Android. Maybe, just maybe Microsoft core OS will eventually be put on some devices. It just wouldn't work rn. It was be a g ail right from the start. What matters is usability. Microsoft put all their stuff on Android. It will be fine my dude.
  • I disagree. The most important thing is that there are apps that make use of the screen and then being able to use every other single app as those apps come on forward.
  • I just can't imagine making the argument that we need another Android phone that is just like every other Android phone: Maybe a little bigger, perhaps smaller, glass or aluminum. Please, tell me what any phone designer is going to do to move the needle in the standard phone market? Showing off something completely new that's trying to create a new product category? That's what Surface is all about. IMO they need to keep on doing what they do and NOT try to compete in any existing, over-saturated market.
  • I would argue that if they made a candy bar variant of the Duo, it would probably sell. Having Microsoft do a clean version of Android preloaded with everything Microsoft and optimized version of Microsoft Launcher with Pen support would have been welcome. Not everyone is going to want to throw down an insane amount of cash for this foldable phone. Some like myself would probably go with a Surface Phone rather than Surface Duo if that means I can save myself $1k considering the pricing of these other foldable phones. Basically seeing a Android Lumia which I am sure a lot of Windows Phone fans would accept since we all know Windows phones are no more. Would I have rather seen Duo run Windows, yes. Does it make sense because of the lack of apps? No. I am sure they are probably hoping that Neo will bring some devs back but are not going to stick all their eggs into one basket. People like to stick with companies they like. So while the Android phone market is saturated, there are still a lot of people who would have loved to see a candy bar style Surface phone launched alongside Duo. It would basically be a Note competitor while the Neo is the Fold competitor. A perfect example would be I personally would consider the Surface Duo, while my wife would have considered the Surface "Phone".
  • The fact that this comes out in a year makes the whole thing irrelevant.
  • Exactly. There will be hundreds of not thousands of apps developed for dual screen as several devices are being released on Android in that matter.
  • 100% disagree. We don't need another basic android phone. The two screens is what makes it interesting, and the 2020 release date gives plenty of time for android apps to catch up.
  • When they switch out android for windows 10X Microsoft is thinking 3 years down the road once know my app gap.
  • Using a Samsung Galaxy S10. I see no reason why I should replace my current phone with this weird formed phone called Duo.
  • I wouldn't be considering it either, if I had a Note 10/+. I love my Note 8 and I would be all in on the Duo, especially if they add some other nice features for the consumer version. I don't expect the form factor to look drastically different, unless they come up with something extraordinary between now and early next year. I'm speaking more on the software side of things. We don't know how deep this current partnership is with Google, or how deep it will go. I would love to see them allow MS have the ability to integrate Cortana in the way Samsung does with Bixby. Like Samsung, users will still have the option of using one over the other or both, if they choose too. However, I don't think things will get too deep, until the device shows promising interest, sales and consumer overall approval as the go to device for this form factor. I believe it will do well, as long as Microsoft and retailers make it known that it's an Android phone with Playstore access and MS service, likely pre-installed. This is especially true for retailers. If MS has never considered truly pushing a device, this would be the time, and since they have taken the liberty of announcing it now, I hope this will be the case.
  • I have installed Microsoft Launcher for Android and the Your phone app. I have set Cortana as my personal assistant 😊 It works very well actually. One could call my Samsung Galaxy S10 a Microsoft phone.
  • Maybe because you don't need a foldable device with two screens that also is a phone, not just a phone. Microsoft is not targeting you with this new device.
  • Exactly. Microsoft is targeting those who want something portable yet can open to enable multitasking which is something as a business professional and my use-case, would enable me to do much more on the go instead of pulling out a larger Surface. If someone can't justify the use, then it wasn't developed with that person in mind. People have to really consider the target demographic Microsoft is seeking. Microsoft is no longer focused on the consumer. They are focused on the Prosumer and the Enterprise. With that in mind, the Surface Duo becomes a potentially extremely useful device. I would finally be able to do majority of my on-site work with something that will not require me to yank another big device out. My wife who is my part-time secretary would find no benefit to the Duo as she is normally stationary. However, any future employees I hire that go onsite would be able to utilize something like this to include myself.
