What if the Surface Duo ran Windows? This fan concept imagines the possibilities.

Project Meta
Project Meta (Image credit: Harry Dohyun Kim)

In 2020, we're promised two folding devices from Microsoft, the Surface Neo, and the Surface Duo. The phone-like Duo, however, is powered by Android, to the dismay of Windows fans everywhere (but let's face it, what choice did they have?). In a parallel universe, however, the Duo is powered by Windows, and this fan concept takes a stab at what that might look like.

Dubbed "Project Meta," the design from Harry Dohyun Kim offers a glimpse at what could have been for the Surface Duo, had Microsoft not thrown in the towel. The design examines some possible user scenarios, as well as more futuristic hardware scenarios with minimal bezels. Many of the folding capabilities were touched upon in the real Surface Duo ad, although Microsoft will be relatively restricted over what it can realistically do with Android, without Google's say-so.

Project Meta also imagines futuristic versions of Continuum, as well as other implementations such as using the device's folded-flat mode to perform as a drum pad for making music and so on. Perhaps we'll see some of these types of scenarios emerge on the Windows-powered Surface Neo in the future, or even the Android-powered Surface Duo or Samsung Galaxy Fold. It's nice to dream, anyways.

Related: The Surface Neo is the path back to Windows Phone

Be sure to take a look at the full Behance site if you want to see a bit more from the project.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • That is both gorgeous and heartbreaking at the same time. Would absolutely love the Duo if it were running some form of Windows.
  • If only... Oh well
  • I share this same sentiment. It would be awesome but the look at what could have been makes me which I don't like :(
  • It doesn't happen very often that I have to mute a Product Video because of the Music playing in it...
  • But when it happens, I hit mute.
  • The music lowers the "why isn't this reality"-sadness a bit ;-)
  • Just awesome! Awesome...n loved the "annoying" music! Ha ha
  • Pretty video, but the lack of inner bezel totally misses the point of the Duo.
  • Just what I was going to say. As much as I would love to see Duo run Windows. This concept lacks all touch with reality and is awful in presenting the design.
  • Explain? The inner bezels are a sad consequence of having to use glass displays because plastic displays are too vulnerable at the moment. This concept obviously predicts that this situation will change within the foreseeable future... The middle bezel totally ruins the concept of a pen-centric device, and is easily the second biggest weakness of the Duo, after running Android.
  • Why do you think it's named the Duo? The distinction between screens is crucial to it's identity. Otherwise it just becomes another generic folding phone attempting to be a portable tablet. As a result, the vast majority of this video is completely shrugworthy because you're just watching things you can do on a single screen device already. You don't need a Duo or even Windows for this.
  • Um... The neo's design??
  • It doesn't even look like the Duo. Also just tired of the please put Windows on it drumbeat
  • Agreed I think there should at least be an option to install WOA on it.
  • Or W10x ;)
  • I am tired of Android on any smartphone out there other than iPhones. So we are both annoyed by something... I know a nice solution... put W10x at least as an option on the Duo.
  • Expensive and pointless endeavor. Such a device would have 0 software and have no chance of building a user base.
  • Not true. It would have lots of software. There are the existing apps for Windows 10, along with the apps that will be written for the Surface Neo. If they expect people to write apps for the Surface Neo, then those apps could be modified (if any modification is even necessary, which in a number of cases it wouldn't be) in probably less than a day.
  • Existing apps are few and far between and definitely not ideal for a small touchscreen. They need to start with cheap device to build a user base. Leading with extremely expensive folding devices will kill the platform. No one is going to early adopt a new Microsoft operating system when devices start at $1500.
  • I would, and one is infinitely more than nobody. In any case, the OS is there, would only need device drivers and everything would be up and running equal to the Neo. Not expensive at all, they could even call a insider build and not bother with the support.
  • Me too, it should be clear that we need windows on such a device.
  • It is clear that Windows on such a device will not work. Microsoft has tried enough times already. If they have something completely new and revolutionary, maybe it would work. Windows would not.
  • Are you suggesting a new Modern OS from Microsoft that’s not called “Windows” on a device that will not be called Surface “Duo”?
  • If it has anything to do with Windows, then it better be >10". Windows doesn't work any smaller. The Neo is certainly going to struggle as Microsoft has no ecosystem for such small screens. I bet it is transitioned to Android before too long.
  • I agree with some things you say, but I have to ask, don't you have something more important to do with your life than spend your time on these forums all the time as a shill for Android / Google? We get it, you love Android. Good for you. Some people like Windows better and that's okay. Good for them. Some people are interested in iOS. That's perfectly fine too. Sharing your opinion is one thing, but it's so tiring to have to scroll through your seemingly infinite posts to get to the real discussions on here. It's like, everyone in the world has to agree with you or they're wrong.
