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Surface Neo and Surface Duo: First impressions from our hands-on

(Image credit: Windows Central)

The big shocker from today's Surface event was the debut of not one, but two dual-screen foldable devices. The Surface Neo is Microsoft's take on a foldable PC, offering up a detachable keyboard, Surface Slim Pen inking, and a new version of Windows 10 dubebd Windows 10X. The Surface Duo, meanwhile, marks Microsoft's entry back into the phone market as a dual-screen, foldable Android device.

Yeah, you read that right.

While neither device is set to launch until the holiday 2020 season, we got a chance to go hands-on with the prototypes after the showcase was over. Check out the video above for our full first impressions.

Microsoft Surface fall 2019 event: Everything announced

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

126 Comments
  • Great review. What about cameras?
  • Really wondering this too. Can only assume they're on the inside of the device. MP would be good to know.
  • They mentioned in a previous article that Microsoft said the cameras are going to change. They have two jobs over the next year. Give it a decent camera, go with Windows instead of Android, and I'd sell my kidney for this phone.
  • I think at some point in the future Windows will make sense on this device, when PWA apps are the norm and they will no longer need Android.
  • Well you asked. I'm not a fan of the Android part. I was hoping for some kind of Microsoft OS. But I guess it's easier to run Android if only for the apps store. Overall I'm really liking both devices. Can't wait for them to hit the stores.
  • I wouldn't mind if it runs Android, just want the Live Tiles back. Maybe update the Microsoft Launcher to have Live Tiles? Would that be doable?
  • There is a launcher that very similar to Windows 10 mobile in play store, it's called Launcher 10
  • Square Home 3 launcher is pretty good too.
  • what is the camera like on this device ?
  • I was asking the same thing, but with a year out I wonder if they are still weighing options.
  • The devices do look beautiful. The more I see the Neo, the more I think it has many different usage scenarios. I think it could be full computer if you just add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with the Neo standing slightly folded on a table (both displays in portrait). If you don't have a table, you could then use the Neo keyboard and fold Neo in laptop mode. I'm trying to imagen how it would be productive in book mode (held in one hand with both displays in portrait, slightly closed). Book mode seems ideal for pen input, but I don't see using a pen in this fashion. Maybe Dan if you got to hold it like this and do some stuff, you can expand on how book mode with pen input seems. I think 2020 is going to be super exciting. I can't wait to see what the OEMs are going to do in 2020. Maybe someone will make a pocketable Neo running Windows 10X with telephony. When I used Windows 10 Mobile, the app gap didn't bother me.
  • I'm pretty sure the Neo keyboard that you will be able to buy for it is bluetooth. In their video on the keynote it showed them having the Neo in Vertical mode on a table with the Neo keyboard sitting on the table.
  • I still cannot see a use case for a dual screen device like this (and I use multiple programs and screens daily). I could partially understand a single foldable screen (specifically one that folds on the outside of the device so you have the convenience of a phone size product, and a tablet size product; although aspect ratio is still my biggest issue), but this is literally no different to any other tablet,other than you get to have a thick line down the middle of your screen. Regarding the phone, LG already tried that, twice, and nobody wanted it. Although I guess now because it's Microsoft it's the second coming of Jesus.
  • I've been reading for months about people either complaining or thinking somehow the space between the two screen would be bothersome. I don't get it all. It doesn't bother me one bit. The only thing I would add would be a screen on the outside when the two sides are folded so you can see incoming calls and breaking news. Then to me it would be perfect.
  • I can understand people being fine with the line (multiple monitors for gaming is definitely a thing that has been popular), but I can't fathom why someone would pay the premium for this device over an equivalent sized tablet. It can't do anything a tablet can't already achieve.
  • I have an 8 in tablet/computer so the Duo would fit the bill exactly mainly and primarily the form factor also has a phone. Again, I do have my own reservations. I wish the Duo could run Microsoft apps and Android apps (Although I could care less about Android apps). At this point as much as I want the Duo I don't want to be in the Google ecosystem. I don't even have a gmail. So, I'll have to try it out to see if it's something I really want. And plain icons ... it's really hard for for me to get used to static icons. That is so twenty years ago. I hope somehow between now and then some type of live tiles of some kind can be implemented.
