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Should Microsoft just put Android on Surface Neo?

Surface Neo
Surface Neo (Image credit: Windows Central)

In October 2019, Microsoft wowed the tech world with two new devices: Surface Duo and Surface Neo. Both were similar devices with dual screens, but Surface Duo was a phone running Android while Surface Neo was meant to be a new era of PC running Windows 10X — itself a new OS built for the experience.

A lot has changed since that fall. Surface Duo did come out nearly a year later, but it had a very rough start (something that has finally improved with Surface Duo 2). But Surface Neo, which was also supposed to come out "holiday 2020," never materialized.

Much of Surface Neo's limbo status is due to the abandonment of Windows 10X. As the pandemic gained ground, Microsoft refocused and doubled down on its desktop OS, merging the design of Windows 10X into a new OS dubbed Windows 11. The strategy worked: Windows 11 is a hit and has helped to reinvigorate the PC industry at the right time.

But what should happen with Surface Neo's hardware? Should Microsoft just put Android on it and make it a bigger brother of Surface Duo? There are some excellent reasons to do so. And a few reasons why it shouldn't.

Foldable PCs are a lot bigger

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The first foldable PC is Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold. It's a device that I play with occasionally, but I have had difficulty getting into my workflow. When opened, the X1 Fold's 13.3-inch flexible QXGA (2048x1536) OLED is super impressive, but it's just too small to use as a laptop. Despite the appeal, it's also not light at 2.2lbs (999g), making it not that comfortable to hold as a book for long periods.

Interestingly, the next-gen of foldable PCs arriving later this year are much more significant. These will feature screens in the 16 to 17-inch range (e.g. ASUS ZenBook 17 Fold) and, when folded as laptops, will be closer to a 13-inch one making them a bit more natural. While you won't want to hold a 17-inch folding PC for long in one hand, you could prop the screen up to have a portable 17-inch PC with you, which is intriguing.

On the other hand, Surface Neo features two 9-inch screens that create a 13.1-inch one when fully spanned. It bucks the trend of where foldable PCs are headed.

And there's still this lingering issue: Windows 11 is not great as a tablet OS. And, as of right now, there are no features in Windows 11 that leverage dual- or foldable displays (although Snap Assist helps).

In short, while I find foldable PCs curious, my X1 Fold experience has left me skeptical of its usefulness as a laptop replacement. Microsoft is going to have to do much more to convince me otherwise.

Surface Neo with Android could make sense

Surface Duo 2020

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

With no Windows 10X on the horizon, the case for a dual-screen PC seems to fall flat as the OS is not optimized for it. Technically, neither is Android, but that's changing with Android 12L due later this year. Moreover, Microsoft already has experience improving Android for dual screens with Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2. In fact, it's getting pretty good at it. With Android app development poised to start optimizing for a larger screen, dual-screen, and foldable displays, the ecosystem is ahead of where Windows is right now.

Now, I'm no fan of Android on tablets, but tossing that OS onto Surface Neo with a dash of 5G makes the Surface Neo a lot more viable. Microsoft could still preload it with its growing cadre of Android apps and services, and, in effect, it'd just be a giant Surface Duo for those who want more screen real estate on the go. That's an easier sell, especially for those who desire a secondary device and don't want to replace their phone.

Related to this, Microsoft has made some recent moves to consolidate its Android efforts. Its latest reorg puts Android development as a core within the larger Microsoft Devices and Experiences group. It also seems to be hiring many more Android developers. In other words, its ambitions in the Android space seem more extensive than its current offerings.

A dangerous game?

Surface Neo

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Of course, the risks here are not lost on me either, especially for Windows. In a previous 2019 interview with The Verge, executive VP and Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay asks "… what's the right operating system for the form factor?" when talking about Surface Duo. He answers his question with "…in this case, on mobile devices, Android's the obvious choice. But anything above that, Windows is everything." Later, when asked about putting Android on Surface Neo, Panay has an interesting response:

Yeah, I don't see that. I can see my road map. I can see it three years out, and I'm not, like, "I've had visions." I can, like, physically see it, the road map. We have every iteration of these products out there. I think what you're saying is not where I'm seeing things.At the end of the day, Windows is doing its job well. It's incredible, literally for anything bigger than this device. Now, anything bigger in between Neo and Duo, I think, is stuck. So when I say anything bigger, I don't see anything smaller than 2.9 inches, and I don't see anything bigger than this. When we picked this product, we literally looked for years at screen sizes. What's the right thing to do?

