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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 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....
  • This would have been the perfect device for me for few my past jobs. There are soooooooooooooo many use cases for pocketable dual screen devices from a productivity stand point. Would have a jumped onto the Duo bandwagon if it ran windows 100%. Similiarly if I didn't know about all of android's security vulnerabilities (I'm not saying Windows doesn't have security holes and vulnerabilities - which it does) I'd have bought the duo even if it was running Android but... I'm not as the saying goes once you see something... you can't unsee it... sometimes being too curious can be detrimental lol. Anyway, here is a usecase that would have been useful for me, I could have had a floorplan app on one screen and have another app or note taking app on the other screen to take detailed notes during property appraisals. Or I could have two instances of the floor plan app open draw plans for two floors at the same time. Or one screen I can have a client look at a tenancy agreement and redraft it on the fly on the other screen, save it as PDF, use docusign or signable to digital send it to them via email. Have them login via email there and then, open the document and sign it. Web browsing is also much more convenient and in my current job I could have two of the CRM systems open at the same time, have email on the one screen and a crm open in the other screen. Basic stuff but nothing as fancy drafting tenancy agreements or drawing floorplans. Also it's a great learning tool to learn to draw with as you could have a video showing you how to draw and then you follow on other screen. Beyond my own use cases, here are some others: 1) Spotify on on screen and the news app on other.
    2) Have your online banking app on one screen and excel on the other for reconcilation.
    3) Use the duo as a two paged e-reader
    4) You can have two kids play with the duo - with one using one screen. Unfortunately most toddlers these days have been given smartphones to keep them entertained...
    5) You could play games which you have need a tablet for like Air Hockey. And so on, two screens twice the productivity lol - it does depend on what you use your smartphone for day to day.
  • Also design of duo & 4 : 3 Aspect ratio screen encourages to use it in landscape mode like laptop. We Hardly use our phones in landscape mode except media consumption because keyboard takes half of the screen & 16:9 or 18:9 screen provide to less width.
  • "Why Microsoft is back making phones with the Surface Duo" Back then, Window is everywhere until Google started appearing, free apps etc. Android started happening. Right now, Google is everywhere until MS start appearing on Android. The rest will be a cycle. MS already capture all the PC with only mobile left. Regardless surface duo is niche, whether it catch on or not, OEM such as dell or lenovo will start making mobile phone too. If it don't catch up interest, at least my wife and I will still get duo and possibly others. Win - Win....
  • I am very much going to get the Duo. Massive fan of Surface, and Windows OS. Unfortunately the Duo can't have Windows OS as there is no support. Hopefully later on it can when things become more fluent between OS's. Let's see. Can't wait!!!!
  • What exactly is your point in writing and rewriting this same thing every week? Move on, this is complete rubbish. We Windows fans are in a period of mourning and there is no need to keep rubbing it in. You were probably not even born when some of us adopted MS-DOS and Windows and NT as our choice, over the then popular SCO-Unix and NetWare. Microsoft has put Windows into junk status now, it is very sad... and this has not been anything sudden and spontaneous, it has been premediated over five years. At least Amazon has the courage to build devices based purely on open-source Android rather than becoming just another Chinese hardware manufacturer that banks on google search and maps. Wish Microsoft had had at least the gut to use its own cloud services and only swapped the OS. And why do they have to put the four-panes-of-glass Window logo on it, why can they not put an amœba or android or chimpanzee logo on it? Or a door or a skylight logo... anything but Windows
  • Do you have someone you can talk to about this? I'm sure there are support groups in your local area to give you the help you need.
  • @Sandeep Maheshwari Windows is an operating system... not a cult lol...
  • It's hilarious that you're telling someone else to move on unironically.
  • Duo doesn't have a Windows Logo. It has the Microsoft Logo.
    Read more about the Microsoft Logo @ https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/seliot/2012/08/23/microsoft-and-design-...