  • Samsung believes you would as they make the galaxy fold. There are applications where the second screen makes more sense than a pen ;-)
  • I think you was going too fast here, even though I dont like the fact that they will use Android, they are doing it for a reason. But the holiday 2020 date is time enough. This is something developers have been working on for sometime now.
  • 1 year to revive Surface Phone running Core OS. With. Net5, write once deploy to both Duo and Neo. Remember... Cross platform was mentioned..
  • The worst part about the Duo is that is run Android.
  • THIS! I just can't express how excited I got when I heard the phone ringing, only to have my excitement get shoot to the ground when the video showed Play Store! Especially when just minutes before we saw the Neo with Windows 10 X!
  • My heart dropped to the floor and exploded in thousands of pieces 😂
  • Yeah that is sickening. A lot of the long term success of Surface depends on bringing developers back into the fold. A MS branded Android device will not do that. If anything developers need to face the question... is this... THE END? Is Android the only future? When even Microsoft seems to think so. ;0(
  • Yep. Why make apps for the Neo running Windows 10X when the Duo runs Android? I gave up working on my apps when they killed Windows 10 Mobile. I just couldn't get into rewriting them in something totally different (Xamarin) when they had been promising UWP would run across all of their devices. They finally got to that promise, then they killed Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Remember: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. We are on phase one.
  • Move on! Microsoft has. That is why they are a trillion dollar company with double digit revenue growth and record profits.
  • The surface duo should really have dual boot Android AND windows 10 x
  • The only problem with that is why would you boot into Windows 10X with no apps.
  • Definitely disagree, zero point for Microsoft making a regular phone, how on earth would it stand out. Dual screen was right move and makes we wonder if there is actually any benefits to a single folding screen like galaxy fold. The only mistake is how long we have to wait as there will be a lot more competition. Sure Microsoft OS on this would have been nice but it would fail as a phone.
  • Only problem with galaxy fold is durability of folding screen.
    I bet Microsoft will move this concept to folding screens once folding screens becomes durable enough.
  • Totally disagree.
    Since the device is a year away, there is plenty of time for app developers to catch up.
    Just another plain Android phone would ruin what Surface stands for
  • Completely agree with the article. MS should have stuck to making one *really* premium Android device that is "normal" before pushing this. Considering the likely cost and the lack of support for this vision from Android in general, it's doomed to stumble or fail
  • How exactly would Microsoft making a single-screen phone first make a difference towards the main issue you've outlined? I don't think you adequately made the connection, beyond stating that over a year's time isn't enough for apps to catch up to the form factor - which assertion doesn't really strike me as weighty. As you stated, the dual screen form factor is already here in several devices (even if the hardware isn't quite up to the task), so developers already have incentive now, and have for awhile now. With a big name like Surface behind the form factor, with time to spare for developers to build--exactly why MS is announcing these products *over a year* early--either the dual-screen thing will catch on, or it won't. But it won't be MS' fault this time around, if developers don't care to develop apps compatible with the new form factor for an operating system which *is not Microsoft's*. Is it a risk developing these devices? Yes, but no more than anything else the tech world has put out over the past 10 years, including the Surface line itself.
  • It will be interesting to see how they modify Microsoft Launcher to work with dual screens.
  • They have A YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! Microsoft did phones, and they have the help of Google and Samsung with this stuff. That is plenty of time to get some programs done!
  • Microsoft should think about this.
    Find a way to skin android according to their ui/ux design & tightly integrate Microsoft services.
    & possible throw some exclusive features , accessories
    Provide premium best possible hardware specs & design.
    If possible I would say promote it through sub brand (eg. " Xphone") instead of under Microsoft brand.
  • I agree with the others here who have disagreed. I don't think a normal android phone would've done anything special for the surface line, there's already too many regular nice Android phones out there.
  • I strongly disagree with the message on your title, just saying
  • I think this is dead wrong. If Microsoft went and made a boring "Surface Phone" with Android, the thing would draw groans from the MS fans and be DoA to the masses. This thing is at least a noticeable better iteration on the current market, which makes it more compelling across the board. I think many people will be totally OK with just taking this thing out with each app in single-screen mode. I'm just thinking that I can easily run Pokemon Go on one screen and use Skype or Outlook or Edge or my music player on the other screen, all without having to hit multi-tasking buttons and jumping around. That's enough of a selling point for me, more than having Outlook on to screens or something else like they showed off. This does something to be different, but without looking like it's got a bunch of the design flaws of the Galaxy Fold or Mate X. This thing might still be niche and pricey, but I'll at least look to buy it. I don't need them to give me the 90th option for a bland slab of Android glass.