Panay doubles down on Windows as the right choice for Surface Neo. But those comments were made before Windows 10X was axed, and the decision to push 17-inch foldable PCs came to light. How has thinking evolved now that those things have changed? Of course, we may never know unless Microsoft decides to resurrect Surface Neo either with Android or some optimized version of Windows 11.

But if Microsoft pursues Android, the risk is evident as it starts to bleed into the area where Windows is supposed to be dominant and undercuts previous messaging. It also acknowledges what is becoming more and more apparent: Android is the superior mobile OS, whereas Windows is the better desktop (and proper laptop) solution.

This discussion raises the fundamental question: What is Surface Neo — a tablet or a laptop? Because how you answer determines which OS is the better fit.

So, what to do about Surface Neo? I'm not entirely sure. Ideally, Microsoft would have a fantastic mobile version of Windows optimized for dual screens ready to go. But they don't, and we haven't heard anything to suggest they do. That's the reality here. While far from my first choice, Android makes sense from a development and marketing point of view, especially if you think of Neo as a tablet or just a bigger Surface Duo rather than a laptop.

On the other hand, maybe Surface Neo should not exist at all — it's a device too in-between to be anything.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

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.

  • Why not simply add all that Windows 10X was to Windows 11 for foldables and Two screen devices? They already have made some of that
  • In theory, that could happen if they wanted. But then they also need to redo the APIs and dev guidance so that apps can leverage dual screens (e.g.spanned), but even then Win32 apps won't work that way making it a limitation on its usefulness. It's why the original plan for 10X didn't have native Win32 support and relied more on UWP. It's also not clear that running a "classic" Win32 app on a 9-inch display is going to be a good user experience.
  • Didn't Microsoft quickly say the Neo was going to support Win32 apps though? I'm sure it was going to have Win32 Office. They couldn't really sell it without.
  • You're confusing things a bit. Yes, Windows 10X runs Win32 apps, but no on it running them natively. Win32 apps are virtualized (VAIL) and run in a container, separating them from the OS. Indeed, there were plans to ship a low-cost version of Windows 10X without VAIL because the system can be abstracted away. The experience was likely to be similar to running classic apps on ARM. They're supposed to be the fallback app experience, not the primary. Windows 10X was, effectively, a UWP OS that could run virtualized WIn32 apps. Windows 10 is a win32 OS that can UWP apps. How good 10X was at running WIn32, unfortunately, we'll never know. I just know that CPU, at the time, was not that great (it's similar to what is in the X1 Fold, IIRC).
  • That quote about the 3-year road map hits hard when you realize we're in that 3rd year and it seems like very little of that road map came to fruition. (Duo made it, Neo is lost in the wild, 10x went away, etc.) As for the article, I'm not sure I'd want Neo without Windows. Part of the push with incoming W11 releases is to improve tablet support, right? If so, a Neo in 2023 wtih a Windows 11 that actually is friendly and usable on tablets would be my preference.
  • It's better for everyone if Neo is delayed until W11 has tablet support. Frankly, I doubt Android 12L will do much in terms of actual desktop use in terms of apps. Sure, it will make headway in terms more basic productivity tasks. Beyond that? Not much. As I said awhile back, Microsoft is going to hit the wall that is Google's tendrils and Microsoft's own stupidity. They are really about to hit the latter as instead of buckling down on WoA and making that viable as well reinforcing UWA and Containerised Win32 with ARM64EC they have chosen the ostrich approach in hopes all their troubles go away with Android. They won't, in fact it's going to make things hell of alot worse as they will also be losing a lucrative Hololens contract. What good is hardware when Microsoft is continuing to literally blow off their own limbs by throwing the underpinning software and app platform out of the window? Microsoft must focus WoA and W11 on ARM derivative as opposed to continuing to buckling down with Android. The longer they dither, the more of a hole they put themselves into - then they will be at the mercy of Googles tendrils and monopolistic practises. If they thought Google's antics with Microsoft's youtube app was somewhat childish... then they ain't seen nothing yet.