  • So, really Microsoft now has separate OS's for mobile just like Apple and Google. Maybe someday they will add Android apps to the Microsoft Store by offering it at a lower cost to developers than Google. My Samsung phone has both Google and Samsung stores. So, Microsoft can do the same thing.
  • Where is my Windows phone!!!? 😂🤣😅 It is at Luancher 10 dude! 🤣😂
  • Although I do not trust Android for security reasons; I would buy a Surface Duo for 3 reasons
    1= If Microsoft will support this device OK like the Surface Pro 2 in 1's it's going to be around for
    awhile to get better, 2=I am one of many people who like a screen bigger than a Smartphone has,
    3= A person can really do multitasking well on this device. i wish Microsoft success in
    selling this device
  • If you don't trust Android for security reasons, how can you justify using Windows desktop? Security is much worse there. Just from the last two months: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/08/13/microsoft-windows-10... https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2019/10/09/windows-10-warning-f... I am sure you aren't using Windows. i
    It would be very hypocritical to not trust Android security but be ok with Windows.
  • It's a shame MS didn't make a Windows Phone Surface edition.
  • Yeah man. Sad...
  • Meh. 2 screens does not equal 1 big screen, unless it's a foldable screen. This concept might have worked if it was done years ago, but not today on the cusp of foldable screens. Heck ZTE released this same exact type of hardware over 2 years ago. I get that foldable screens won't have the same durability, but that will only improve. If the argument is that Microsoft will have the best Android implementation I have to call shenanigans on that one. Microsoft can't get the development community to do anything. It failed with windows mobile, it's very weak even with apps on Windows itself. Wasn't there even talk about iOS and Android emulation on Windows phone at one point? So you have an extremely niche device that will most likely have very low sales, yeah good luck getting devs to support that. I don't doubt that Microsoft support for things like MS Office will be stellar, and if you are a customer who needs that then this phone might be excellent. But then again that dual screen support would (and almost definitely will) translate just fine to a foldable screen. Heck even Google themselves couldn't get devs to support some sort of tablet mode. No the Duo will be a very small footnote in history that MS will very quickly abandon as they are prone to do. I don't mean to sound so bitter, but I'm a huge MS fan and really want them to succeed. I'm just bummed because this year their hardware is almost universally pretty crappy in concept and I expected much more out of Panos and MS.
  • "this year their hardware is almost universally pretty crappy in concept" , you clearly missed the October event. "2 screens does not equal 1 big screen, unless it's a foldable screen." yep that's why the dual side paper book was never successful and we are still reading paper rolls. Gutenberg is fake news. The concept of the dual screen on a phone (Surface Duo) or a p.i.m. (Surface Neo) is not about duplicating the current UI to a 2 screen form factor. Go back to the initial MS Courier demo's and translate that info in to today's powerful OS (W10-X) or the Surface Duo interpretation of what a modern phone should look like and you have a paradigm shift. If you think PIM rather than phone you do not need a zillion apps or a huge app store, you need a smart set of software applications tailor made for creative people who want to jot ideas, note down info, connect, link, draw, sketch etc. the two screen form factor will be a quantum leap improvement versus today's boring smartphone form factors.
  • Concerning Updates, my 950XL has been getting security updates from MS in 2019. Is MS going to take control of updating it's version of Android? Google/Android update process is a mess. https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/4/20847758/google-android-update-problem... Cortana is still the best at hands free texting will driving. I can listen and reply with zero physical interaction. If someone as evidence Siri or Google doing better please post. Since i spend a lot of time driving, this is one of the main reasons I have keep the 950XL.
  • This is why I have loved my Windows phone since 2014. Still using an HP Elite x3. I never understood why Apple could not make Siri do the same thing. Well low and behold with iOS 13 it seems they have finally caught up. Only took them 5 years. :-)
    The only thing I can't seem to confirm from the articles I have read is if it requires you to have the Apple Airpods.
