Surface Duo: Why is Microsoft launching an Android phone?
Faced with Wired magazine reporter Lauren Goode’s question about whether Microsoft plans to resurrect a Windows mobile operating system in the future, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella strongly denied it. He said that for Microsoft, the more important thing is the App mode and experience – this is especially true for Microsoft’s Surface Duo, which was released on October 2.
So, in this symbolic product, Microsoft chose Android.
Thinking behind the Surface Duo
Microsoft’s New York presentation on October 2, 2019, Microsoft’s chief product director Panos Panay released six products; four models are updates or extensions of Surface’s existing product models, while Surface Neo and Surface Duo are designed with foldable designs And the operating system changes, became the two major surprises of the conference.
However, Surface Neo essentially continues to innovate in the ecosystem of Windows 10, and the new Windows 10X operating system does reflect Microsoft’s thinking about dual-screen collaboration; however, Surface Duo broke through Surface for the first time. The inherent boundaries of Windows 10 system bearers put the operating system on top of another technology giant, Google-led Android—from this perspective, the strategic significance of Surface Duo is even greater.
So, what kind of product is Surface Duo?
In appearance, the Surface Duo is a foldable dual-screen mobile device that supports the phone function. It is equipped with two 5.9-inch LCD screens on the left and right, which are 8.3 inches together, but the two screens are not connected, and the hinge is 360-degree flipped in the middle. – Of course, there is a striking Surface logo on the outside of the fuselage.
In terms of specifications, the Surface Duo is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and has a front camera lens. However, there is still some uncertain product information about whether there is a rear camera lens. After all, this is only the end of 2020. The device for sale.
From the software interaction point of view, Surface Duo does not run Windows system, but built a dual-screen Android system built by Microsoft and Google, pre-installed Google Play store, of course, Microsoft Edge browser, Outlook, and other applications; but from interaction In view of this, the system can work in two screens, and one of the screens can change the keyboard and game control buttons at any time (of course, this is also adjusted by the developer).
From this point of view, Surface Duo is obviously a smartphone, although Microsoft avoided using this name at the press conference.
According to “Wired” reports, Satya Nadella and Panos Panay do not regard Surface Duo as a competitor of traditional mobile phones but talk about its creativity and productivity. Panos Panay said that he never thought about building a single-screen smartphone. Based on the productivity of the latter, the dual-screen phone actually stands on the opposite side of the single-screen phone:
My idea is that I want to help you become more creative and productive. This does not mean that the product will have a high-resolution photographic lens. It means that I can let you enter the process so that you can create without having to leave the original scene.
Satya Nadella said:
This is a new device category, we can use it to do things we can’t do before, a bit like the two-in-one device seven years ago. People started by saying, “What are these things?” “Do people even need it?” But it turns out that everyone is buying now. So what I care about is: How should we use two screens?
In addition, according to Panos Panay, Microsoft has been investing in Surface Duo for two and a half years.
Why did Microsoft choose Android?
As a smartphone equipped with an Android operating system, Surface Duo is not too unique in its peers; after all, similar dual-screen folding products have not appeared in the Android camp, such as ZTE AXON M. The real significance of this product is: on behalf of Microsoft’s thinking and choice of the mobile ecology, and Microsoft’s choice is Google Android.
As foreign media said, this is Google’s victory, it can be said that it is Microsoft’s officially recognized victory.
Panos Panay said in an interview that Microsoft has no intention of creating a new mobile operating system based on the Windows application ecosystem because the mobile application ecosystem has been fixed. He said:
Overall, the location of the application is now accustomed to this opportunity, and developers take advantage of this opportunity. This is a reality. It is stupid to ignore this.
Satya Nadella’s statement is:
The operating system is no longer our most important layer. The most important thing for us is the application model and experience. Relative to whether developers are writing Windows applications or Android programs.
what is more, important is how they write applications for Surface Duo and Surface Neo because this involves Microsoft’s development path… By this year, we believe that the device is no longer At the heart of the computer experience, this concept is meaningless—the driving force for the future is the cloud if any.
Despite the different perspectives, both people point to the same point of view – in the field of action, Microsoft is no longer obsessed with operating systems and application ecological control, has recognized the reality of the Surface Duo, also on behalf of Microsoft admitted that Google-led Android acquisition victory.
In fact, perhaps before Microsoft gave up Windows Phone (Windows 10 Mobile), it made the decision to embrace Android and iOS. Shortly after Satya Nadella came to power, Microsoft launched a series of apps for Android and iOS; of course, due to the closure of iOS, Microsoft later began to embrace Android with Samsung as its main partner – then Microsoft promoted it,
First in Samsung mobile phones. Pre-installed Microsoft App, and then launched the Microsoft version of the Galaxy S8, the recent cooperation between the two sides is based on the seamless docking of Galaxy Note 10 and Windows 10.
At Surface Duo, Microsoft no longer relies on partners but instead joins the Android app ecosystem.