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Why Microsoft is back making phones with the Surface Duo

A lot of people have been asking me why exactly Microsoft is building an Android phone. After all, it was Microsoft that wanted out of the phone hardware business just a few short years ago. This is all well and true, but it's not the whole story. A big part of Microsoft's decision to kill off its phone hardware was because of Windows Phone not being where Microsoft wanted it to be in the market, and no amount of hardware or software improvements were going to change that.

But even with the death of Windows 10 Mobile and the Lumia product line, Microsoft was still working on a new type of smartphone. Codenamed Andromeda, this device was a dual-screened pocketable phone, which we now know as the Surface Duo. Microsoft has wanted to make the Surface Duo for as long as Windows Phone has been dead. It was a project that started development before Microsoft even considered retrenching its mobile efforts, so it's not surprising to me that Surface Duo is something Microsoft is now doing in 2020.

It's true that when the Surface Duo first started development, it was a Windows-based phone. However, after Windows phone died off, and the app situation didn't improve on the PC side of things, Microsoft ultimately decided to go with Android for the Surface Duo. Microsoft has been embracing Android as a first-class citizen inside the Microsoft ecosystem for quite a while now, and I think putting Android on the Surface Duo makes more sense because of this.

A stage for Microsoft's Android efforts

Microsoft Launcher cards

Microsoft Launcher cards (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft should have, or rather, needs a stage to showcase the best of what it has to offer on Android. Surface as a brand has always been about showcasing the best of Microsoft, and in 2020, Microsoft's best efforts are no longer limited to Windows. Not making a phone because it isn't Windows would be doing injustice to all the hard work Microsoft has been putting into Android these last few years.

Yes, you can put Microsoft's Android apps on any old Android phone if you want, but that doesn't showcase the best of Microsoft. The whole point of Microsoft doing its own Android phone is that it can control the ecosystem experience from top to bottom. This control allows Microsoft to integrate the Surface Duo into the Microsoft ecosystem even more than a regular smartphone can just by installing apps from the store.

So that's the primary reason that I think Surface Duo exists. It's to showcase the best of Microsoft's Android efforts and prove to the world that it can still innovate in the mobile space with an offering that enhances the Microsoft ecosystem, even more than third party Android phones can. That's not the only reason it exists, however. Microsoft really thinks it can change the way you use your phone with the Surface Duo, enabling you to be more productive on the go.

It really thinks it can innovate in the mobile space

Surface Duo

Surface Duo (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is all about making you work better, and it reckons the dual-screen setup on the Duo is a critical component in unlocking productivity on a device that fits in your pocket. It believes this so much that even though it had the choice, Microsoft opted not to go with the single foldable screen design that the Galaxy Fold has ended up with. It wasn't because of technical limitations; it's merely that Microsoft, for now, thinks two screens are better than one.

Time will tell whether or not this is correct, but I see the logic here. Having two screens is much more versatile as it also lets you have one screen when you need it. Fold the screens all the way around, and you can use it as a traditional single-screened smartphone. Or you can have both screens open like a book, with two apps open at any given time. You've then got the added durability of having two sturdy screens with glass (that works with pen,) instead of one foldable one with plastic.

In addition to this, having two screens also enables way more "postures" such as tent mode, or even laptop mode. Now, I do think the Surface Duo is too small for any real laptop mode, but you can set the device down with a larger virtual keyboard on one screen, and Word or Outlook set up on the other. A device with a single folded screen doesn't have that flexibility. A single screen is good for doing one thing at a time, and then folding it away, in only one direction, when you're not using it. It's just not as versatile.

It's low risk for Microsoft and customers

Unlike making a Windows Phone, the Surface Duo running Android means it's a low-risk venture for Microsoft, and it's a low risk buy for consumers too. It already has the ecosystem thanks to Android's vast array of apps, so the only thing Microsoft needs to provide here is the hardware and OS updates. If only a few thousand people buy a Surface Duo, those buyers will still have a phone that's full of apps and always up to date with the latest Microsoft software on Android. It would be a very different story running Windows.

For the Surface Duo running Windows to be successful, it would need to sell in incredibly large quantities to convince developers to build apps for it. But, just like with Windows Phone, consumers wouldn't buy it because developers don't build for it, and developers wouldn't build for it because the consumer doesn't buy it. It would kill the Duo off very quickly. With Android, this isn't a possibility as all the Android apps you run today will also be available on the Surface Duo.