  • If it's any consolation on my Android phone the only google app I use is Google Play and Google Pay, everything else is uninstalled and an alternative used. I'm sure you could ditch Google Pay as well, and Google Play even if you're fine with sideloading apps. My main skepticism about the Duo is it seems really wide for a phone, making it seem like it might be difficult to chuck in anything other than cargo pants or a jacket.
  • Sin Ogaris, I know it's squarer than today's smartphones, so it looks wider, but the diagonal screen size per screen is only 5.6" (not the 6"+ used by most phones today), which means that I think this will fit in just about any pocket a modern smartphone would. I was a little bit worried that it may be too thick, but Daniel addressed that. Since I've already accepted (with sadness) that I need to use an Android phone, assuming camera is good, this sounds like the best Android phone a former Windows Phone fan could have.
  • Using MS launcher would be a good proxy for the experience, except being on one screen. Good launcher
  • Yeah, you might be right, it doesn't help that I only seem to see it being held by females, so the hand to phone ratio is significant.
  • Android allows icons and widgets just like Windows phones. The only difference is Android widgets have advanced functionality while WP widgets have no functionality at all. WP style widgets are dead. Windows 10X doesn't have them either.
  • You can fold it so it takes the half of the space of a tablet. If you don't have a problem carrying a whole tablet instead of something half its size, then I understand you.
  • Even at half the size it's still too big to carry it around in anything but a bag. If you need a bag to begin with, you can put a device in that is twice the size.
  • SashaDr, you must be referring to the Neo, not the Duo? Duo is definitely an easily pocketable device, even a front pocket in jeans. For the Neo, I think the size does make it more portable. To your point, it's not perfectly portable like a phone, but small enough to go in even the smallest bag. I think the difference is the attached keyboard and pen -- it's gets down to mini tablet size, but opens up to iPad Pro sized with a full keyboard. This isn't for everyone, but it bridges the "I want a large screen on my tablet" (bigger than iPad Pro) and "I want a tablet that doesn't require a special backpack" (folds down to the size of a Kindle or iPad Mini).
  • No it's not really just another tablet. It's a tablet that is small to store, but also versatile. A normal tablet line Surface Pro is huge in comparison. With the Neo, you can use it as a tablet. Use it half screen. Or even use it as a small full blown laptop. And I think this is what differentiates it from other foldable and other tablets. There is nothing this small on the market that runs full software. And has all the accessories on the device ready to use. Nothing to carry with it to plug in. If you actually step back, this device will be used heavily across business and industry.
  • But a Surface Go certainly isn't "huge by comparison", it is larger, but not exorbitantly so. The using it half screen is its one saving grace, but I never liked laptops with a 360 degree hinge (though that is merely a personal preference, and clearly there are people that like that design, because companies are still making them), so I can't imagine this being any different. I much prefer just ditching the other half (keyboard) and using the tablet on its own, given how easy it is to pop on and off the keyboard it's quicker than folding a thing around.
  • And was the Go, anywhere yesterday? No, for obvious reasons I suppose;)
  • There are smaller Windows tablets, they all flopped though. Windows is terrible on anything smaller than 10". Even 10" isn't that great. https://www.windowscentral.com/what-ever-happened-all-small-windows-10-t...
  • That article doesn't show Windows flopping on smaller tablets, just that the big boys aren't making premium devices anymore, presumably the 8" market is cost sensitive (huge numbers of Amazon Fire tablets forcing prices low) and they weren't selling well. I personally have 3 8" or smaller windows tablets, they were good for what I needed and I had one running my home security and monitoring 24x7 for a very long time, but they were incredibly cheap £69 each, which with the free year of Office 365 made them a bargain, but at this price point HP and Dell can't compete with Chinese offerings.
  • I think it's the fact that it's pocketable but folds out. When folded it looks smaller than a Note10; when opened up it's a 8+ inch screen. People want larger screens, no doubt about it, and this solves the biggest restriction, which is pocket sizes. (Same with the other foldables on the market, but they're just not nearly as impressive.)
  • As a notebook/sketching experience, the crease in the middle is going to be a real letdown. Maybe not terminal, but I was really hoping for that transition with reflected images we saw blueprints of a year ago... I'm SO hoping they'll release a Windows version as well; the Neo proves that it's possible!
