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Surface Duo expanding to new markets is bad? Why that's the dumbest thing I heard this week.

Surface Duo 2020
Surface Duo 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft this week announced Surface Laptop 4, along with some new office-orientated peripherals. Lost in some of that news is that its dual-screen mobile device — Surface Duo — is expanding to 9 more markets. Granted, these are commercial markets, so not retails stores, but it's still an important step.

But one of the dumbest hot takes I have seen from people is that Microsoft is only doing this to get rid of current stock. The joke being, of course, that Surface Duo is doing so poorly that the company is looking to dump existing devices in more markets to be rid of them.

While such a notion appeals to the professional Microsoft schadenfreude crowd, mostly because there are still some pathetic misplaced grievances about the demise of Windows Phone, it is one of the most idiotic things I have heard.

The real reason why Microsoft is expanding to Surface Duo is a lot more boring.

I mean, think about it. Imagine arguing that a product is going to more markets as a clear sign of failure.

Launching a phone — even as a soft launch through business channels — in a new country is not trivial. There are regulatory and approval processes, paperwork, general infrastructure, shipping, distribution, import concerns, support, and even adding new languages to Surface Duo (which happened just last week).

None of that is cheap or easy. And if you think I am wrong, then tell me why even Sony doesn't sell its niche phones in all markets.

The idea that Microsoft would product-dump Surface Duo in one new country to get rid of stock, let alone nine, is bizarre. If it were trying to do that, it would just do what it is already doing in the US — cutting prices. At just $950, seven months after launching, this US-only pricing is to sell more. And if Microsoft wanted to abandon it, they would do the old fire sale trick.

Why launch in nine new markets at added cost and labor? It makes no sense.

Of course, if you're now waiting for me to take the other position, that this push to nine new markets is because Surface Duo is doing so well to warrant it, or is even selling better than expected, well, hell no. I have no idea how well Surface Duo is doing for sales, but if I hazard a guess, it's meager volume, and it certainly is not a 'hot' device for what are obvious reasons.

Trying to argue that a product is going to more markets as a clear sign of failure is, frankly, stupid.

No, the real reason why Microsoft is expanding Surface Duo to more markets is a lot more boring. There is no conspiracy, failing upwards, product dumping, or anything dramatic. Instead, Microsoft is paving the way for future releases of Surface Duo; your versions 2, 3, and beyond. By opening these channels today, Microsoft has an easier time for new hardware in the future. Lay the groundwork now so that later iterations can launch with shorter windows.

Microsoft also likely has multinational companies who want to trial Surface Duo, and they need an easier way to facilitate that process. Such a practice benefits Microsoft as it can also garner feedback on Surface Duo for later iterations (not unlike HoloLens 2 expansion).

Yes, that does mean we are still expecting a Surface Duo v2 in late 2021. As we have gone into exhaustive detail before, Surface Duo was conceived initially as a pocket Surface running a flavor of Windows. It was never supposed to be an Android phone, which is why things like NFC, 5G, or even smartphone-level cameras are not onboard. Android was a last-minute save of the hardware. A lot of that should change with the next version as the hardware team can now design it to meet the needs of phone users.

While I do not expect a global launch of a new Surface Duo for version 2, I think the US-only launch window will be much shorter. Microsoft can introduce the device in more markets precisely because of this slow but focused expansion. That means during the life cycle of version 2, we will see even more markets added in preparation for version 3. Rinse and repeat, and hopefully, by version 4, Surface Duo is some near-global launch like Surface Pro.

Or maybe it all comes crashing down, and Surface Duo fades away. I don't know.

None of this insight is particularly groundbreaking, but evidently, the apparent answer is lost on the internet's finest in comments and discussions because drama is fun. Hopefully, this will shed some light on a typical (albeit conservative) strategy for developing a new product line. You're welcome.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