  • I disagree as well. MS has already aligned itself with Samsung, and their current phones. Similarly the Your phone feature is expanding. All MS has to do is optimize all their software on the Play store for dual screens (Office, Outlook, Cortana, Game bar, Mixer, Launcher, etc), and give the 3rd party developers the tools to do so as well (Spotify, Netflix, etc). With project X around the corner, they will also probably optimize game streaming as well. What I really want MS to do if offer thier own phone service (like Google fi) and allow us to copy sim cards to other devices (laptops etc.). I think if they have some control of 5G networks, these surface products will take off.
  • I disagree too. I think the target for such a device is not the app hoarder. neither the photographer or film maker (at least for now considering there isn't much info about the camera).
    It is definitely creating a new category in which both Neo and Duo are supposed to open new ways of mobile productivity and potential gaming...
    That is also why I would, personally, prefer this phone to run windows X.
    I consider the demonstration of Panos super convincing because I relate completely with experienced limitations of a one screen phone. And yes, Maybe we should have again the eternal debate about the lacking apps on windows phone. I still disagree with the fact that we all need a billion apps on our phones. And I will point the fact that if now pocketable devices are more capable, then we won't need that many apps anymore. The screen size will make browsing, socializing, banking or gaming as good as it can be on a pc but super mobile. I still have mixed feeling about such a device, because too big or too small and no info yet regarding pen capability and camera performance. But I assume this coming year will bring all the refinement and information needed to make me switch back to a phone made by Microsoft. Anyway what an impressive event this was!
  • Totally disagree. You have such comment probably because you are an editor to discuss Microsoft stuff, so no matter what type of phone Microsoft makes, you would get it. But if you a just a normal customer who cares about Microsoft product but not just buy everything, it needs to have some valid point for the customer to buy it instead of just "having a surface logo on it". Due screen is that kind of point.
    It's just same as Surface -> Surface Book -> Surface Laptop. If Surface line starts with Laptop only, it might be another Band.
  • > It's what everyone's been waiting for No, we've been waiting for a Surface phone that runs Windows. If we wanted to use Android we have more than enough choices. We don't want to use Android. Microsoft becoming an Android phone manufacturer makes no sense and is a huge slap in the face to its fans.
  • GothardJ2 "Windows CoreOS is setup to run so great on this device, that I'm disappointed that it will be Android. I want nothing to do with Google's ecosystem, and am all in on Microsoft's ecosystem. While it is possible to be all in with Microsoft on Android, it isn't a native experience, and can never be a native experience. Thanks, but no thanks Microsoft." I agree. My guess is that they're going to encourage developers to utilize Xamarin or UWP that will work on both OSes; so that any app that works on Duo will work on Neo.
    BUT!....with Google's known reputation...I doubt they'll let Microsoft have their way.
  • At least they're on an established, thriving mobile platform this time. While Windows Mobile is still my favorite mobile OS, no one wanted to develop for it until more people bought the devices. No one wanted to buy the products until there were more apps. Being an Android device removes the biggest hurdle for Microsoft and the mobile market.
  • Microsoft and Google don't mix. I bought my WP specifically because it wasn't an android or iphone. The hardware on this thing may be incredible, but I won't touch it as long as it's got google services running on it. I would rather use a feature phone than deal with google's crap.
  • I hope they don't forget the camera. I'm one of the people who do drop $1200 on an iPhone, but only to get a secure OS with a great camera. Any Android phone that I'd buy would have to have frequent security updates and a premium camera experience. It could be this device will never be for me, but I doubt it will be cheap, so I hope the camera quality matches the price tag.
  • If you want the best security, iPhone isn't exactly your best option.
  • I'm actually curious what other smartphone platform you would point to. Your options are the myriad flavors of Android or plain iOS right now, and I'm under the impression that iOS is generally better than the fragmented world of Android by any measure of security.