So Microsoft can rest assured that it doesn't need to provide an ecosystem for the customers who buy a Surface Duo. Buyers themselves can rest assured that it already has an ecosystem so that even if Microsoft abandoned the device after two years of OS updates, it would still receive software updates through the Play Store and elsewhere for many, many years to come.

The fans really want it

Finally, I think the Surface Duo exists for the fans as well. And when I say fans, I don't mean Windows fans; I'm talking about Microsoft fans. It's fair to say that Microsoft was embracing its fans at the unveiling event for the Surface Neo and Surface Duo, so much so that Microsoft gave them priority seating over media at the event itself. Microsoft is starting to realize that its Surface fans are important and wants to provide them with something they can take with them in their pocket.

Microsoft does not expect the Surface Duo to sell in large quantities. It isn't planning to compete alongside Samsung or the iPhone with the Surface Duo, and that's totally okay. This is a device that can exist for die-hard Microsoft fans and ecosystem users. It's for those who are happy to show the world that they like and use Microsoft products when on the go, representing the Microsoft logo without having to pull out a laptop or tablet to do so.

Surface as a brand is at a point now where people recognize it. It's also at a point in which people are wanting to buy into the Surface product line, but can't go all in because it doesn't have a phone to complement their laptops. Now, it will with the Surface Duo. Is this a shallow reason for a device to exist? I don't think so. It enhances the Surface product line and the Microsoft ecosystem at the same time. It tells a coherent story to the consumer walking into a Microsoft Store and checking out Surface for what it is: a product line that showcases the best of Microsoft.

And at the end of the day, it brings Surface hardware in line with Apple and Google. Now they've all got a phone for fans to argue which is best.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