71 Comments
  • Did some kids walk on your lawn today? The internet is a frustrating place. lol
  • It's my new not-casual Friday posts where I just vent lol. Feels good.
  • actually laughed out loud.
  • Daniel, I'll take any information or perspective you're willing to give about Surface Duo. I honestly believe Surface Duo could be one of Microsoft's biggest tools towards relevance and popularity in the consumer market. It's interesting to see where Duo is at after a few more versions.
  • Makes sense, and FYI, one (small) typo, 4th paragraph from the end in the link re: Duo 2. It says "2020" instead of "2021"
  • Makes sense, and FYI, one (small) typo, 4th paragraph from the end in the link about Duo 2. It says "2020" instead of "2021"
  • thanks, fixed it
  • Ha, I like ranty Dan. It feels like a continuation of podcast Dan, even if the article was likely written first. Love my Duo, and looking forward to v2.
  • Thanks, yeah, was written just before the podcast. I'm trained in more science/technical writing, so it's weird to branch out into salty/snarky mode, but I realize it can also be fun/entertaining, so here we are lol
  • People literally think that? I mean, that doesn't make any kind of sense just thinking about it for five seconds, let alone long enough to put that opinion out into the wilds of the internet.
  • 5 seconds is too long to think I guess? People often throw out initial ideas and assumptions and don't pause to re-read before pressing "send". Unfortunately that can catch fire on the internet.
  • "Android was a last-minute save of the hardware." Somewhere along the Windows Phone journey, MSFT became more and more frustrated. At some point, they had to tell themselves this is not working. But then they told themselves, we just need to spend a few more $ billion and we can make it work. Windows CE became windows 7 which became windows 8 then W10M. They bought Nokia along the way. How much was the total investment? $10 billion from the early 2000s to the late 2010's? 10 plus years? Then Nadella finally throws up his hands and says enough. Close it down. Then he picks up the pieces and makes a pretty important statement--something to the effect of MSFT will continue investing in the next new "thing". I am sure the duo project was well along in the R&D timeline. But when they killed W10M, they killed W10M Duo. But they liked the hardware and they liked all the work they did in moving Office into the iOS and Android ecosystem. So they took the hardware, hired a team of good programmers in Romania to convert Duo from W10M to android. Once Duo was out in the market, they bought the Romanian team and pulled them into the MSFT world. We know they can build hardware. So V2 is an easy decision. Adding a camera? 5G? screen? Battery? Please this is easy stuff for a MSFT and its Surface Team. Now we are just waiting on improvements to the software side. Do we know if the software part will improve enough to give the Duo traction? We won't know that for a couple more years and a few more $billions in programming costs. I would bet that Damiel is correct in stating that some enterprise customers do like the device and would like it available in more markets. So as they build out the software ecosystem, they need to build out the market ecosystem. You don't do one without the other. The hardware is just along for the ride.
  • Software will hardly be an issue here. It's Android. You have all the mobile apps you'll ever need. As for the skin on top and other added value, that's hardly a problem - everyone else is doing it - Samsung, LG (now formerly), Xiaomi, OnePlus, Sony, Google, Oppo, Huawei etc. I'm pretty sure MS can skin Android very well. At worst buy or hire a good team if they don't have on in-house right now. Building a new app ecosystem is by far the real difficulty WP/WM faced. Without quality apps, any OS is pretty useless, regardless of its intrinsic quality. In fact, I'd take an 'inferior' or 'average' OS with abundant apps and services, than an 'awesome' OS with no apps all day, everyday.
    The real challenge for the Duo I would say is marketing. It should never be underestimated. This imho is what killed LG mobile. Their phones are intrinsically good, but absolutely no marketing made them practically non-existent to customers. They ceded that to Samsung, naively thinking that their products will fly by their intrinsic merits. Now they are out of the game. Marketing is just as important as a good product. Actually, marketing may be more important, especially when the product is 'good enough'.
    If MS wants the Duo to be a mainstream product, they need to aggressively push it in Marketing. I'm talking Samsung or Xbox level marketing, advertisement and deals, else it will remain niche (which may not be a bad thing if that's their objective).
    Samsung did not attain its dominant position simply on the 'quality' of its phones. I loathed Touchwiz, as many other users. But it was everywhere, at every shop, in every advertisement. It was like that was the only alternative to the iPhone. Now, Samsung's OneUI is actually very good, I would even say on the level of iOS, but this only came long after they attained dominance in the Android world, especially in North America.
    Marketing is what the Duo needs. Aggressive marketing.
  • It's a niche product. A gimmick. The Surface Duo is the new Windows 8. Something Microsoft created that nobody asked for, despite being well designed. Windows management is not getting worse in software, it is getting better. "But the beeper is making a comeback. Technology is cyclical."