  • And there is the problem. In several states it is illegal to drive wearing pods or headphones in others it is a gray area, legal unless you are pulled over and/or have an accident and are the officer decides that you were "distracted"
  • Your 950 hasn't received a true update in 3 years. The Anniversary Update was the last one. It hasn't even received a browser update in years and Microsoft even removed it from the Windows 10 SDK! Security updates are pointless for W10M. No one is ever going to target it. That is the minimal amount of "support" Microsoft could give. It doesn't even begin to compare to Play Service updates that every Android phone receives. Every Android phone ever has been better supported than the L950. Google Play Service updates are more important than the "security updates" that W10M has received the last few years.
  • A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.-Mark Twain
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/4/20847758/google-android-update-problem...
  • That is an editorial from an Apple fanatic. He just ignores that Google has worked around this issue by leveraging Google Play Services. Every phone on Android version 4.1 or newer gets updates regularly. These updates include new APIs, features, and even security fixes if possible. Even old phones are still compatible with new apps! These are WP7 era devices! When was the last time your 950 received a new API? It hasn't even been included in the Windows SDK for years! Android support is far superior to Windows phone.
  • https://www.androidauthority.com/android-9-0-update-880718/
    Would you consider this a better source?
  • Still doesn't mean anything. Android updates don't really matter. Google Play Services will still be updated and apps will still be compatible. Google addressed the issue. Every Android phone is supported for several years.
  • Let me get this straight. I thought MS "retrenched" on mobile in order to leap frog on to the next big thing since phones were too hard to catch up on.
    5 YEARS later they are going come out with a dual screen phone running android in order to showcase some apps, low risk, and for maybe a few thousand fans?! I will be interested to see how making a phone that so few will buy will translate to MS bottom line. Will it really be so great that people will drop google docs or whatever and go pay for an Office 365 subscription?
    Of the reason Zac gave the only reasonable one is the risk, but that's also part of the problem. The fact that you are listing Android will continue to get updates even if MS bails says it all. Everyone know MS will bail asap if it doesn't sell, but hey at least google will be around to support you? If they abandoned W10 Mobile while there were several million users, why would they spend so much in
    researching and developing a phone for a small number of users?
  • I'm hoping Windows Central will start a "Microsoft on Android" feature to keep us up to date on all rumors, news, and reviews.
  • I'm writing this on my beloved Lumia 950, which is still serving me well. I think the Surface Duo sounds like a smart move. Running Android is not a deal breaker for me. I'll be using another Android phone (probably Sony) to bridge the gap in 2020 until Surface Phone hits the market.
  • If I win this phone from a lottery or something I'd trade it for a new Lumia 950 XL battery if I can or for iPhone if I can't. #NeverAndroid
  • Your finances confuse me. Lumia 950XL battery at Amazon, $21.95. New iPhone ~$1000. You can't spring for $22 now, but you'd blow $1000 on an iPhone?
  • If they would be able to bring compatibility between Duo and Neo, i.e. that "dual screen apps" can run on both - I could see the former as a "stop-gap" measure on the road to true 3-in-1 pocket computing. If Duo is 100% incompatible with Neo and Windows 10X - i.e. Microsoft doesn't bring some kind of solution for cross-platform compatibility between the devices; problems might arise. It would be logical to have the ability to run the same applications on both. It would be good if they make a new folding device sitting between Duo and Neo, running 10X. Think of a Surface Go folded in half (unfolding it bring a Go size device). It would be a great small 3-in-1 computer even if they should focus on eSIM and Skype calling rather than carrier talk/text with a carrier physical SIM. I.e. 100% Microsoft for everything (it makes way more sense to push Skype as the platform for talk/text rather than selling carrier services like the Duo, using a conservative interpretation of the word "phone"). Such a device, "Surface Neo X" - could be an enabler of true pocket computing. Running Android make the Duo very much a conservative "phone" rather than computer, especially with Scoped Storage and even more restrictions being implemented in 2020, thus increasing the "feature gap" even more. A more appropriate solution is to bring a Windows 10X device, sold as a pocket computer and with "My Phone" extended to an Android powered outer display (i.e. the device can be used as a conventional smartphone when closed and turns into a 10X computing one when opened). Android apps can run in windowed mode under 10X, i.e. the system running the outer display switches to that mode when opened (access through the My Phone app). It would be a decent way of "re-imaging" the Nokia Communicator by combining smartphone and computer.
