In a surprise announcement, Microsoft has launched two dual-screen devices. Yes, Microsoft is back in the smartphone game with a foldable Surface Duo dual-screen phone. The Surface Duo runs Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
The device has two smaller 5.6-inch displays that can rotate 360-degrees, thus turning the device into an 8.3-inch tablet. The highlight, of course, is the ability to run two apps at the same time. Wired claims that the Surface Duo is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor, but this might change as the device is a full year away from the release. Interestingly, the current version of the device doesn’t have a camera on the outside.
During the event, Microsoft said it has worked with Google on the Surface Duo and is already working with developers to ensure apps work flawlessly on a dual-screen device. The Surface Duo will ship in Holiday 2020.
Nobody thought Microsoft would ever again release a smartphone, especially after the failure of Windows Mobile 10 in 2017. It tried everything to make a dent in the smartphone market but never managed to develop a platform as successful as Google’s Android. The acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business didn’t help either. The company made a number of bad decisions that led to the failure of Windows Mobile.
Surface Neo is a dual-screened laptop
Microsoft also announced the Surface Neo, which is a dual-screen laptop. The device will hit the market next holiday season, as revealed by Microsoft Surface hardware chief Panos Panay at an event in New York.
The Surface Neo is just like the Surface Duo in terms of design, but offers bigger dual 9-inch displays. The Neo measures 5.6mm in thickness and has a weight of less than 1.5 pounds. The device features Intel’s Lakefield processor, a 360-degree hinge, and a USB C-port. As Panos mentioned on stage, the dual-screen laptop will use a magnetic stylus and a magnetic keyboard that folds over the part of the second display.
Users can work on a single app across two screens – or a different app on each screen. When the keyboard in use, part of the screen that’s not hidden can be used to send emojis, animated gifs, etc. And when you move the keyboard upward on the screen, a virtual trackpad appears just beneath it.
The dual-screen machine will run Windows 10X, a new operating system developed for devices like these. It’s much cleaner and simpler than Windows 10.
Many believe the Surface Neo is an improved version of a 7-inch dual-screen device that had the codename “Courier”. The project was dropped in 2010.
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