  • Developing Android doesn't cost billions. The framework is already there, the ecosystem is already there. The cost of actually getting Android on the hardware is minimal and you end up with a better product compared to what they would have launched with 10X.
  • 10x wasn't going to be on the duo, for the record
  • Pretty sure we will continue to see the Duo going forward. I'm sorry you had to write an article to explain this. But, good read regardless.
  • I would have preferred a Windows 10 based OS. The DUO to me is just an Android phone without any real perks for a Microsoft user other than their software on it which you can do on any phone. Even a continuum version that ran full windows would have been cool.
  • What perks could there be?
  • Cortana integration, not being tied to Google services, and Windows phones DID offer a free year of Office 365 (not that the Duo couldn't). It would also likely integrate better with things like Your Phone and other MS services if there was a common code base.
  • Lack of mobile apps would have killed it. This is the reality. WM10 is actually a very good OS, but lack of apps killed it. Android is the only feasible way today, similar to how Windows 10 is pretty much the de facto non-Apple desktop OS.
  • Cortana has been dead for years, and would be integrated just fine in Duo if it wasn't. Android is quite open, they would have no problem integrating most anything, especially since Microsoft doesn't have to do the heavy lifting (building an operating system, building an ecosystem, etc). Android let's them hit the ground running and it seems to be working out if they are expanding markets. It will be interesting to see if Neo ends up running Android.
  • Duo would be useless without all the mobile apps Android and iOS have. Look what happened to Windows Phone. I wouldn't even be using Duo right now if it ran Windows. It would be collecting dust like my Surface is right now. I use my desktop more than anything since the pandemic. I actually use my Note9 more than my Surface 3 now. Lol. Times change, and one day it could shift back, but regardless the applications have to be there.
  • I think your analysis is very much the truth as it would be more distratrous to Microsoft to dump the product either in USA or in other foreign countries. I buy the concept of having two screens for multitasking than having one. And I feel confident that the Generation 2 products would solve a lot problems we have seen today. To me, a good enough camera is a must and a 5G will be a useful arsenal for uers in travel who can't get consistent WIFI connection. So I am a ready buyer for the Gen 2 of the Surface Duo. Good job Microsoft on the Surface Duo.
  • My first thought on this announcement was, "of course Microsoft needs to go to new markets. They burned all their early adopter evangelists in the USA with things like the Band and Invoke that they can't get a big enough following in the USA to disappoint sufficient people to make it worth spending a billion dollars." I say this in jest, but I think there's a sliver of truth at least in the windows consumer market. All my windows fan friends won't even consider a Duo because, Microsoft. I'm not interested until at least v3.
  • There really is some truth to "third time's the charm" with Microsoft.
  • Surface Pro 3 was the big breakthrough for that line.
  • And Windows 10 Mobile carried things after the reboots of WP7 and WP8...nah, it was probably the buggiest release of the three and didn't do much of anything to differentiate itself in the market, unlike the first two. And the XB1 was the breakthrough gaming console after the 360...nope, it was a step back on a lot of fronts (price, first-party offerings, sale, public perception). At least the Surface Book 3 has become a hit and resolved early issues with the first 2 version...oh, wait, it's basically the same thing as the SB2 and doesn't make a good argument for itself at its price or performance bracket, since it's still a device with software inconsistencies and saw its starting price go from $1,150 to $1,600. Can't say anything other than the SP3 has really fit that narrative that I can recall. Maybe the SL3, since it added AMD processors, but the configs aren't on-par with the Intel ones and it's personally my least favorite MS device that's been released.
  • Duo is ahead of its time. At launch it was a bit overpriced perhaps, but getting 2 screens for $950 is a no-brainer. You can pry my Duo out of my cold, dead hands.
  • Duo will always cost more if it launches with the top notch hardware. Just by simple logic it takes much more of expensive materials to be built-in. For Duo with top notch hardware to cost 950$ you will need Galaxy S to cost 300$ or something like that. So not anytime soon.
  • A hinge and a second screen doesn't double the price. It would add a couple hundred at most.
  • I think you are discounting the overall package. Getting what MS did in the size they did is technically challenging. No, it doesn't cost twice as much to tape two Samsungs together and get a half inch thick phone. It does cost money to build a dual screen that is no thicker than my current phone.
  • A dual screen Android phone was released almost a decade ago. Duo is behind the times. Dual screens are old tech, it is about folding screens now.
  • This is a good thing. Would I have bought the Duo in the UK if it were released close to the US launch? Probably. Have I bought one now it's finally released in the UK? No. Because the wait to version 2 is now not long and there are clearly major improvements to be done for that release. If they can get the international distribution optimised for Duo v2 then many more international customers (including myself) will likely buy in at that stage.