  • I agree the reflected images thing would have been great. I remember the patent you speak of. However, this is a first generation device, so maybe we'll see that reflected images thing down the line on the Neo 2 or Duo 2 (if both eventually run Windows 10X). Sometimes patents take years to implement, if they're implemented at all.
  • But LG suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks
  • Microsoft will ship this Surface Duo with two choices, Android or Windows X. Please say yes/probably Dan.
  • I'd like to that to happen but have little belief that it will
  • Also there's one open point...what experience will the Duo with Android gives you when connected to an external display? They are gonna put 2 OSes one when in smartphone mode and one when in desktop? That's the whole point, the single device is the next big thing for me. This way Microsoft is gonna lose the desktop market as well XD
  • I think for me both of these devices are designed for those who live in meetings. The single folding display is for media consumption, this is about productivity. Think of the scenario where you are watching a webinar on one screen and taking notes on the other; or perhaps writing a technical brief but referring to the original specification document?
  • I understand that, but you can do that on any tablet device, especially those running Windows. Time will tell if apps start to utilise the dual screens in meaningful ways, but that'll be up to developers and we know how that's gone for Microsoft in the past.
  • "I understand that, but you can do that on any tablet device, especially those running Windows" But you can now do it EASIER and on a more portable device, at least for the phone form factor. Not to talk of the possibility of games taking advantage of it. Besides, this being a nice product and a being a Surface fan are more than enough reasons to get either of them.
  • Fortunately, this isn't just about MS. Other OEMs that have traditionally made Android devices and seeking to make dual screen devices could only help.
  • I don't see how the Duo is much different in usage than e.g. the Samsung foldable phone (except mainly being the Duo more reliable because of the hinge). I guess if you don't see a use case for foldable-like phones/tablets, than I guess the product just is not for you, just like for me it is not a product that I will throw ~1500-2000 bucks against it.
    Concerning the LG one it is not well marketed and update support etc is probably really bad so that makes it DOA for businesses etc. And I also think the Duo has a better design and will be better executed in the details and overall feel of the device (it is an expensive Surface after all).
  • Yeah, but the form factor is more refined than any other option currently available. The folding screen technology is still new and will not have a long user life. Other dual screen device are bulky as hell, compared to the Duo's current design. It's obvious that this device isn't going to be for everyone. Not to mention, you can use the new Surface pen with it. Currently, I have a Note 8 and I've tried to use the split screen mode several times on my phone, but it then becomes too small to be of any real use on a regular basis. Therefore, I don't use it anymore and find it more pointless, than useful. The Duo would be able to do those things, when needed, without reducing your screen to two 3.5 or 4 inch screens that are difficult to truly use in this scenario.
  • I'm with you on that I have a note 8 and gave up with the split screen just to small. My next option was going to be the Xperia one as this form factor makes it the best I've seen for multi tasking or even look at the lgg8 with the 2 screens. But with this now being shown off its at the top of my list as my next phone when I am due an upgrade next year.
  • You're making the same mistake as Bleached, you think your personal situation is the only possible case, it's not. I've got a Pro 4 and Go, the Go was bought to give me a reasonable windows machine that was smaller and lighter, but mostly smaller, I fly a lot and the Pro 4 was a bit too cumbersome. When I get to a customer site or workplace, then I miss the extra space of the Pro 4, but the Go is a reasonable compromise. What I need is a device where I get more screen space, but doesn't get any bigger than a Go, the Neo seems to offer this exactly, albeit the bezel in the middle. But since I rarely open an app across two screens, I've been working on dual monitors since the Matrox Millenium range of graphics cards and the gap between the two has never been an issue. I'd be surprised if there's anyone who doesn't use more than one app on windows, where dual screens would benefit them - I suspect this device is designed for corporate users (hence LTE being included), where the multiple screens is going to be a significant benefit. Ideally I'd like a Go with dual screens, but longer battery life and perhaps a faster Intel processor, but the Neo is by far the best compromise anyone has show so far.
  • Neo will be mine! Looks like the ultimate companion device. Duo is a pass unless Microsoft finds some way to kick Google off of the device. I mean, I dont want to see anything Google on it. Microsoft everything stock...not even a Google account to use the device.