  • I just put out my Lumia 830 for the last month of Win10m, and damn, it still wipes the floor with Android in regards of usability and information it provides with iOS.
  • No it doesn't. Not even close. There is nothing WP does that Android doesn't do better. Information on the home screen is definitely better on Android. Live Tiles aren't even close to the utility of full widgets.
  • I have removed most widgets I've tried from my P30 Pro, because most of them sucks. Sure, they can be more interactive than the current live tiles, but it does not matter when I really can't fit many of them properly on my startscreen and end up removing them. The tiles were more uniform and generally worked better when the devs used them properly. MS could have added interactivity to tiles as well. Sure, that never happened, but it would have been better than widgets due to uniformity.
  • How were they more uniform? They both have fit into a square grid home screen. Widgets can be 1x1, so you can potentially fit more on a screen before you have to scroll. Uniform is code for "limited", it isn't a positive.
  • I've tried widgets on my Android. Horrid! Live Tiles were definitely a more elegant way of getting information onto your home screen.
  • Still using Windows Phone and have no plans of using an Android/ Google phone. Will go Apple when I have no choice.
  • Same here. But I will have to choose Android or Apple after 31st December as WhatsApp will stop working! I need it for business. Not sure which one should I choose.
  • Well, there is the Neo and the accompanying OS running comparable hardware. If they manage to get W10ARM running on Lumia 950 XL, then somebody ought to get Windows 10X running on the Duo. When that happens I'll buy one.
  • Same here... Windows 10X on a Duo? I am totally in. Better if MS would do it, but if Microsoft just dont want to (WHY? I really do not see why the do not offer at least a dual boot or just Windows 10X as the main system and layers to run APKs, W32, UWP and PWA. All that technology is already available... why do they not do it? It would be pretty unique and not copyable by anybody who is not using W10X.
  • Expensive and pointless. W10X offers no advantage over Android, it actually would be a significant downgrade. Android is mature and has a full ecosystem. W10X hasn't even launched yet. It is a decade behind and brings nothing new to the table.
  • If Windows 10X is a decade behind? How could you possibly make that determination, if it's not out? There isn't a ton of information to say that it's decades behind anything. Any leaks are just that and subject to change, with it being a year out and all. Everything else is just speculation. What we do know: - Built from the ground up
    - Strat menu Live Tiles will go away
    - Sandboxed Legacy apps to improve security and battery life on portable devices.
    - Designed with Microsoft Fluid design being mor consistent than in the current version of Windows 10
    - Updates will be faster, by completing install in the background, before reboot.
    - UWP and Web apps will run natively. Many will appreciate the removal of the Live Tiles in the Start menu, but there is nothing in this list of known things that indicate that it will be a decade behind. If anything, it will bring the Windows 10X OS to where it needs to be to stay relevant in the mobile world.
  • Lol
    You're right about it not being out and THAT'S why he's saying it's a decade behind And as far as addressing your "what we do know" section; nothing you wrote is something new that ms is bringing to the table. THAT'S his point about w10x
  • Well, I'm writing this on my P30 Pro, I used to own Windows mobile devises, and know what, I don't want to be on Android. I would much rather be on Windows, even with the apps currently available in the store. So, you can keep writing Android is better in every discussion thread on this site, but I and many other don't care. I don't get why you are working so hard trying to convince us how much better Android is? I don't like Android. I really dislike Google.
  • Because you want Microsoft to do the same mediocre things that have failed several times already. You might have liked Windows phone, but news flash, it was a giant failure because you were the only ones that liked it more than Android. Windows 10X might be the right route, at least they are coping Android. They just need to implement it properly. I don't think only releasing it on uber expensive folding devices is the right decision. They need dirt cheap device day 1, which should have been years ago. It would have been a tough sell this year and it will be even tougher in 2 years.
  • I have been writing UWP apps since UWP was first created, and wrote Windows Phone apps before that. I still use my Windows Phone, and when comparing the UI that was offered by Windows Phone to the one offered by Android, I definitely prefer Windows Phone. When Microsoft announced that they were going to put a bad OS on their good hardware, I figured I should try to start learning Android to make my apps available in the future, even if they will have all the bugs that I used over 10 years of UWP experience perfecting. But now I'm debating whether I should even bother doing that, since the frustration of Android is the worst thing that has happened to me since, well, maybe death at the end of a previous life. Congratulations! Here is one less app developer and about a dozen less apps for your new phone!