  • 🧟‍♂️Me want Surface Duo
  • They made this device to make us stop talking about Windows Phone.
  • Didn't work...apparently.
  • Microsoft has been embracing Android for "quite a while"? 2 years is not that long. They are just show casing what they can do. They could have done this long ago at this point it is obvious they have no other choice...
  • I wish Microsoft will make the UI / Shell / Launcher that they are using in Duo available in the Play Store so that the consumers can install it as a launcher App for any dual screen Android phones (just like Microsoft Launcher for single screen Android Phones) manufactured by other OEMs . Though I was so excited during the Duo announcement, I am kinda not happy with the screen bezels of Duo and I would like to have third screen in it as well (like in Samsung fold) for answering the call, taking quick photo ...etc. Hope Microsoft will address these concerns before the Duo release OR I would like to see the next generation Samsung Fold with 2 screens and I will have the option to install the Microsoft Duo Launcher in it.
  • Fun fact: the word "Microsoft" is in this article 42 times. 42 times in 16 paragraphs.
  • I think releasing this phone with Android is admitting that dual screen phones aren't groundbreaking enough to keep a new mobile operating system afloat. Microsoft didn't believe that dual screen phones are the next big thing, otherwise they would have used their own platform. It might be a cool niche, I will certainly look at it when Duo is launched, but Microsoft doesn't seem to have much faith in the form factor.
  • Putting Android on Surface Duo is the worst decision they have made in the history of the company. Zac, we need to think really long range here. Like in the next 10 years. Phone hardware has come a long way in 12 years. Today, laptops can run on phone chips. Today we are at the brink of phone hardware being powerful enough to meet a large portion of computing use cases. It is only the small size and app UI design holding them back from being more than phones. In 2014, Microsoft laid out a bold vision of computing with UWP and then in 2015 with Lumia having Continuum capability. Continuum was sort of half backed with W10M, but the vision was there. Windows 10X needs to complete this vision. In the next 10 years, the power grab will be for a pocketable PC. This is the clear direction computing is going. This fragmented world of computing where we have different OSs, accounts, apps, settings, devices, etc. just because we get smaller is a temporary stepping stone to a unified computing experience. Convergence of form factors is where the future lies, and Microsoft needs to make a grab for this. Putting Android on Surface Duo is not making a grab for this. If HP was willing to make the Elite phone with a lapdock, the will be on board with emulating Microsoft's Surface Duo running Windows 10X. Microsoft needs to take the lead, and they are not doing that by putting Android on Surface Duo. There will be a winner in the pocket PC OS battle. I really want Windows to be that winner. It will not be Apple because Apple will always be a niche player due to their position to have to make the hardware and software. That leave Google with probably Fuchsia. I don't want an advertising funded OS running the world of computing. It will come down to Microsoft or Google running pocket PCs in the next 10 years. The sooner they show off Windows 10X as a form factor agnostic OS and can be the pocket PC you want, the better.
  • I pretty much agree with all this. I still have a Lumia 950XL with the Continuum Dock set up, just for fun. Sort of amazing what it could (and still can) do. To bad they just quit working on that. More app support, like desktop apps running in docked mode, true windowing, things like that could have made this more desirable. The concept of pocketable computing, with some sort of dock for desktop-ish UI has been around for quite some time. The HP Slate 500 was a 7" Win 7 tablet back in 2010. We really are just now at a point that the hardware can actually support it well, without resorting to a mobile OS.