  • Probably not gonna happen since Google Play services (the app store) will rely on a google account. But I dont mind it, there are still some native google services on Android 9 that are better than the MS alternative (Search, Assistant, etc.)
  • Well there is MicroG, it basically emulates/replaces the services so you can delete the 'real' services and hence no privacy data will be sent from your phone. I heard good things about it.
  • I seriously need a proper Contact app (AKA People) on Android that sync directly to Microsoft account the one that use Outlook app to find contact is not good either the Contact stocked app from android (Samsung or even Google) made me lost entire contact list that I was using since Symbian from my MS account by syncing back and forward forever and Microsoft Maps, ... also Cortana need to be available globally I will be happily using Android then
  • I am having the same problem on every Android phone I have owned. I am hoping this problem will be solved with Microsoft and Google working together on the OS for the Duo.
  • You could try MicroG and delete the google services from the android phone. There are also alternatives to the playstore, like the fdroid.
  • Duo should also function as a control and input device for Neo if they are paired
  • Interesting... I guess while you'd still be missing out on the tactile keyboard, you'd at least be able to use the full screen of the Neo for display, without sacrificing a chunk for the keyboard (and if swiping gets a bit more reliable on a capacitive screen that could be almost as fast). That could be helpful, I suppose, but if doing that regularly, and if you could already afford both devices, I'd think it would be worth springing for the keyboard for the tactile typing experience.
  • Yes, Neo is the Surface device that I want!
  • I'm a solid buy on Neo and Duo.
    100% yes to both of them.
    Gonna be a looooooong year...
  • Already planning on ditching Apple again, for these devices, I think by the time both are actually available my Surface will be ready for rehoming or recycling. I have a couple of laptops and a all in one desktop but it never get turned on. Apple has to do much more for me to stay with them.
  • Can I relieve you of those laptops and all-in-one? I definitely could find use for them.
  • This is all pretty awesome. Speaking of the holiday season, in the video Daniel Rubino looks like just got Christmas early lol... Kid in a candy store. Great video as usual.
  • I want a Neo. Bad. Is it 2020 yet?
  • I want one or both. Specifically I want the Neo for work. I want to have my work email and to do list or notepad open to take notes at the same time. Also would be great for agendas and notes. I do wonder if Neo will have a desktop mode and be able to power external monitors. I also think the embrace of Android makes a ton of sense. MS owns the laptop and 2 in 1 market and the Neo fits there, but smaller screens work best with Android or Apple. MS just doesn't have the library and wont ever catch up so move to Android, I stallS apps and love on. Smart. I do wonder if 2020 release date could move this device away from 2 screens to one foldable, if the tech improves enough
  • Few questions. First, will either support any form of continuum? Also why is there a Google search bar on the duo? Why not the Microsoft launcher search bar?
  • Probably has to do with their partnership with Google. They're working together on this.
  • I would probably say it's more a visual reference that it's running Android.
  • I believe that's a google requirement.
  • You asked Dan... so no! I don't think a Surface branded Android-only device is a good thing at all. I've supported and understood Nadella's vision pretty well up until now... Azure (yup)... O365 (yup)... Linux on Windows (yup)... MS apps on iOS and Android (yup). Edgium (yup). But this is too far. There's cross-platform, and interoperability, and then there's undermining your own OS, the MS Store, and the developers who loyally support those.
  • Your logic is flawed because consumers and the business market have spoken. PC owns business and Android owns mobile (smartphones). MS can build and push their own phone for the rest of time and will still not catch Android. MS and Nadella gives consumers and business what they want and need rather than what MS thinks they want/need.
  • "MS can build and push their own phone for the rest of time and will still not catch Android." And that's their problem. There is no NEED to "catch Android". Do you think Google lies awake at night thinking they should stop making Chromebooks because there's no way they can "catch Windows"? NO! They just do the best they can. Build their brand. Treat the people who believe in their brand with respect. And call it bloody good! This retreatism... defeatism... is just downright unmanly. Cowardly.
