Third time’s a charm? Microsoft makes a risky gamble back into smartphones. The big surprise at Microsoft Corp.’s product peek Wednesday was a Surface tablet that also acts as a smartphone that seems to be targeted to corporate users.
The Surface Duo is a two-screen folding phone, which has two 5.6in screens bolted together with a hinge that folds a full 360 degrees. The phone opens like a book then folds all the way round.
Microsoft Surface Duo can run two apps on two different screens and runs Android also.
“Make no mistake, this product is a Surface,” said Microsoft product chief Panos Panay, “because of how productive you can be on it. We know, scientifically, that you will be more productive on two screens.”
Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Neo, which it said would be the evolution of its Surface computer line. It too has dual screens, with a hinge in the middle, but will run a new version of Microsoft’s operating system called Windows 10X.
However, neither the Surface Duo or Neo will be available until Christmas 2020. More than a year is a long time in technology.