  • "Microsoft does not expect the Surface Duo to sell in large quantities......….This is a device that can exist for die-hard Microsoft fans and ecosystem users".
    "If only a few thousand people buy a Surface Duo,..............".
    HUH?
    In other words, IF Microsoft had kept making phones with its own OS, it could have stayed in the mobile game the last few years and not have fallen pathetically behind. Not everyone is concerned with a lack of apps.
    It also would have had a mobile platform promoting some version of Windows 10 for several years now.
    And those of us who really like MS products would have remained very happy.
    But it's too late.
    I'll be glad to see the Duo, even if it is running Android.
    As an Android user, I can't say a lot of bad about it.
    Launcher and MS apps work pretty good on Android.
    And I appreciate the comments about Android security from "Bleached".
    But, they'll probably price the Duo too (artificially) high.
    If you look at it's mission statement, the $100.00 Lumia phones did fit Microsoft's goals.
    Providing cheap phones with a rock solid ecosystem....seemed like a good business model to me.
    They could have offered some good flagship models and sold them through the MS Store.
    But, they'll probably kill that off too.
    No excuse for Microsoft to have abandoned cell phone hardware.
  • Meh. If it is successful (and I think it will be, within the confines of a halo device), my main worry is that Android will end up taking over the Neo. Why bother writing dual screen applications for Android and then turn around and write the same for another niche device that runs a flavour of Windows? Please don't say Xamarin, as that really didn't take off, not even in Microsoft's own lineup. Entirely possible that Microsoft just opened the door wide to Android replacing both Windows and Chrome OS on "light" devices. I'm not sure I'm happy with their decision, but my opinion only counts with me, so...
  • No one is going to be writing dual screen applications. There is no point, especially for phone sized hardware. The second screen will just be used for multitasking, when you need a second app open. There isn't much of a reason to have one app span multiple screens. Even Microsoft couldn't make a good example of that during the presentation. Having your inbox on one screen with an email open in the other isn't a compelling use of the second screen.
  • I'm not saying you're wrong. Developers have to be excited to start on something, and this may not be it (or it may, who knows what other aspirational videos Microsoft will come up with that will send devs' hearts fluttering). However, two things to keep in mid: 1. There are indeed applications where the dual screen would make sense. Email is only one of them, but if you think about it any application that has 2+ panes would absolutely benefit from this -- even if only staying with the Microsoft theme, you have People, Photos, OneNote, Teams, News and Sports, Xbox app... Many that don't belong to Microsoft also, a "file manager" look-alike, maybe Slack. Maybe even web sites will take advantage of it (driven by Chromium functionality implemented by Microsoft, LOL), again any web site with 2+ panes, Office online, Google docs, Google classroom, etc. And this is not even touching on gaming and the effect the dual pane might have on them, no? I know it's hard to see the future, maybe if we squint a little... :) 2. The "dual screen applications" comment was maybe misleading, I apologize. What I actually meant (and I hoped the Chrome OS comment at the end would make it clearer) is that the narrative of an alternative flavour of Windows on light devices (light in usage, not necessarily in form factor, be it dual screen, slab or laptop) is less enticing once you have a very common OS: Android. I know Microsoft positioned that new Windows as a "for dual screen devices only", but that will most likely change, maybe even before the Neo/Duo couple is released. That is my bigger worry over the success of the dual screen device, especially since Microsoft as of late is arguably getting... umm... "soft" on Windows. Maybe I shouldn't worry, since an OS is, after all, an OS, but I happen to like Windows.
  • I think you are wrong, I'm sure there a plenty of compelling reasons out there, you just don't need it or can't imagine needing it. People used to say that to me when I had 2 monitors attached to my PC, many many years ago, but now almost all developers I know have at least 2. In that scenario 2 monitors is a whole lot better than one extra wide monitor. If it was running full blown win32 capable windows, I could definitely use it, but the Neo provides me with that and the larger screen is probably better. I can think of many apps I use today, that would be enhanced with twice as much information viewable at once, not sure they would invest time and effort for a single device, selling in 1000s, but then in a years time, maybe there will be lots of alternatives, I'm sure giving developers time to think about it, is why MS demonstrated the device so early.