  • Disagree 100%. Microsoft already tried competing with a "regular" against Android and iOS, and failed. There is no room for yet another Android phone manufacturer making more of the same, there needs to be something new and innovative to make it compelling enough for users to give up their Samsung phone. I personally think waiting a year to release this is a mistake and possibly too late, but let's see. It will likely be competing against the second generation Samsung foldable and a multitude of other manufacturer's foldable, in a year's time. They should have released it this year to make a real impact.
  • The failure wasn't Windows Phone OS, it was the Windows Phone app ecosystem... these new Surface phones will be taking advantage of the Android app ecosystem.
  • Agreed. And a single screen device would have been an lower price point for folks to get into the surface family. Can I get a Surface Uno? ;)
  • I think it’s a flop as a cellphone..... maybe some use as an awkward pda with an annoying fold in the middle....I don’t know... who want it as a book? The fact that books fold in the middle is an annoyance that technology has eliminated... why add it back into the mix?
  • The best form factor is regular laptop mode... because it replace stupid surface kick stand with something at least useful an extra screen... using it as a book just seems silly... when you can just get a larger tablet
  • Same thing with pen and pencil on tablets.
  • A flip screen watch might work however
  • Odd article...Microsoft "should have made.." I think this ignores the fact that its not out yet. Its not out for another year. How would a normal Android phone released now be of any value to the market or differentiate MSFT? Another what? OnePlus, Huawei, Samsung? Its flooded with good devices at every price range. We need something innovative and different, if not frankly dont bother because phones are boring. The device wont be released for a full year with the main purpose of getting apps on board. Will it be the entire Play store? Nope never. Will many cool key apps be updated for dual screens by then? Yes, because Android is doing this anyway to support dual screen phones and so are the developers.
  • I really like the aesthetics of this device even if I think the whole dual screen thing is a bit pointless, but how is this thing in any way pocketable? it looks way too wide to slip into a front pant pocket. Also, any word on 5G, because if it's coming next year I hope that it is compatible with the faster network.
  • The question here is.... Why would I buy this duo Android phone instead of all the other much better high end spec Android phones out there?
  • Totally disagree, Microsoft would have shot all their limbs off if they made an android phone along with every other organ. Because why waste all those decades of unifying the code base only to throw it away??? Think about the time, coding hours, the blood, sweat and tears of programmers, testers, engineers, the marriages, the missed family events. Operating systems don't automagically come into being lol. 1) It throws everything done to unify windows across devices out of the window. 2) It puts Microsoft practically at the mercy of Google - we've seen all the sly google actions both covert and overt. 3) Microsoft would have the same damned issue with a forked version of Android as they did with Windows Phone because if you don't want to be at the mercy of Google you have to develop your own APIs for services and hardware integration. Where Microsoft made a mistake was when Satya Nadella axed the entire mobile division - at the time when Windows Phone was making momentum in many key markets. If Microsoft maintained and increased that momentum, they could have leverage that app catalogue and tied in top down device integration across the o/s + phone. As after all that was the three screens and the cloud vision all about - direct hardware integration across all devices served by a cloud backbone. Sadly, Satya Nadella blew that out of the water with the axing of the mobile division... Now we have a scenario of mish mash were there is major risk of android based vulnerabilities and zero day exploits being introduced at kernel level to the windows ecosystem. Therefore the only preventitive measure is to run android within a sandboxed environment and emulate it thus preventing direct kernel access. An solely android based from Microsoft is so heavily flawed you can write a massive novel on the disadvantages. It's frustrating as hell to see these articles when the merits of past actions are not considered and what the ramifications of an solely android based device would be if Microsoft go down that path. The moment they do, they might as just well give everything to Google on a silver platter thus screwing us all in the process along with web standards. After all not a single website works correctly if you disable or gstatic via noscript for example.
  • Since I can't edit my comment. Just read the Duo runs purely Android.... now if you excuse me.. I'm going to find a well and shout obscene words down the well until my voice goes.
  • I kinda agree with the 'normal' android phone from Msft. But, not under Surface brand, even Msft itself. They should sub it under another brand which is, Nokia, that comes to my mind. All the hardwares+software is from Microsoft Surface team, but ship it under original Nokia Finland not HMD. Maybe call it 'the legendary' Lumia, again.
  • Hit the sore point of this year's Surface "refresh" right on the nose. Not sure if making a "normal" android phone by Microsoft would really have made much difference, but I think they are struggling with the software.