  • Your logic isn't flawless either. Consumers dropped Windows on phones after Microsoft abandoned them, especially in markets where Windows phones had a stable share or were actually growing (slowly). And as for Windows having no hope of catching Android? What conceited nonsense. Every market leader is the biggest player until they're not. I expect RIM thought they were untouchable until consumers abandoned Blackberry.
  • Microsoft really missed the boat with the Duo by putting Android on it. I get that it's the easiest way to get a phone with a lot of apps on it, but that move will mean there is zero reason to develop apps for Windows 10X on the Neo. One of the devices won't be around for long.
  • I would say 1 is aimed at Businesses and the other consumer. Business apps on Windows 10X will absolutely outdo business apps on Android. That's already happend.its just consumers don't know that because those apps don't interest them
  • Yes please! Take my money now! I do miss the Windows phone OS though. I get it about the Apps. Having switched to a Note8, I can't wait to get this next year. I do wonder about the Camera and if the Duo will come with some sort of writing device as well.
  • 'Take my money now!' So in all seriousness you would pay what $2500 (I base this on the Galaxy Fold's near $3000 price tag) for a dual screen Android-ONLY device running the MS launcher? Why? Because it has a Surface logo on the back? I'm an admitted MS fanboy. But seriously? Any $300 Android phone and YourPhone will give you pretty much so everything you need. Splurge a little more and a $500 One Plus will give all you need + a premium experience. So exactly why would you spend so much for this phone? In all honesty I ask. Because this fanboy is just not seeing it. I think I'll save my $ and go to Cancun or Hawaii. Or buy myself a Dell XPS 13. This besides the fact that Duo undermines its big brother Neo, by removing near completely any reason left for light computing devs to target the MS Store. But that aside... just on sheer $ value alone... why? [slapping my forehead here]
  • Zte axon m cost 730$ when launched. Based on that I would expect duo to priced around 1500$.
  • It is perfectly OK for you to get this just because you like it and can afford it. People deserve 'nice' things you know.
  • Definitely interested in the Duo, just have to see if it runs on Verizon/Xfinity.
  • Yes, please come to Verizon!
  • I would buy the Duo in a heartbeat if they can trim down those top and bottom bezels. To me it looks lik a couple of old iPhones sandwiched together. I get that it may have something to do with the rounded corners which theoretically might make for better pocketability but this thing ain't gonna be very pocketable anyway. They just did a great job reducing bezels on the Pro X. Squared corners don't put me off, fat bezels do.
  • MrPointy, it is VERY pocketable. Smaller than a 6" phone (even with those bezels) and remains thin when folded.
  • The Surface i want runs Windows and fits in my pocket.
  • Cause Windows is such a great small screen OS right?!
  • Hahaha. I nailed it, didn't I?
    (I have had this handle here for a year or so?)
  • WOW MS CEO NADELLA KEPT HIS WORD. HE ALLOWED MICROSOFT TO MAKE A PHONE.
    IT'S AN ANDROID DUAL SCREEN SMARTPHONE. FOLKS THE ONLY ANDROID PHONE
    I WOULD BUY IS A MICROSOFT ANDROID SMART PHONE BECAUSE MICROSOFT WILL
    OPTIMIZE IT THEIR WAY TO WORK WITH WINDOWS 10 PC'S WHICH I USE. IT WOULD
    BE NICER IT THEY PUT A SIMPLE FEATURE PHONE IN THE "NEO" THEN IT WOULD
    BE A DEVICE CLOSER TO WHAT
    PEOPLE WANTED A WINDOWS SURFACE SMARTPHONE TO BE
  • Why are you shouting?
  • THAT'S A LOT OF NUTS!!!!!!!!! HE JUST LEFT........WITH NUTS!!!!
  • I as blown away by the event but I have mixed feelings about the devices presented.
    First I was hoping for the reveal of surface book 3 but now it just seems normal that an event like today's event was mobility oriented and that we can hope there will be another event in spring for creativity and more power oriented devices such as SB 3 and potentially Studio 3 along with new pen, keyboards and who knows, maybe another one more thing... But regarding today's "one more thing" device, it's crazy to think that, after dreaming of a surface phone for years, when it finally comes to life with exactly the look and functionality you would wish for, boom! It will run android.... what a mixed feeling! super excited and then WTF? I wished the surface team was ready to bring this to life to create a new category because smartphones are, in my opinion, so boring and waste so much of our time to end up doing nothing with them.