  • If there are compelling reasons for apps to use 2 screens, then Microsoft should have shown them in the demo. They needed to build that excitement, shown the possibilities. They didn't. I don't think Microsoft is very sold on the dual screen format, hence them not putting Windows 10X on the Duo.
  • Clearly, Zac, you've already drunk the Kool-Aid flavored with "Duo is best with Android" but you've ended up, at least in part, making the case for why Microsoft should have kept Windows 10 Mobile going. Microsoft doesn't expect the Duo to sell in large quantities and that's OK? If millions of Windows phone users weren't enough for Microsoft to justify not capitulating on Windows Mobile, why would a similar number of Duo customers now be acceptable? Duo is low risk for consumers? No, as Microsoft has already demonstrated, they're OK with abandoning Windows Mobile with millions of users, if Duo doesn't do well enough they'd have no qualms about chucking that in also. Duo with Android already has "the" ecosystem thanks to apps published by one of their biggest competitors? No, Duo running Android would have access to *an* ecosystem of apps designed for single-screen hand-held devices, all of which work just fine today on any of many hundreds of devices already available. What Duo running Android will NOT have (to start with) is any ecosystem of third-party apps designed to take advantage of Duo's biggest selling point, its two screens. Now obviously the same could be said if Duo were to be released in a Windows 10X variant, but alongside the Neo also running Windows 10X, there would be an extra incentive for developers to write Windows 10X apps that take advantage of the form-factor if they could create a single app for both devices and publish to just one app store, rather than a dual screen-capable app that will work on only one device. Duo running Android didn't make any sense a month ago, and it still doesn't make sense now.
  • You are ignoring that creating and continuing to support a mobile operating system and ecosystem is extremely expensive. Using Android is near free. That is why Duo doesn't have to sell in big numbers with Android, it doesn't have a huge development budget it needs to make up for.
  • shock horror, I agree with you, it's quite obvious that is one of the benefits of using Android, not to mention there's no app gap to worry about
  • No, I'm not ignoring anything. Why would the cost of creating an operating system for the Duo be an issue, when that is exactly what Microsoft is doing for the Neo? And why would the availability of Android apps be a reason to choose to buy (and use) a Duo when you can already use those apps on Android devices that already exist? It can't be that the Duo will allow you to run two apps at the same time, as I'm sure any decent existing Android device is capable of multi-tasking. It can't be that it won't be possible until the Duo is available to run two Android apps on side-by-side screens, as you can simply buy two Android phones to achieve that. Duo's biggest selling point, its two screens, will initially only be taken advantage of by "hero apps" developed by Microsoft themselves, and its probably a safe assumption that they'll charge a significant premium for the privilege. Otherwise, what's wrong with existing Android phones?
  • Windows 10X as on the Neo will supposedly become the mainstream version of Windows for laptops, tablets, and everything in between. That R&D budget is likely going somewhere. Creating "Windows 10XM" for the Duo would be very expensive. The only way it can recoup that cost is by being a huge hit and selling in massive numbers. The chances of that happening are miniscule. I think 10X is also a long shot, but it at least has a chance and can grow.
  • The whole point of Windows 10X is that it is an expression of Windows Core, an OS that can (in theory) run anywhere. It is not the same situation as with Windows 10 Mobile vs. Windows 10 for PCs, where they only shared the kernel and pretty much everything else was built especially for the device form factors on which they ran. In the Windows Core case, it'd be the same OS that could run on both the Duo and the Neo, the only "extra" engineering effort being in developing an appropriate user experience ("shell") for the front end; everything else should be the same. Much less effort to support additional form factors, and then Microsoft would have an "experience" they could licence to other OEMs. There would be no "Windows 10XM" because it'd be the same OS in both cases (Duo/Neo). I just think Windows 10X would have a better chance of success if Microsoft made it more widely available, for the benefit of both consumers and developers.