  • What Microsoft YouTube app? Microsoft has shown over the past few years WoA is not a focus sadly. I love my Surface Pro X but it always get lower priority. Agreed on Containerising Win32. There needs to be some way to allow Win32 apps to run but without all the bloat Windows 11 has. We're used to this on laptops. We wouldn't accept it on tablets. Even that Surface Pro X is a laptop with an occasional use tablet.
  • Years ago Microsoft created a YouTube app for WP that didn't meet Google's requirements, and Google made them discontinue it. Microsoft was free to create a YouTube app, but WP didn't support the technology Google required. It was something like that. Microsoft didn't follow the terms and Google made them stop.
  • @bleached Oh so arbitrarily applying one set of requirements for one app and not enforcing on others is just fine and dandy with you lol...
  • Who else was making a YouTube client?
  • It wasn't the technology that held back the MS YouTube app. It was not incorporating Googles ad and intrusion services. It was a cleaner version of YouTube that didn't include value added for Google.
  • If I remember correctly, Google required them to use HTML5 and WP didn’t support it.
  • Improve yes but it's all cosmetic changes. Windows is still poor on tablets.
  • No no no no
    Please put windows 11 in it !
    I have use the surface duo and the duo 2 and they are awful.
    If you want the android apps put windows 11 and you can install android apps from the Amazon store don’t put android on the neo please!!
  • No! Stick with Windows 11. I have a greater need for a Laptop / Surface computer than I will ever have for an Android tablet. Windows is already optimized for dual screens.
  • But Windows 11 (and all its apps) aren't optimized for this hardware design. Android 12L is. I see you also consider Surface Neo a laptop, even though, in that configuration, it's smaller than a Surface Go. Are you sure you want to use that as your laptop? It's going to have an underpowered and fanless Intel CPU in it, at least, that was the original plan. I think, long term, the better and more realistic plan is just to have a Surface Pro that folds in half.
  • True regarding Windows 11 tablet optimizations. They do need to do a much better job when it is used in that configuration. For what I would use it for though leans more towards the device's laptop heritage (thin client connections; Office 365, Obsidian.... etc). Surprising it is slightly larger than the Go.
  • I wouldn't by a Surface Neo no matter what OS was on it. Those two little bumps on your keyboard to orientate your hands over the keyboard; they are way more important than the makers of Neo realized. I believe Neo is a failed form factor and Microsoft realized that in its testing.
  • Are you expecting Neo to be announced with Android? You say you haven't heard anything, but WC released very similar articles about Duo with Android months before the announcement. Android makes the most sense for Neo hardware, but why would Microsoft do that? To sell hardware? Does Microsoft really want to be a hardware manufacturer? Maybe Neo is too small. They could make an even larger version for Windows. Two Surface Pro X with a hinge may work well with Windows.
  • "Android makes the most sense for Neo hardware, but why would Microsoft do that?" Good question. My guess would be, to have some sort of foot in the small tablet market as a test for how the form factor *might* fit into a productivity workflow. Of course that's assuming they'd actually do it. "Maybe Neo is too small." For me that was the obvious takeaway. It doesn't fit the market anymore, so they should think about a bigger version if they're thinking about this at all anymore.
  • "but why would Microsoft do that?" A pertinent question. It makes sense to have an Android phone so that they have a tow in the phone market. They're not competing with any Windows devices there. An Android tablet, on the other hand, would be competing directly with Windows devices. The target market wouldn't be exactly the same but there would be significant overlap. They might decide that they just don't want to waste all the work on the Neo hardware and use Android as a way to get it out there but Microsoft's history suggests that they wouldn't do it just for that reason.
  • OR Microsoft can continue to work at making Windows 11 also a great tablet OS and still keep all the power of a desktop OS? Wasn’t that the whole point of Windows 11 to be touch friendlier? You know otherwise what is the point of the Surface Pro, Surface Go and hopefully (SQ3) Surface Pro X Does Microsoft know what their doing?
  • "Does Microsoft know what their doing?" MS market cap: $2.23 T
  • "Wasn’t that the whole point of Windows 11 to be touch friendlier?"
    Absolutely not. The point of Windows 11 was to meet modern work demands in a post-COVID, hybrid-work world. Where creativity, focus, and video calls are a priority. Making the OS more touch-friendly is something that is slowly happening, but it's certainly not "the whole point," nor would I consider it a priority.