134 Comments
  • I actually liked Windows Mobile, I thought the OS was solid and it took little hardware to run it. Most Windows phones sold ran mid-tier hardware. But the app selection was terrible. I know people have complained that the Duo should come in a Windows flavor and that's fine, you can have your opinion. It isn't what MS needs though. Without having a wide selection of apps, a smartphone is going to fail. UWP never took off even in Windows and running full fledged desktop programs, on a 6" screen (or even two of them) isn't optimal. They aren't made for touch input, they aren't made for portable optimization. MS is doing the right thing here and I cannot wait for the Duo's release. I like my Note 10+ now, it's a good phone that integrates well with my SP7. I like the idea of foldable phones but they aren't there yet and still have a ways to go (wait until glass becomes foldable or they figure something else out). MS is going with the best design for the most productivity without releasing a $2000 phone that can be destroyed by a grain of sand. It will be interesting to see the final design of the Duo. I hope they figure out the camera system (it needs to be competitive with the Note/S, Pixel, and iPhone) and how to use see notifications when the phone is closed. I'm also hoping MS releases a Surface Watch but that's probably a ways off.
  • When glass starts folding, it will start folding in China also, not just in Redmond. For now, the two screens with 5mm gap is an idea that is simply a joke. If I have to create a google account to use a Microsoft phone and to install apps and buy apps and to pay by credit card on NFC, I would rather go for a Nokia or Sony or Huawei or Oneplus.
  • You are entitled to like what you like and not like what you don't, but a lot of people are very excited about this device, whether or not they intend to buy one, so your assertion that the form factor is a joke is objectively false. It's obviously not ideal but then neither is a single foldable screen right now. They both involve trade-offs and many think the dual-screen option is better for them. Until a single glass screen can fold both ways, the dual-screen form factor will have advantages. If and when that happens, Microsoft will be ready to take advantage of it. Of course they won't be the only one but they will already have a presence and reputation in that market so that will stand them in good stead against competitors. It just seems to me that you are one of those people who just wants to be negative. What you would prefer doesn't dictate the market.
  • "but a lot of people are very excited about this device" - so without knowing the price, without even trying once to see how annoying it is that your phone is ringing and you have no idea who is calling until you open it, which will be hard to do with one hand at the best. And even then 'a lot of people' is a small portion of ex Windows Phone fans which was a small and unsustainable portion of the overall market. I think this is very very objective, too.
  • I guess anytime someone does something innovative or different in an established market, there is an unknown as it relates to consumer interest and expectation, but I think we can assume some things based on pulse and perception. Seeing that the design isn't final, I would think the caller ID issue is an unknown, but some don't have an issue with the extra step involved with opening the device they had to pick up to check. We should consider this because Windows Phone by design was much more efficient with regards to viewing information and navigation, but people didn't care... they accepted icons with badges. We will have to wait and see, I guess.
  • I think he is right though about a lot of people (relatively speaking since it still is a niche product like the foldable phones). When you look at popular channels about the Duo you can see quite some positive comments and most reviewers themselves also are enthusiast about it. Them being enthusiastic about the Duo not necessarily means that they are going to buy it, but those same people probably also won't buy a foldable phone for the same reason: the high price.
  • The dual screen format as they have already said is not designed to sprawl like the fold but encourages multi tasking. It's the tablet equivalent to a dual monitor desktop set up
  • I wonder why there is a 5mm gap and not a 2 or 1mm gap? I thought the original foldable patents were for a screen that curved along the bezel (like the Samsung galaxy phones) so that there would be less of a seam between the screens... Maybe after testing they found some issues with that.
  • Because hinge folds 360 degree unlike past folding dual screen devices with 180 degree hinge.
    Still I agree Microsoft should have trimmed side bazels bit more.
  • It was probably not technically feasible yet to have smaller bezels and launch it soon enough (I am guessing they still need to do some other work for it, maybe firmware related or perhaps some other minor hardware changes or such). Anyway when you compare it to those LG phones with 2 screens, the Duo is already a big step forwards.
  • Lg's device is irrelevant because it offers dual screen as optional accessory not built in & it's both screens are neither same size not it can be utilized as tablet in extended mode.
    we should compare duo with zte axon m instead.
    Which was most recent & best iteration of dual screen device idea .
    It had thinner side bazels than surface duo.
    Surface duo improved upon zte axon m in screen aspect ratio ,overall design & hardware , 360° hinge except for the bazels.
  • Ah also nice phone. Than the reason is most likely related to the 360 hinge. It seems like something they can improve but probably takes time to come up with a reliable solution.
  • And it has no advantages over the fold aside from the likely somewhat lower price. If those black bars between screens are really needed to encourage multitasking, you can always display them on the screen, and there you go Fold Duo.
  • No advantage except for the fact it's not fragile plastic. You haters are getting insufferable. Make a coherent argument.
  • At the moment it has many advantages: no plastic screen, no fold line, better durability and tent mode etc.