  • Ha ha Dan. I just love your vocabulary! "schadenfreude" is now my favourite word of the week. Gonna find every opportunity to use it at work now 🤣
  • I'm amazed that people would argue that Microsoft is expanding to new markets to DUMP existing stock when, at the right bargain price, there are plenty of people at home in the U.S. who would be willing to take it off their hands.
  • I paid full price for the Duo Nov 2020 and don't regret it. It's my daily driver - LOVE the device and can't imagine going back to my iPhone 8+. It's addicting to have the 2 screens. Now that I am finally back out in restaurants, etc - I get a ton of comments on the phone. Truly underrated imo
  • This post only makes me think that is in fact what Microsoft is doing. Anyone remember "Microsoft is not killing Cortana...", Nedella is not killing Windows Phone..., ect. Daniel gets it wrong a lot.
  • Yeah...but the two products you mentioned were not expanding into new markets for business customers, which is the angle from which Daniel is building his argument.
    In fact Cortana stopped getting language expansion for years in spite of a lot of consumer complaints, and she isn't dead only transformed.
  • Remember Cortana was getting more and more support... the invoke speaker, smart thermostats, the integration to the Surface Headphones, and even integration into Windows 10 setup. Then it was a slow and painful death. You can label/rationalize it how you want Cortana is dead/dying. Products fail without support from the people that made them. I don't know the full story of Cortana, but I think the team that had the original vision went on to different groups and Cortana was neglected. Anyway, inventory has costs, either find a way to dump it or write it down. Cost cutting only does so much. Duo looks like it will suffer the same fate as the Lumia 950/950 XL, long support but abandoned. You can hear the frustration in Daniel and Zac about the Duo. It is sad. If the Duo had Windows 10 it might have been fun to tinker with, but it just has Android. Android is just a privacy nightmare, memory leaking, royalty skirting pile of junk.
  • Obviously, MSFT saw that few people really used the voice assistant aspects of Cortana. How many people do you know that use a voice assistant like Siri, Alexa and Google? No one in my family uses Siri (they all use iPhones) and I used Cortana (and I was the only windows phone user I know) mostly for texting.
  • I liked Cortana. I thought it was the closest AI to actually having an interaction. Alexa is pretty good too. The point was that they did expand products and did push Cortana, like they are doing with the Duo now. We will see the fate of Duo play out eventually. Things aren't looking great.
  • For the anti MS crowd: MS Surface Duo is here to stay. Deal with it.
  • Microsoft makes some decent products when they let Google build the software.
  • So the only "decent product" MS has made is the Duo? Just want to make sure I understand your point prior to saying that trying to be witty doesn't work well when you're hyperbolic. Or simply naive.
  • Don't forget Edge.
  • Haha, so 2 decent products, all thanks to Google? Is your view of MS really as myopic as it appears?
  • I had the same thought when I read the headline, that Microsoft is seeding the contracts and consumer-base in those markets for future expansions (including trading in or swapping out models in bulk as new ones come in).
  • I don't recall anyone having this take when the announcement came. This whole article comes off as defensive and unprofessional for no good reason. You're right that the argument of releasing in new markets to dump stock makes no sense, but an article with a needlessly aggressive tone aimed at Twitter trolls is just feeding the arguments that most people don't even see or care to hear from such people. I kind of don't get it. The argument that they're trying to move existing stock in new markets isn't totally ridiculous, though. Doing it to save a buck and put the thing out to pasture? That doesn't make sense. Doing it so those markets aren't as hard to penetrate with consumer (and business) mindshare when the next iteration launches? That makes perfect sense. I would have liked to see them be more aggressive on the launch pricing in these markets to focus on market saturation with these near-replacement (we hope) devices though. With the Duo hitting decent sales prices in the US, having it much higher in these launch markets (where adoption already might be a bit tougher) is a little strange. My best guess there is it might se sales quickly, and the MSRP is more about setting expectations for the product line so there isn't sticker shock if the second-gen launches at a similar, or higher, price than this one did. Whatever the case, I hope this doesn't indicate that there's a lot of remaining Duo stock because it's sold poorly or that it's still being produced greatly because the second-gen isn't coming in the fall like we hope.
  • This was probably the plan all along, except the part were Duo doesn't sell. They are going through the motions of a failed product. It is not like Microsoft fans haven't seen this before. The one thing Microsoft can't be faulted for is not meeting support promises. Nothing from Panos which is the real tell.