    "You know otherwise what is the point of the Surface Pro, Surface Go and hopefully (SQ3) Surface Pro X"
    The value in those designs is the ability to get the keyboard out of the way to make it easier to use the pen for drawing and inking, which is a core feature of Windows and Surface (it's where the name originated from). It's also convenient for watching movies or giving presentations. The real question is how many people are buying Surface Pro, Surface Go, or Pro X and not buying the keyboard because they perceive it as optional because these devices are so good at being tablets. My guess is that number is extremely low.
  • My guess is that perceived that these Surface Pro are just laptops with detachable (optional) keyboard. It doesn't help that for a long time now, Microsoft marketed them as a laptop and for long Windows 10 didn't made any more improvements to the tablet user experience. They even made Tablet Mode more hidden and it doesn't automatically switch when you detach the keyboard, it's there but not automatic. So for those years, it basically nails to most consumers that Surface Pro were not a tablet. Heck we deployed Surface Pro for some for staff in our office and didn't even realize that Surface Pro is a touchscreen device. Thought that may be partially at fault for us in the IT not all communicating what it really is.
  • This is a massive brain scratcher for sure as all roads to point to petty office politics. I mean why on earth would Microsoft risk torpedoing a lucrative hololens contract and massive profits? Think about it, The Surface Neo is first and foremost a tablet and to bring the best out of that hardware you need a tablet o/s therefore naturally you want to be improving the tablet experience in Windows. To provide a value add and monetisation route you'd focus on UWA and containerised WIn32 with ARM64EC. As by docking the Surface Neo there is the avenue of being able to have a desktop experience using Continuum. With win32 containerisation you get all the win32 apps into the store for easy access, one click install / deployment. Which also allows additional hardware sales like the continuum docks, miracast docks etc. The only reason webtop and dex never took off is because android spps do not scale to large screen easily nor did either have robust ecosystem of win32 apps to leverage - Microsoft does. This could be packaged with Windows 365, Office 365 etc to the business and education sector. Given many will already have Office 365 packages already so tremendous opportunity to upsell. Naturally to get into the people will want to monetise and so you'd attract more UWA development. Combined with external factors such as energy prices - naturally people will want their devices to last longer on a single charge so there would be a slow progression towards PWA, UWA and ARM64EC. So, ultimately Hololens would have a robust ecosystem to rely on. Which would bring alot of revenue YoY.... But... Microsoft is currently in ostrich mode... So other then petty office politics - it makes no damn sense at all. Then again Microsoft and common sense have never been close associates.
  • "it's where the name originated from" Sorry, but hard no. Surface was a totally revolutionary idea of human to machine interaction, back in the years when Microsoft was working toward the evolution of personal computing with a vision. It might have been too Sci-Fi as a vision, but still a vision it was. Surface prototypes meant wyou'd put you cell phone on the display table to open up interaction thru the OS and, for instance, browse photos into picture gallery and download them. Or you could place your debit card on the display to check-out your online payment or your flight reservation. Then you could also use ink (and other widgets.)
    Of that vision remains maybe some show-off in a LV casino... and lots of rubbles culminated with the W Mobile failure. Why? Just because they were not able to put the win32 legacy crap in a closet and be done with it. At the same time, Apple has moved thru 3 different CPU architectures and OS's without backing down when customers cry wolf because their old Adobe Photoshop copy does not work.
  • Do we know if the Surface line's name comes from that original MS Surface Table concept? I too had seen that back in Vegas around the time of the iPhone launch (before it I think, but not certain). I was on a quest to create a rugged multi-touch gaming system. I've never heard a clear history on the name progression, but the technology used in modern Surfaces is very different -- those table Surface systems used cameras to support multi-point touch, requiring substantial depth (nothing you could fit in a phone or PC). Multi-touch was near nonexistent except in concept devices like the original Surface table until Apple released the capacitive multi-touch iPhone. I can't tell you how many touchscreen manufacturers told me that multi-touch in a thin frame was impossible, defied the laws of physics, maybe you could get up to 2-finger touch AT MOST, etc. right up until the iPhone launched.