  • Agree except fold line. Just like hinge bazel gap on dual screen devices fold line will always be there with flexible display. I don't think foldline or crease is that big issue. I think users will learn to ignore it once they start using such devices in future.
  • Since we are all here for Surface Duo, our Facebook Surface Duo Group is the place for all Duo all day! Strickly for Duo fans! Join today! https://www.facebook.com/groups/397641020931176/
  • What happened to your precious “Surface Scribe”?
  • The Surface Duo is no more running Android than the Edge browser is running the Chrome browser. Yes, the Edge browser is using Chromium, but Chromium is not the same thing as the Chrome browser.
  • This is actual Android, that is the only way you get Play access (a necessity). Android gives you the benefit of pushing it to the background. My note 9 barely acknowledges Google behind all the MS apps.
  • Google was fined a record $5 billion by the EU for Android antitrust violations last year. Google will have to play nice. Microsoft and others will license Google Play (a necessity, as you said).
  • its android. claiming otherwise is nuts. its a google product, it runs android apps - including all the security issues that comes with all of that.
    what it is for sure, is a good way to ensure that app developers will completely stop making any apps for windows store and that eco system.
  • If you have security issues with Android, I am sure you aren't using Windows.
  • I just log in just to answer this post by bleached. This must be the dumbest post I ever read from you. Windows doesn't have the same security concerns because all PC, for better or worse, get updates straight from Microsoft. Like you hear all the people complaining about Microsoft breaking their work flow due to the updates. You don't hear that about Android but the opposite, you hear about the Android fragmented ecosystem because updates are instead left to the manufacturers (which they never update for a plethora of reasons, like they can't even update after more than two years because of Qualcomm for example). Security issues you see on Windows are patched on the device, you purchased years ago I might add, eventually (in most cases) but on Android most devices might not get patched because the manufacturers are not launching updates because they don't earn anything by doing so. When it comes to security Android is one of the most insecure OS of all and that's thanks to Google lack of insight.
  • Android doesn't have the security concerns of Windows, especially since most of them come through the app store. The app store and Google Play Services are updates regularly for everyone on Android, it doesn't matter what device. Other security concerns are not common on Android and tend to be theoretical. Unlike with Windows, It is very rare that a vulnerability is actually able to be exploited in the wild. Fragmentation makes it very tough since there are so many devices and versions of Android. Windows machines are basically all identical. If a vulnerability is discovered, which happens regularly, then it is much easier to exploit since they are all the same. There is a reason Windows is the most exploited platform.
  • Eh. My dad's Android phone regularly gets at least adware. I usually have to clean it up. They even have an exploit to replace the launcher and set as default without notifying the user.
  • Don't listen to this guy. He literally has NFI what he's talking about. Wish there was a way to block him...
  • Right, because Windows never has vulnerabilities, it is never hacked, and isn't the most attacked operating system. https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/08/14/microsoft-windows-10-warnin... https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2019/09/24/new-critical-windows... This is just from the last two months. These are critical vulnerabilities that are actively being exploited in the wild. Having an issue with Android security while using Windows is as hypocritical as it gets.
  • https://forums.windowscentral.com/microsoft-news-rumors/477079-samsung-l...
  • You have no idea what you're talking about. Like usual.
  • Windows doesn't have security issues?
  • Sure it has but so has Android (and even MacOS etc). For Windows the users need to have done something stupid generally (e.g. downloading from a shady site, installing crappy toolbars etc = not reading the install screens) while for Android it is more related to the fact that many people run Android phones with outdated versions so it is not necessarily PEBCAK. I don't know about you but that to me sounds like Android has much larger security problems.
  • Do you really think malware (etc) can only spread by downloading apps or are you just trying to troll Windows fans here? "Fragmentation makes it very tough since there are so many devices and versions of Android.", okay you are trolling here, no way you can believe that is how this works for Android.
  • It certainly plays into it. I'm sure you wouldn't argue that Android is harder to develop for since there are so many variants. Why would developing malware be any different?
  • I can understand your reasoning but Android also has legacy support (to a certain degree) so I don't see how it is much different than Windows where people also still have xp running (mostly Asian iirc) or 7 or 8/8.1 or 10. All very different OS'ses and people still make malware for it. I think since Android has such a huge user base it doesn't matter if it is a bit fractured, there is still plenty of people per OS version to make it worthwhile for malware developers.
  • Hello, are you sure? Do I need a google account to buy apps and make credit card payments? And can I pay with PayPal?
  • It's an Android phone. Anything required on other Android phones will be required on the Duo because it's an Android phone. Anything you can do on other Android phones you can do on the Duo because it's an Android phone. It's an Android phone. If you already have an Android phone then you simply enter your Google account details and all your existing apps, etc, will be available for download and install. It's an Android phone.