  • Where to begin? MS was very upfront about their expectations and only an idiot thinks they thought it was going to be a rival to iPhone, Samsung, or even some of the smaller Android manufacturers. Unless you're privy to MS's measure of success for v1, which I'm 99.99% sure you're not, then you simply have no idea what you're talking about. Not to mention this is Panos' pet project. There will definitely be a v2 and probably a v3 before they decide whether to pull the plug. If you watched the intro video with Panos from last year, then you'd know this already. He was more emotional about it than any other product I've seen him talk about. I seriously doubt he's already giving up on it.
  • Right, last we really heard from Panos about the Duo was last year. He was way more enthused/vocal with the Surface Pro. I never said that Microsoft Duo was going to compete or rival the big guys, stay focused, that is another discussion. I doubt you know Microsoft's "measure of success" as well. They committed to three years with the Duo version 1 and I have no doubt Microsoft will honor that commitment. It is sad but Duo is not getting any marketing from Microsoft which is not a good sign regardless of your feelings. Surface Duo is great hardware. Android is garbage. No way am I paying Surface Duo money for Android OS.
  • Have you been following Windows Central reporting? Unless you believe they're being fed bad info, it's been made very clear without pegging hard numbers that "success" is much more conservative than whatever grandiose metric you're thinking. However, I agree about the marketing and messaging. It could be much better but that's always been a problem for MS.
  • I only heard hearsay from Windows Central. Mr. Rubino has said himself he doesn't know the sales numbers, Microsoft is not sharing. No numbers can't be good numbers. I don't care about sale numbers. The point was they started a project they will finish it, but it doesn't look good for the long term. Don't get so incensed by the word failure. If you think that something like the Microsoft band was not a failure, good. If you don't think the Duo is failing, fine. Facts don't care.
  • It's more than hearsay that MS won't decide Duo's fate solely on v1's sales and mainstream reviews. Everyone, including MS, knows it's a flawed "phone". That's my point which you're missing or choosing to ignore. I work in software and I have followed tech long enough to know it usually takes a few iterations of a product to know whether it'll be viable. Why are you quick to enthusiastically declare it an abject failure? Did you originally predict it would flop, MS will abandon it in less than a year, and you're hoping to be correct? Is it helping reinforce your anti-Android bias? Just curious.
  • I didn't declare the Duo a failure. If it is failing whilst going through a expansion to new markets my theory is because that is the plan and they are following it through instead of stopping. As I stated Microsoft follows through with product cycles. I am just using the context/narrative of this article. I had no predictions for the Duo. I wish it came with Windows, but it came with Android. As I said before if you feel it isn't a failure, cool. Don't take my comments out of context.
  • I don't understand how I took what you said out of context. Here's what you originally said: "They are going through the motions of a failed product". Now here's what you say: "I didn't declare the Duo a failure. If it is failing whilst going through a expansion to new markets my theory is because that is the plan and they are following it through instead of stopping". At best, you're making a distinction without a difference. Regardless, you're still missing the point, the one WC has been making all along and which I agree with: v1 is the first act of at least two. It's neither a failure nor a success right now. Given the near-universal praise of the hardware and general opinion that "there's something there" with the new form factor, MS's expectations are probably closer to being met than not met.
  • I was one of hardest core fans of WP in all its iterations, but it died and I move on. The Duo has been my daily driver and because of its utility I will probably replace my SP7 with a Surface Laptop next round (most of my inking can be handled on the Duo along with my tablet needs). I just don't get the hate for the Duo, it is an awesome productivity phone and I've never been let down. The same people who argue about its shortcoming were more than willing to get a WP7 phone when it didn't even have copy/paste at launch (I was there too).
  • I really hope the duo makes it. Whilst I'm pretty sure Microsoft would have set some very realistic sales targets for the Duo, at some point it will have to show a return on investment. In the months since its release, I haven't seen a single Duo in the wild. Then again, I haven't seen a single dual/foldable device from any manufacturer in the wild. Which would suggest that this virgin technology is still several years away from joining the mainstream mobile market. Question is, will Microsoft go the distance?
  • Good point. I haven't seen any foldables in the wild too. Microsoft will go the distance. The question is can they get people to buy?
  • Oh. And sticking them into some stupid TV show doesn't count.
  • Surface duo 2 code Zeta is in way for 2021-2022.
    On Android.
    Hope major innovation for this.
    Hope a dock.
    Orientable dock.
    Music.
    For all markets.
  • I really like my Duo but how can Microsoft consider launching the device in further markets with the camera app crashing when trying to zoom if menu language is different to English? Bug still not fixed more then half a year after launch...