  • This is the most anti-fanboy article I've read in a long time. Tough love I guess. My respect to the author for trying to be honest.
  • I'd like to think that they'd hold off on the Neo for as long as it takes to get Windows 11 to a place where it would work well on the form factor. The Duo must surely be a one-off in terms of choosing an "outsider" operating system for a Surface device. As a Duo 2 user, I'm OK-ish with android on my device, primarily because I need mobile apps and Google has them, but in my heart I'd still download windows to my device if I had the option, and hope PWA's, Microsoft services and the Windows store would be enough to fill the app void.
  • Definitely no. In fact, I'm watching closely those working on a Windows port for Duo. I'd like that much better.
  • It will never actually be usable. Even if they get all the hardware working, Windows just isn’t designed for a small dual touchscreen. Battery life will be measured in minutes, like the WoA 950, while being even less usable.
  • No, they should see how they can run both at the same time preferably. If not, Windows is still the better OS for such a device.
  • That's rather non-elegant solution. It will have disjoint UX to have run both Android shell with Windows shell. Why not just improve Windows to be a better usable and enjoyable tablet OS? The fact now it can run Android apps anyways, at least the app part is kinda addressed already.
  • They screwed up putting Duo as Android, but if they really want to kill off Windows then hey why not pop Android on a Neo!
  • Windows 11 is a failure, I'm very disappointed in this upgrade. It feels like a downgrade.
  • It's a "failure" because you don't like it? Sorry but the market as a whole disagrees with you. Stop thinking your personal feelings and opinions represent everyone or an entire community. That's dangerous.
  • No. No. No.
  • No. Microsoft's time of innovation was squandered with butterfingered incompetence. Now everything that was amazing about their now cancelled devices is done by the competition. Let them putter along as a future nobody. Microsoft hasn't had the backbone and perseverance to play the long game in so very, very long. Nothing exciting. No new ideas. Android makes you the product anyway.
  • I would still buy the Neo if they were to release it, with Android. I still believe they should go the Samsung route. Though microsoft was first with the Continuum feature in Windows Phone, Samsung took the idea and made better use via DeX. Microsoft could install Android onto the Neo then have a desktop solution that mimicks Windows with its UX though with full Android app availability. We need to stop desiring Microsoft make a one-all device to please everyone and just make a variety of devices to pick from. Similar to a car manufacturer, you get a variety to choose which is best for your situation. If a Neo w/Android isn't for you, then get a Surface Pro/X or SLS. Apple seems to manage the situation in having iPadOS and MacOS, two differing OS's that have some similarity but if you desire an Apple touch screen with a limited desktop experience, then you get the iPad. The thing for Microsoft to do, and to do well, is to help develop Android so the synergy of it and Windows can communicate much better than it currently does. As long as I can move my attention across devices without delay, then I wouldn't care which OS I'm using at the moment. I have an iPhone 13 Pro, iPad Pro M1, Surface Pro X, and Surface Duo 2. When I'm using Edge on any of them, what is great for me is that I can go into my Collections and get what I need instantly regardless of which device I'm using. Microsoft is a software company, Windows isn't the only software they create and maintain. Just make sure I have real-time access to Microsoft 365 across the board with no hiccups, make sure my Surface Duo 2 talks to my Surface Pro X as well as an iOS/iPadOS device talks to a MacOS computer and I'll be content. If I'm desiring a Chevy Silverado, I'm not going to complain to GM that I can't get what I want from Buick....... OPTIONS!!!!
  • Android manufacturers had made continuum like features and lapdocks years before Microsoft.
  • Really? DEX was released in 2017. You could already by a Microsoft Display Dock which connected Windows Phones via USB C in 2015. You could do wireless continuum before that.
  • Yes, really. The Motorola Atrix from 2010 or 2011 had an optional lapdock (dumb terminal) with a desktop Firefox browser. The idea was good but the silicon of the era wasn’t up to snuff yet.