  • The Surface Duo will be running Android. Not stock Android, of course. One reason that Android is attractive to phone manufacturers is that they can customise it to distinguish their phones from the competition. Microsoft will, of course, customise Android for the Duo, e.g. Microsoft Launcher will undoubtedly be the default Home screen and SwiftKey will presumably be the default keyboard. You'll still be able to open settings and see which version of Android you're running. If you think that Samsung Galaxy devices run Android then you are being irrational if you think that the Surface Duo won't be. If you think that Samsung Galaxy devices don't run Android, you're also being irrational.
  • Is Amazon’s Fire OS Android? Yes, it’s based on Android. Why did they give it a different name? It’s a forked version. Like I said, the Edge browser is not the Chrome browser even though they're both using Chromium.
  • Amazon's Fire OS is based on AOSP but it is not licensed "Android". It does not come with the Play Store and as such doesn't have to meet the requirements of the Android license.
  • [removed for language violations]
  • No, you moron. You can't comprehend that Microsoft is doing the complete opposite which makes your assertion nonsensical.
  • Give it up Tek Cop. You’ll never win. 95% of the comments on WC are from fake Microsoft employee accounts. 4% are from fake WC employee accounts. Fall in line. Just take the blue pill.
  • I was a diehard PocketPC->WM10 user, but when it died I went to Samsung since they seemed to have the best relationship with MS. Now my Note 9 will be retired for a Duo in 2020.
  • Last time I used Samsung was a BlackJack.... big disaster... could not do phone calls if any apps were installed as speaker would get blocked... and my support calls were forwarded to Korea and neither of us knew how to communicate with each other... I am not doing Samsung anytime soon... if there is any brand I have been satisfied with, it is Nokia, they used to replace smashed glass each and every time for free, no questions asked... Iike as if you were dealing with Costco customer service
  • Probably the one feature I miss most about WM10 is voice transcription. Android requires you to actually say your punctuation and often messes up capitalization. Yet with WM10 I could just talk naturally and it almost always figured out proper sentence structure with little or no intervention. Would love to see this feature in new Surface devices.
  • I miss that too.
  • Yes, that was a beautiful thing. Not to mention the in phone ability to address calls or texts via voice, without the need do your car stereo needing special Google or Apple software.
  • Are you kidding? Just one thing that you are missing? Android is junk, compared to Windows Phone... mine (sony xperia one) is arriving soon and I am already so scared about what life is going to be like, without Windows. I am thinking of getting Windows completely out of my life, after a quarter century of dedication... not even Windows Desktop in Azure
  • Sandeep, I am moving to Experia One, also, but only as a bridging device until Surface Duo appears.
  • As a heavy user of my phone for productivity purposes, I totally get that productivity-oriented innovation is possible in this space. I just don't know what it'll look like. Maybe this? Really, no one else is doing anything interesting in this space, save maybe for Samsung and their Note line. So MS may be leading here. The endgame is - must be - a seamless app experience between phone and PC. OneDrive, OneNote and Your Phone go a long way. But in addition to that, the hardware experience can change in a way that might change the balance of time productivity users spend on their phones vs on their PC's. Anyway, interesting times.
  • I can say that I'm a Microsoft fan. It's all I've ever used and will use. Everything from Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One X, original Surface Pro, Surface Pro 6, MS Band 1 and 2, Samsung Focus, Nokia 900, Nokia 1520 and 950 XL. I only use their services, because it's what I'm tied into. So, I am definitely looking forward to what the final version of the Surface Duo will look like and the things I can do with it. So, I will be holding onto my Note 8 for another year, as long as I don't crack the screen or othe issues.
  • I was a Microsoft fan. From 1983 until some years ago... Microsoft failed with Surface RT, Windows Phone, Visual Studio etc.
  • ... Niche market thinking, but if MS can put a Camera with 3d scanning capabilities (some kinetic know-how), it will showcase a complete workflow where creators can Reverse Eng, do minor tweeks to the Math model, and then 3D Print. It will be the perfect device for a few fans. https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/mit-uses-kinect-scanner-create-3d-mo...
  • I can see Windows developers taking an interest in building duel-screen apps for Duo, but i'm not convinced that Android developers will take an interest in developing anything special for a MS Surface device. IMO, Microsoft missed an opportunity to have a full PC in your pocket. They could have effectively obsoleted the mobile phone all together and been way ahead of the competition. I'm still hoping that a Surface Duo Pro will come along with Windows 10 X. Then the device would be able to do anything that any other Surface could do.
  • Windows has developers? Isn't the issue, that they do not have developers, especially UWP developers? Full Windows on a phone is a terrible experience. Microsoft could do that easily, but it is pointless. You would have a terrible phone experience and a very poor Windows desktop experience.
  • YES, THEY HAVE DEVELOPERS! And many of them do prefer UWP! I have been using UWP since it first existed, and it is my favorite platform. And even for developers that do not prefer UWP themselves, apps will be modified for dual screen on UWP, so requiring developers to convert their apps will simply slow down the process of developers optimizing their apps for dual screen, so I think that Surface Duo should support UWP.
  • I see no sign of that. Build didn't even sell out this year. UWP never caught on and even Daniel said that win32 development is dead. Where are these developers? Where are the apps?
  • Where's your medicine?
  • If he pulls the string, a nice lady will bring it to him.