    I always thought that the only reason why apps were so important was because the phones are so limited in what they can do with just one pocketable screen. So Who would care about the apps then? I must be the only one who uses 15 apps max...
  • "I must be the only one who uses 15 apps max." That just makes you average.
  • considering that half of them are a pain to use on a smartphone compared to the full version on windows where does roughly 7 apps really used everyday puts me in?
  • Even Neo is not full Windows. We don't have details about it's capabilities or limitations
  • I think neo is safe with intel inside.
  • For the apps, it's not that anyone needs a huge volume of apps, it's that you want to know that the services you use like banking, air travel, shopping, audio or video streaming, etc. provide quality and functional apps for your device. In order to cover all those services in every part of the world, it effectively requires a huge number of apps. Plus, for entertainment, if you figure than only 5% of games are any good (pick your %), then the more games there are, the better the chance there will be games you like.
  • THE NEO IS THE PERFECT ELECTRONIC BOOK A STUDENT COULD CARRY IT USE AS
    ELECTRONIC TEXT BOOK. STUDENTS COULD USE IT TO TAKE NOTES. i HOPE THEY GIVE IT
    AN ALUMINUM BACK INSTEAD OF GLASS. i DONOT TRUST GLASS
  • Hey Greg you got your ALL CAPS on man. ;0)
  • Is it possible to use only one screen at a time & turn off other when you don't need it for eg. 360 degree mode ?
  • I get the feeling that that would have to happen automatically, given that your hand would be all over the screen that you weren't looking at. If it didn't, you'd be doing all sorts in whatever was displayed without knowing what.
  • Yeah that must be the setup considering battery life aspect of device managing both screens.
  • For all those wondering, I am quite sure there will be new Surface Book, Go and Studio devices in the future. (Microsoft actually said as much about the Book off-stage at the event, according to reporting elsewhere.) Even with the 15" Laptop 3 with AMD graphics, they still need a higher end device with discreet graphics for a segment of creatives, and the Book with its split GPU base is an ideal design. Likewise I don't see them abandoning the 10" form factor or the desktop. So, I suspect we'll see these devices refreshed next spring. I do wish Panos would have said something to this effect during the presentation, but I can understand why they'd be hesitant to dampen sales of current devices.
  • You could say that the Neo will eat into the Go market but the prices will be quite different, I suspect. I reckon a Go 2 with a Core m3 or maybe a Go X with a standard Qualcomm chip.
  • Yeah but when future, after next year or soon announced
  • I'd really like to see pen support on the duo, I want it to have a real pocket book experience
  • Pen input was already in the video during the Event
  • Let's hope for a Duo Pro with windows ;-)
  • Surface Duo with Windows 10X variant is not a far fetch. Once the cost of making Duo is covered by sale, selling side by side another variant of Duo with the 10X would allow Msft to innovate the 10X OS for Duo independent of Google.
  • That's a good point. Also, from a marketing perspective, if Duo sells well and becomes an attractive aspirational device, and if Neo attracts some good touch-based app development, then a future Windows version of the Duo could slide right into the Market with users just grabbing it as the next iteration. Biggest problem would be: if it doesn't run Android apps, even with lots of its own, users might still hate that, similarly to how they reacted to Windows RT -- "I don't care how well it works, it can't run the software I need!"
  • It's a yes from me, though I expect it will cost the earth and therefore more than I'm willing to pay for a phone.
  • Assuming expected functions, decent camera, and rational pricing (not sure what that is yet), I'm very interested in both of these dual screen devices. I am probably more likely to grab the Duo when it's available, because I NEED a phone, but don't NEED a new form factor tablet/laptop. I don't like that the Duo is running Android, but that won't stop me from buying it -- I've already made the move to Android, so at least an Android phone from MS would be better than anyone else's Android phone. My biggest concern around the Duo being Android based relates to development. If we can't run Neo apps on the Duo and vice versa, while that could encourage developers to do cross platform development for Windows and Android to take advantage of the two similar devices, more likely it just divides the userbase so developers don't see enough Windows users to justify custom development on the Neo or enough Android users to justify custom development for Android (think about how many custom Android apps are there for the Samsung Note...) This would mean that the main apps to really take advantage of both screens would be the MS apps, and that's not great. My main hope is that MS has already considered that and is going to really step up support for cross platform development. Xamarin is good, but has lots of problems with its Libraries that discourages many people from adopting it. IF (big if), MS can really get to the point that it's near trivial for developers to release Duo and Neo (Android and Windows) versions of apps with almost no additional effort, then making the Duo an Android device was not just a concession to where the mobile market is, but genius as a way to pull all those Android developers back into making Windows apps by giving them an Android device to justify the development using MS dev tools. Unfortunately, I've become too cynical to think MS has the ability to pull this off (attracting new, touch-oriented app developers has proven extremely difficult for MS).