  • I may be wrong, but I don't think the Atrix concept gave you anything but a big monitor and keyboard for your phone apps, desktop Firefox not withstanding. Both Dex and Continuum provide a substantially different environment once the larger peripherals are attached.
  • It switched to Linux when you plugged it in.
  • 😂😂😂
    Why Android suck on bigger screens. 😂 I preached you everybody so be a surprise this October. Today's talk about a tablet mode for Windows 11. That's the best device to launch it on that's what they doing with the device
  • It is fine on Neo sized machines, much better than Windows, and is getting better with 12L. Windows needs 10-11” or more and a hardware keyboard to be good.
  • Hey, Phone link just pinged my Surface 7 running windows 10 saying my phone as now 90% charged. Helpful. Is that what you call OS integration? Why does this matter? Well, it is late, I need to get up early to catch a flight and I want my phone charged. Now I know that in just a few minutes I can close the Surface pro and go to sleep. Neo looks cool. Not sure if Android is a solution to power a large dual screen device. But Bleached thinks foldable is the future. If he is correct, shouldn't MSFT get Windows 11 optimized for foldable devices? I think foldable devices will be mainstream in 2023. Not sure how many units will sell. But if the OS works wonders for a foldable, then the Windows ecosystem will transition into a new form factor/device utility upgrade cycle. Like Windows did from the PC to the Laptop. Windows did not transition from PC to Laptop to Mobile. But it could trasnition from PC to Laptop to Foldable.
  • Windows 11 has most of Windows 10X functionality, and tablet specific features are coming to 11. Why look backwards? it's better to move forward, and push the software and hardware. Windows 11 on an Arm platform could be perfect because it would give users the option of a dual boot if needed, but if there is going to be something like a Neo, it's going to be an utterly simply being a duo. Let the duo handle that, and let the Neo expand Windows 11 capability, that's what the surface line is actually for anyway
  • "Windows 11 has most of Windows 10X functionality, and tablet specific features are coming to 11. Why look backwards?"
    It's important to remember that Windows 10X wasn't just about UI/UX, but, architecturally, it was very different from Windows 10/11. For instance, it didn't have native Win32 support (though it could emulate) and relied on UWP. It was, in some ways, a "lighter" OS. After all, the CPU for Neo is not very strong as it's a thin and fanless system. See, that's the issue. You need apps that leverage dual screens, like spanning. You can do that with UWP/modern apps with the right APIs in place, which is what 10X was setting up. But, you can't do this with Win32 apps, which 1. Won't span 2. Are likely not going to work well on a single 9-inch display. These are issues that need to be addressed even if Microsoft makes Windows 11 more touch/tablet friendly, at least for a dual-screen device. This is where Android has a leg up since Android 12L does all of this and is close to shipping. And Android apps are far more likely to leverage fodlable/dual-screen formats than Windows app dev, which seems, at best, a bit stagnated.
  • Every issue you talked about can be addressed with Win 11. Especially the screen Spanning. The fact that Win 11 has far better screen management can go to this. Windows 11 doesnt need to be lighter. Arm and X86 hardware have evolved enough to handle and offer quick performance. Windows 11 is better at multitasking than Android is, and already supports dual screen... because it supports multi screens already Windows on arm already supports win32 apps through emulation, and can be made to support Android apps more natively. Windows 11 makes more sense here
  • Foldable, dual touchscreens are not the same as supporting dual 27” monitors. Far from it. Windows barely supports a single 9” touchscreen, let alone 2. Windows 11 is probably years away from working well on Neo, and then it wouldn’t have any apps anyways. Microsoft squandered the last decade. They really don’t have any good options today.
  • "Foldable, dual touchscreens are not the same as supporting dual 27” monitors" From a UI standpoint, no it's not. Because at their core, the Duo and Neo, were two separate touchscreens in the foldable devices. There are LITERALLY devices out right now (lenovo's idea pad device comes to mind) that demonstrate this functionality, and run on Windows 11. They do have good options, It's called, Arm, Windows on Arm, Windows 11 on a device
  • Windows 11 does need to be lighter. Why do you think they were making WIndows 10X and not just adding this stuff to Windows 10? The OS has a completely different app layer with containers resulting in better security, lower CPU usage, and better battery life. Did you even read any of the 10X documentation on the design? It's all explained there. Saying Microsoft can address all of this in Windows 11 suggests they are actively working on it. No evidence they are. Neo is as thin as Duo (5.5mm). It needs a lighter OS and a very power-efficient CPU to be pulled off, otherwise, it'll get too hot and have 3 hours of battery life. I don't think you appreciate how thin it is.