  • I think it's most likely they are trying to find the right market, which is normal. Clearly, Microsoft adores he market out of India, since they've spent quite a bit of effort doing special changes, software, etc., to entice that huge market. Personally, I think the Duo is a stupid idea and I think it will ultimately fail (and I'd dearly LOVE to see it fail). But it's probably still too early to suggest it's failing just yet.
  • For me the Duo isn't failing upward or downward, its just been a total fail. This is one of the few devices I've bought that I truly regret, and I'm usually pretty generous from an early-adopter standpoint. Its performance is dismal, the promised updates to add functionality have been non-existent (just look at the launcher - not a single functional addition since launch, you still can't configure/customize it at all as a user), Bluetooth audio performance is a complete joke, but even worse is that I can't rely on picking up the device and knowing it will even be powered on. It routinely just powers itself off even when plugged in or with a full charge. The screen responsiveness remains worst in class and there have been no application updates I've found to take advantage of the dual screen layout since launch (where's that vaunted Google Maps update?). And of course no OS update to Android 11. This device was supposed to be my work email powerhouse yet I find myself more reluctant to use it as time goes by. It doesn't even support wi-fi calling. The only use case I've found for it is watching NFL football on one screen while my fantasy stats are displayed on the other (which granted is pretty cool). I find it incredibly hard to believe Microsoft would release another version of this product given how they've basically ignored it from a real-world user's perspective.
  • I think it depends on what your expectation was when the device launched. For me knowing that this was a first generation, first of its' kind type of device, my expectations were quite low. I still had my OnePlus 7 tentatively standing my as my former daily driver to continue to provide what was pretty sufficient performance. What kept me optimistic and why I bought into the Duo was the first name of the device..."Surface." Some may argue that the surface line of devices aren't doing as well as they should with regards to sales, and that is a subjective debate to have, however it's not because they aren't great working devices. From their build quality to their functionality, they have established themselves as quality devices. The Surface branding isn't just a name. Whether it's the Pro, Laptop, Studio, or Headphones, they are all quality products. With that mindset, name one device the Surface team has put out that they are not still producing? With my expectations being sort of low, I was pleasantly surprised that it worked as well as it did on the things that I expected it to. The gesture orientation was pretty good, and has gotten better with updates. The spanning feature (yes, I know it only works with certain applications) worked well, and was refreshing after only using single screen phones. Were there bugs with the OS, of course, but again, if you thought this was going to work like the latest Samsung Note or Galaxy, or Pixel, or any other Android device that has had a decade to perfect how the OS interacts with the device, you were being naive. Personally I can't see how I can ever go back to a single screen phone again. The ability to simply have two screens working independently is enough. Merging apps, spanning apps, it just provides the opportunity for more productivity. The Surface Duo could just fade away but that would be a first for the Surface team, as their track record pretty much speaks for itself.
  • "But one of the dumbest hot takes I have seen from people is that Microsoft is only doing this to get rid of current stock. " 😂😂😂 If your plan is to can a product you can it, you don't keep selling it (see Window Phone).
  • People forget how poorly received Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 were. Poor!
  • Yeah, the first Surface was cool, but it was an absolute brick, and at the time people were already used to the thinness of the iPad. It was a hard sell over the iPad, especially with no apps... Once the form factor was "perfected" with version 3 it made a good case for itself.
  • Usually when you see a $400 price drop it's one of two things. It is doing really well and you can afford to do a price drop because you've made back your initial investment loss (not likely, too much of a cut). Or your not doing very well and want to get rid of what you have left (even if it's getting ready for a second version). Opening up to other markets is just keeping their other customers happy and may be filling a promise they made at the beginning to other markets (as well as a way to offload a lot of product that's not doing well in the states). I hope for a great second version, but I also hope for a new Band 3, Cortana back in my Phone, Windows Mobile on my phone, Zune HD2, Surface Neo........ I can go on and on, but I got Hope.
  • It's interesting that while, to some extent, Silicon Valley embraces failure as a natural part of the learning process, both us amateur and some professional reviewers look at it in win or lose terms. I'm glad Microsoft attempted to bring the Surface Duo to market. Do I think they failed? Absolutely. Do I think that it was worth it to them to conduct the experiment? I absolutely hope so. The engineering and design teams at Microsoft deserve praise. It's a beautiful device. The software teams, having to shift from the original concept of using a version of Windows, to using Android instead, pivoted and tried to make the best device they could under the restrictions they were under. Even if it dies now, the kit that went into the device will live on.