  • I'm just not understanding Microsoft's strategy here. They essentially want Android app developers to create dual-screen capable apps that, for now, will only work on a Microsoft device (at least, when it comes out next year) -- but these apps will have to be published in the Google Play Store, not the Microsoft (app) Store. For a while, at least, that is going to be a pretty small market (and no, single foldable screens are NOT the same as Microsoft's dual hinged screen approach). These dual screen capable Android apps will not work on the Neo, which looks just like the Duo, only larger. How is it going to be an attractive proposition for Android app developers, probably already Google fans, to create apps that will only work, or work best, on a Microsoft device? What is the bet we'll start seeing dual-screen Android (Duo) apps getting straight ported over to Neo (as Windows apps) with no enhancements to take advantage of Windows features (because Android is inferior to Windows), negating the point of having Windows in the first place. Microsoft apparently doesn't seem to have a problem with encouraging this. Developers will also be able to create dual screen capable apps that will work on the Neo (and only the Neo, in terms of dual screen capability) that will be published in the Microsoft (app) Store. These apps will not work on the Duo, which looks just like a Neo, only smaller. Yeah, good one Microsoft. I don't see how that could be confusing at all for potential users. Just crazy.
  • All those people who argue about they can't see a "use case" for this device are probably the ones that had similar comments about the Surface when It first came out. Everytime someone does something different there are those who "don't see why you need this" it's been so since the days of the pager, and if you look back at iphones, ipods two in ones etc. etc. you will find these comments. I think the book visual metaphor works, I like the fact that the screens are protected and that the design side steps the issues of what happens to a foldable screen after 15,000 folds. I also like the idea that the device can be tent carded on a desk. I probably wouldn't buy a duo in it's current configuration because I buy my phones on the basis of the camera but I suspect that there will be more options on this by the time we get to release. I think the use of Android is a smart choice, people won't want to carry two devices and Android is just too entrenched in the world to be overcome. For all those people saying that MS is admitting that Google won... get with the program they did that when the dropped out of the mobile space. Good forward looking devices by MS. Looking forward to the future.
  • "Android is just too entrenched in the world to be overcome." That's a little at odds with your first few sentences about market disruptions. Nokia won the Feature Phone war. Android won the Smart Phone war. You really think Smart Phones are forever? Windows 10 X, while having support for Android apps as a stopgap, could (have) bridge(d) the gap to a new era.
  • I think Android is too entrenched or at least the Duo isn't going to offer the huge step up that we got when feature phones arrived or when smart phones arrived, both were helped with jumps in the capability of telephony, where's the big step up here, yes 2 screens for some are going to offer a big step up, but not for the consumer, not the sort of step that will result in millions being sold, because that's what we're going to need to see this become the next big thing. 5G isn't going to push this any further either. Android mostly succeeded on price, the shear quantity of cheap devices out there helped push it, Samsung dominates because of the volume of different designs, there is no way dual folding screens is ever likely to compete on price. I think this is a great device targeted at business users who are not going to want the apps they currently use to be available, but will be connecting to MS back office systems. This is where the money is for MS.
  • Got a launch surface rt. It was an amazing device for what i needed.
  • I am only going to respond to your first paragraph because it directly references me. The announcement of the original Surface was huge, that product was clear in how useful it could be to someone like myself, even if the initial releases had their issues (the SP3 was when the hardware and software clicked perfectly), this... not so much. Mainly because, as I've said, it doesn't do anything I can't already do with the product I have now. The Surface on the other hand, did.