Microsoft had one last surprise at its Surface event in New York: a foldable Surface Duo phone that runs on the Android operating system. Microsoft, on Wednesday, 2nd September 2019, unveiled new Surface devices with twin-screens that open like books. It also includes a notepad-sized version that will put it back in the smartphone game next year.
The tech giant touted Surface Duo as the first device in the lineup to fit into a pants pocket. It has two “paper-thin” 5.6-inch screens that unfold and work in harmony with a specially tailored Android operating system.
— Microsoft Surface (@surface) October 2, 2019
Described as a “new category” of device, Duo can make telephone calls and run applications designed for Google-backed Android mobile software.
Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay spoke about Duo at a Surface event in New York. He said:
“You are going to talk about it as a phone, and I get that. You can text, you can write, you can do what you want, make no mistake this product is a Surface.”
The Duo and a separate foldable Neo tablet came as a surprise at the New York Surface event. There, the tech titan unveiled its latest lineup of Surface computing devices.
Microsoft years earlier surrendered the smartphone market to operating systems from Apple and Google after its own line of Windows-powered handsets failed to gain traction.
Meanwhile, it has emphasised its cloud computing and other business services. However, Microsoft still draws considerable revenue from Windows, the software that powers the vast majority of PCs.
The Duo device won’t be out until holiday 2020. Nevertheless, Microsoft wants to give developers plenty of time to start building apps for the new hardware.