To the delight of fans, Microsoft is finally making its way back to producing smartphones. However, it is not going to be by volume with multiple models flooding the market. Instead, it appears to be a measured effort that will hopefully attract consumers to invest in its new platform.
The Surface Duo is a computing device first, with telecommunication features built-in. Moreover, to the surprise of many, it will not come with a new version of Windows Phone OS, but it will run on Android. Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, finally offers an explanation.
Perhaps the reason why industry analysts are puzzled about the decision is the debut of the Surface Neo. This is another premium laptop that relies on a 360-degree hinge mechanism to hold two touchscreen displays together, down the middle. On top of this unique presentation, Microsoft confirms it will be running on Windows 10X – a modified version of the OS optimised for use on devices with twin-displays. Hence, when the Surface Duo came up on stage, nobody was expecting Android to take its place.
For the longest time, Windows has been a product closely associated with Microsoft. Yet, CEO Satya Nadella made an announcement that suggests the company might be shifting its focus elsewhere. At the 2019 Surface event, he stated "the operating system is no longer the most important layer for us," reports The Verge. "What is most important for us is the app model and experience," he added.
Furthermore, in an interview with Panay, the tech publication was able to get a clear-cut answer as to why the Surface Duo comes with Android. He admitted that the platform was the best choice for Microsoft's consumers after careful consideration. The reason for it being the sheer number of apps users want are readily available on Google's platform.
From what Nadella and Panay were stating, it seems Microsoft is moving forward on a new path. Instead of purely focussing on software, the company is dedicating manpower to develop quality products for consumers. Additionally, with the welcome addition of Android, its apparent that the manufacturer is willing to accept changes that will benefit its consumers. The Surface Duo is slated to be out in 2020 with pricing yet to be revealed.