  • It needs to be ARM. A slightly slower but much more efficient chip would be preferable instead of the 8cx Gen 3.
  • ARM solves the CPU issue, for sure, but now we come back to the OS problem, which is Windows 11 doesn't currently support dual-screens (like this), nor are there any apps (besides Microsoft's own) that take advantage of the form factor.
  • I don't understand why you say Windows 11 doesn't support dual screens. Dual screens are just two monitors and Windows has supported that (almost) forever. Arguably Windows supports two screens better than what they did on the DUO. At least I don't loose pixels in Windows. I get that the functionality of how apps use the space needs to be adjusted, but they had to do that for Android as well. Some things might even provide better functionality in full sized Windows. Imagine if you have Outlook full screen and click a link. Wouldn't it be nice if that opened on the second monitor, if you have one, rather than in a Window obscuring Outlook? Certainly needs some use case thought here, and maybe some user selectable options, but understanding and developing for small dual screen devices might be applicable to multi-monitor setups.
  • Why do you think they were making WIndows 10X and not just adding this stuff to Windows 10? "Were" past tense. There's alot of accomplishment in Tech that has changed since the Neo and 10X were announced nearly 3 years ago. Did you even read any of the 10X documentation on the design? It's all explained there.
    Yes I did. It doesn't matter now because it was scrapped, and lot of those features exist in Windows 11. Neo is as thin as Duo (5.5mm). It needs a lighter OS and a very power-efficient CPU to be pulled off, otherwise, it'll get too hot and have 3 hours of battery life. I don't think you appreciate how thin it is. And at the time, the Neo was running a custom intel chip that was cancelled, this was the primary reason why the NEO was cancelled correct? We have a very efficient CPU, that's ARM. If Microsoft wanted it could partner wit somebody and create a very efficient, yet powerful CPU for they did with the Surface X. As far as lightness of the OS, and power consumption, I don't see this 3 hours of battery life you speak of on windows on Arm devices, it's much longer. I do appreciate how thin it is. I've seen devices this thin, with Arm chips in them. Use an Arm chip, solve the problem. Need an OS that can handle multiple screen? Win 11, solves the problem. Need an OS that can run win32 apps? Win11, solves the problem. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
  • My key thing here is this. Ok, a foldable android device with 12L, from Microsoft is what you posit is a good idea. The next question, and most important, becomes this. Why does THAT need to be from Microsoft? Why does Microsoft need to spend the R&D, and money, on an ANDROID tablet, to sell it. When something like that can come from Samsung, or some other Android maker, and Microsoft can simply offer their services on that device? It may not FOLD, but Samsung has a Galaxy Tab, with a form factor that 12L was ostensibly made FOR. It has everything you want other than the fact it isn't foldable. I've seen similar devices from a bevy of makers, like Oppo, that are like Neo. Why not just buy those, and run Microsoft services on them, rather than expect that MS invest time and resources into yet another one like them. At least with the Duo. it made sense because the Duo is not trying to be a tablet. It's companion device (like a smartphone). Windows Phone doesn't exist anymore, Windows 11 isn't good for a phone, so this works great, because you can introduce a Microsoft ecosystem to the phone, much better than you can with a tablet. Once you start getting into 10-12 inches or bigger, people want to be more productive, and bar none, Win 11 is more productive than Android. I'm pretty sure this is why the Neo and Duo were not both Android to begin with
  • I finally came to the conclusion that Microsoft is a company without direction in the consumer space. It isn't worth my time anymore to hope that Microsoft cares about consumers. (Consumers = business people who are off duty.) I once really cared. I once really desired to be all in on Microsoft. I drooled over the Neo. Coveted the Duo. Lamented the loss of Windows Mobile. Was awed by Hololens. Today, I just don't care anymore. Put Linux on the Neo for all I care. It's going to flop no matter what they do because Microsoft doesn't care about the experience of their off-duty customers. I broke up with Microsoft and I'm moving on.