  • I agree with you. I've effectively been forced to move to Android and I'm amazed at how bad the UI is and how visually inconsistent it is (on this supposedly 'mature' platform). The Windows Mobile UI was so much better than the useless mess of icons that is iOS and Android. It makes me laugh when I see iOS and Android making a big deal of dark mode as if it's some new thing they've come up with. I used to genuinely like using my phone, now it's just a awful piece of tech that I have to have but hate to have.
  • This sums up my Android experience. My winphones used to be a delight to use, the Androids are just soulless tools because I have no choice. The UI is a hopeless mess
  • Putting squares around those icons really makes a difference!
  • Perhaps learn Xamarin? Seems interesting, probably more complex a lot more complex/work than UWP if you want to use more advanced os functions (I guess).
  • MS should allow people to install 10X on the Duo, that way hobbyists and power users can still try it without reviewers ******** over the Duo 10X.
  • Power users are on Android. Windows phones were for casual users.
  • That is just your opinion, WP updates and security was/is way better and arguably better privacy wise.
  • WP updates were not better at all, actually quite the opposite. Google still supports Android phones from the WP7 era (Android 4.1 and up), keeping them compatible with new apps, features, and APIs as best they can. Power users, people who want to get stuff done, are on Android. WP and iOS have too many limitations, you were always running into road blocks. There isn't much you can't do on Android, that certainly isn't true on WP.
  • Cool concept art. Really cool video.
  • Neat, but don't see how it screams Windows. It is apps that could run on any underlying OS. Most of the stuff was on just one half or stretched across both screen. The only thing that was even particularly dual-screen-ish was the 'laptop' mode where there was a keyboard at the bottom with some touch-bar like interface and the content on the top portion. Still nothing that couldn't be done right now, software-wise, with an iPad, short of the bend in the middle. We do dual screen extended modes all the time with multiple monitors, usually side by side though, not one atop the other.
  • It is not really about anything that could not be done on other system. By nature you will never find anything that can not be done technically everywhere else too. BUT DualScreens in a foldabled are great because they provide larger display size at close to the same device size and I know one thing, that Windows could do that nobody else out there can do: Not being a system that is build to spy on the user to sell the user and his data each and every second to anybody who wants the data and it could help with avoiding a true monopole in the smartphone market (in Europe for instance, iPhones have a much smaller market share than in the US. There it is pretty close... in Europe there was even a Windows Phone marketshare that was higher than the one of iPhones in some countries). And in addition to that: The thing that screams Windows for me is the editing of Videos in a close to desktop like way. That is pretty neat and a very good way to edit with a Foldable phone like this.
  • The livetiles are unique to Windows sadly. I still really find it useful for various notes on the start menu etc.
  • I miss Windows phone
  • I still use my Lumia 920, but it always annoys me when advertisements say "On your phone" when what they actually mean is "On your Android or iPhone". I sometimes wish I could sue them for false advertising, since many of them did that even before Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Phone.
  • Yeah many companies just actively ignored or blocked WP. Partly I understand but it is still annoying especially since it had 5-10% users in some countries which is still a lot in absolute numbers.
    I too still use my 950 and hope the removal of whatsapp won't be too annoying lol.
  • Everyone focused on world stats, like most EU companies like banks, railroad companies etc. ever sold services to Asia. WP was at some point bigger than iPhone in som EU countries, and had 15-20% market share in EU5. That's millions of users. Potential customers. Still, everyone said nobody used WP. MS was unable buid on this, and only focused on home market instead of EU. No Cortana for us... And they did not show devvs they were committed. Then came SnapChat, last nail in the coffin.
  • 15-20% in some small European markets doesn't bring you large sales numbers. You are confused about how percentages work. Show a quarter where Windows phones actually sold well, not just percentages in small markets.
  • Cool 👍 I guess people don't realize Windows 10 x is visually going to come to this device it's only a matter of time.
  • I hope so.
  • Just signed up Microsoft dual screen developer insider program. . NET 5 means write once, deploy to Surface Neo or Duo (Android or Windows X) Welcome to new Microsoft reality.. The Microsoft teams driving the different aspects of. NET5 rock!