  • Actually for Microsoft to keep supporting W10M would not have been a huge cost and companies would have kept using W10M since it is still a hell more secure than Android. One of the reasons W10M is more secure is that no TicToc app and other compromised apps are available for it. The lack of such apps makes W10M rock solid as a reliable communication tool.
  • I think one of the reasons MSFT debuted both Duo and Neo a year before the official release time frame, is for the very reasons that are being mentioned here and echoed in technological forums all over. It gives them time to improve upon their initial showing. They didn't preview a camera or even mention it during the debut, probably because they were still working on incorporating a viable camera feature. At least consumers and salivate over the big ticket aspects of the device and build off of that over the course of the year. I would be surprised if MSFT isn't looking into an alert mechanism that notifies you and provides some detail of what that alert is on your device without having to open it up.
  • Duo as the name suggests should have two OS running, Windows Mobile and Android.
  • "Unlike making a Windows Phone, the Surface Duo running Android means it's a low-risk venture for Microsoft" This is where MS may be very, very wrong. Since the announcement, I know of two fairly large software companies that are ending their Windows desktop development. (Which both have huge market shares.) Companies see this Android from Microsoft as a lack of faith in the upcoming .NET Core and WinUI 3.0, and also see no way forward with Windows. A common opinion expressed is that the market is screaming for a fast and secure device, and there is a growing backlash with Android security and Google's meddling issues. Right now, neither Android or iOS offer a secure mobile solution, with government agencies and contractors unable to allow phone devices or use on premises, once the WM10 devices hit EOL. Developers are questioning the need to maintain a Windows desktop version, as they are locked out of the mobile market with if they target Windows. If they are going to have to build for Android and iOS, they will just deliver Android and iOS versions, and for users that want the notebook/desktop form factor software, they can just use 'Your Phone' or other similar solutions, and leave Microsoft and Windows behind completely. The ironic piece, is that by avoiding doing Android to get UWP developers, and now doing Android only, they might hurt/kill Desktop Development. Panay is not a 'technical' person, and I am afraid he doesn't see the ramifications from the development community. Microsoft needs to at the very least needs to offer Windows X on the Surface Duo, even if the 'phone/app' experience is secondary. There are companies that want to have WinUI 3.0 available on mobile, and there are companies that need a better product than Android or iOS on mobile for security. THERE IS A VERY BIG CHANCE MICROSOFT IS GUTTING THEIR ENTIRE WINDOWS ECOSYSTEM WITH THIS MOVE.
  • I still use my awesome Lumia 950 XL a lot and then I have a Samsung S10 where I have opted for the Launcher 10 with all the MS apps installed as well and then the MS Launcher as the phone assistant with Cortana so the user interface looks very much like my Lumia 950 XL. I have no intention of buying a dual screen phone. I can see my Lumia 950 XL being used a lot more into the new year 2020. I just need to buy a all new battery, which I have found and ordered. Microsoft is entering a very dangerous water with this all in on Android. I cannot see this move as a smart one. Windows 10 Mobile was becoming very mature with fine official apps such as FB, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. Then MS decided to shut it down.... W10M could have succeeded as a small nice system.
  • If they want to call it "more than a phone" than they must release it with Windows 10X. And better Continuum to transform it to real desktop PC, when you connect it to larger display. They should be able to do it right now. And We would not be afraid of abandoning, because it's not special mobile OS only anymore. It's Windows Core OS. And it will share support for all Windows user base. That way they should not be compared to other mobile OS-es. And they would have user base, the whole Windows user base, for developers to jump in. With Android, it's just another Android. They would not attract neither most of Windows fans, nor many Android fans. And they just might drive away remaining developers from desktop Windows, and new W10X.