  • I'm launching a new UWP cloud platform at the end of the year and coming from a WinForms and WPF background I never had the current Windows 10 development tools to build a more gorgeous and immersive app than I do right now with UWP. And my customers agree 1000%! And in 2020 it will definitely be optimized to shine on the Surface Neo device. #UWPwillneverdie
  • Good luck with that. When Windows X dies, UWP will go with it. I give it 3 years at most. Betting on a Microsoft platform is very risky, you are very adventurous.
  • Your take makes sense, Zac. A question, however: does this mean that MS is no longer committed to further iPhone integrations (i.e. supporting existing apps in IOS)? For example, MS announced in mid 2018 that Your Phone app would have full iPhone capability, yet a year later nothing. (iPhone listed on the Your Phone Win 10 app but doesn't work from there). Would be great to know roadmap/ plans for further development of Your Phone and additional Cortana features in IOS.
  • I'm sure that Microsoft will continue to support Office apps and the like on iOS but if the Apple platform is more difficult to work with in regards to Your Phone, I wouldn't be too surprised to see them drop it. Then again, they probably also don't want to give iPhone users another reason to use an iPad or Mac over a PC.
  • Thanks for your reply. I wonder, though, that a working Your Phone app connecting an iPhone to a PC would not, instead, lessen reliance on Mac or iPad?
  • The Duo seems a more practical upgrade path for me. I own a number of smartphones already that I can fall back on to handle traditional smartphone tasks and apps. The dual-screen Duo is something that can perhaps change my useability experience in a way that a foldable screen device likely would not. I do not think I would load the Duo up with the same apps that I use on my traditional smartphones. Instead, I can see myself installing and using apps that would benefit the most from the dual-screen form factor.
  • Do you use an uber to carry all your smartphones behind you, wherever you go? I am a poor guy who can only use one phone at a time, although I am seriously contemplating on switching my RayBan prescription frames with Echo Frames... no Cortana, unfortunately. Cortana RIP
  • Apps will have minimal benefits from dual screens. The benefit will be using multiple apps at once.
  • I find it very shallow as a reason as well as contradictory. If you want to meet the desire of fans and you are not interested in numbers, you keep windows mobile, you improve it more and more (continuum 2.0 etc.) and eventually you fix the app store. I remind that Microsoft is the champion of developer tools, as well as of porting apps. This is why I hardly believe there won't be some sort of surprise in the OS of the Surface Duo next year.
  • All that would make sense except if you were someone who deliberately wanted to kill that business because you did not have any confidence in your delivery team.... let us not forget that Microsoft has failed on mobile since time immemorable , for a couple of decades (other than that short period of a fling with Nokia). When it comes to mobile, even simple common sense fails with Microsoft.
  • I agree... I have been thinking since the beginning that there was a big unsaid behind the very accelerated retirement of w10m. I guess they keep underestimating the sector, although in a different way this time.
  • The reason Windows Phone didn't last is because the Adaptive UI didn't catch on, therefore preventing WP from getting enough apps. But that was when Windows 8 was just starting, so there weren't a lot of Windows apps, either. Now that there are lots of Windows apps available, and conversion & optimization is much easier, developers would be much more inclined to write apps for the Surface Duo if it ran Windows. And if they really did make this for "Microsoft Fans", they would have put Windows on it, because forcing people to learn a new OS in order to use their new device is not something that I, as a "Microsoft Fan", like. I will always prefer Windows, not only because I prefer the interface, but because I am more familiar with it, and am therefore more able to make full use of all of it's features.
  • Bullshit... Google blocked it and that was the only issue preventing a common person from buying these phones in US
  • No. Google was iritating, but I could get to YouTube, GMail, etc via the web and it was OK. The app issue was more around the myriad of bespoke apps for specialized requirements, and social media. Bank apps, loyalty apps, grocery stores, all these little apps that people used for convenience either weren't there, or sucked. Heck there wasn't even a decent Starbucks app. At the time social media apps dejour were popping up like weeds. Android would get it, or iOS, then the other, and if WP ever got it, the wave for that one was over. They couldn't catch up or keep up. Not because Windows Phone sucked, just because the developers of these didn't have the bandwidth to do Android, iOS and Windows. You drop the one with the least market share. Google didn't help, but it was way more than just Google. I would lay a lion's share of the blame squarely on MS marketing. In many ways WP was better. They just couldn't get that message out. In fact they barely tried.
  • Windows phone just wasn't competitive because Microsoft was stuck in the past and emulated iOS instead of Android. They didn't realize they were selling the platform to manufacturers and carriers, not end users. They tried to skip the middleman but didn't have the cred to do that.
  • I'm honestly hopeful the NEO takes off more than the Duo. And since the NEO has broadband cabilities - that could move to VOIP services or something like that. If the NEO does well, there could be more development in UWP as a result and could push MS to reconsider the Duo OS or release another version running win10X.... While I understand that the ecosystem exists for the duo already... It kind of makes me wonder if MS really believes in UWP since the goal of UWP was one App for all devices not one app for 5 out of 7 surface or ms products.... Only time will tell.... I'm still hopeful MS will re-enter the mobile space. I'd just really rather not use any Google services myself..... But android is better than ios for my needs so it is a bit difficult at the moment not to use android.. Oh well.... See what happens....