  • Folks the Surface "Duo" uses an "ARMs" CPU & chip sets. because the Surface Pro X- 2 in 1
    Tablet/Laptop Hybrid also uses's an ARM's CPU & chip sets, Windows 10 on ARMS software
    used on the The New Surface Pro X- 2 in 1 device could be modified to run on the Surface "
    Duo" Microsoft's current strategy is have the Surface "Duo" run Android because of it's size
    and since it's also a phone it must have the Phone Apps folks use & have no APPS GAP
    which hurt Windows 10 mobile smart phones However if Microsoft is "Brave enough"
    it should make a small number of Surface "Duo" device's that Run "Dual Boot" Android &
    Windows 10 on ARMS with Advanced MS Continuum C shell Software to display data on a
    larger screen. I think that Microsoft has the Smarts to make this Dual Boot Surface "Duo"
    work well. The problem is Microsoft may not have the WILL to do it. I think Microsoft should
    make a dual boot Android & Windows 10 on ARMs Surface "Duo" this would be a niche
    product but I think enough people would Purchase them World wide to make a
    Profit selling them
  • Why would they use WoA on this and 10X on the Neo? WoA is for keyboard and mouse devices, not touch devices.WoA doesn't work well on anything smaller than 11" or 12".
  • That would be a mistake in real world applications. The different ux is one reason why ppl rejected windows phone's efforts
  • No, most people never knew Windows on phone even existed, fewer still ever held one in real life. Those who owned one rejected them mainly did so due to apps.
  • Yes, ppl rejected it due to apps, but to say the different ux didn't contribute to the rejection is objectively a lie. Do you remember the SOLE PURPOSE of Microsoft adding a notification menu?! You making the claim you did has convinced me that your opinion isn't even worthy of enough respect to have a productive conversation with you. You straight, flat out, just lied.
  • I never said the OS was perfect from day one. Sure they added notification menu, people was used to it, wanted it, and got it. So what?
  • It was already dead when they finally after the notification shade.
  • It's really simple. If it ran Windows I'd buy it. Period. Now I have an Android phone and see literally no reason to buy another one. I am buying the Neo anyway.
  • Agreed 100%! I'd purchase a Windows powered DUO in a minute. I thought I would buy one once it was released, but I don't think I can bring myself using a phone running Android.
  • I would do almost anything to have a Windows-based (probably W10X) phone, and I would pay a lot more for it than they expect ($20,000? $30,000? $50,000?). But that probably isn't true even for the people that do want W10X on their Duo, although some people would be will to pay about $1,000 vs $0. And, for everyone out there that wants to show how much they want W10X on their Surface Duo, check out the following online petition:
  • The million dollar question is whether Microsoft be able to sustain this product for some significant amount of time even if it ran Windows? There is a very high probability of this not happening. And if that is the case, why will businesses invest in yet another hardware experiment from Microsoft? Microsoft is not one of those companies that comes up with a revolutionary product that is also perfect. Instead, it is a company that comes up with a revolutionary idea which is imperfectly and illogically designed and in the process, gives an opportunity to other companies to perfect that idea.
  • When did they come up with a revolutionary idea?
  • As long a time as I've been Microsoft supporter, I'd have to agree that very little that they've done has been truly revolutionary. EVOlutionary, yes. The Surface tablets would come the closest to what I'd agree is revolutionary. The problem is, that every aspect that fueled the revolutionary aspect--the Covers--was completely decremented. Remember the cover they showed that was geared for creating music? Remember the competition they had where all these people came up with some pretty ingenious covers for different kinds of work and recreation? Yeah, that died quickly. But they COULD have been awesome. But too many like their Windows 7 garbage. And that's why we are where we are today.
  • Surface is just a 2 in 1, I think the Asus Transformers did that first. Microsoft didn't even bother making them 2 in 1, they just made the keyboard removable. The software hasn't changed away from being primarily keyboard and mouse.
  • Translation: Microsoft... The 90% company. They miss on execution
  • It wouldn't matter to me what OS it ran. I just consider the Duo an ugly device and one that, with that design, helps me in no way. It's useless device, as far as I'm concerned.
  • That music is just too irritating.
  • Nobody has a thought we'll every see something like this running on Android. When I finally went back to Android this year after a 10 year hiatus, I found it to be just as awful now as it was then. Thank for posting a dream that Microsoft will kill. Again.
  • I love this video. I wish it came with windows. The music was good too. Not sure what was annoying about it.
  • OMG, this would be my dream device. Make it happen Microsoft!
  • Very nice designs and ideas. Timeline horizontally would also be great on a phone. Love the LiveTiles start menu ^.^
  • Simply put, make Windows X small version of NEO and call it DUO with telephony, I'll buy it in a heartbeat.
    With .Net 5, developing apps for both either in Android or Window X space is write once and deploy to both. With Intel working their tails off for true mobile SoC, I would like my DUO in Intel Quadcore SoC embedded with AMD gpu / Qualcomm's modem. Use USB 3 thunderbolt.
  • How annoying must a forum user be before the rest can vote for a block?
  • It would still be a pointless device that doesn't do anything new other than cost an exorbitant amount of money because it can fold.
  • yes we would love it too run windows and android apps that would be great