Surface Duo to become available in July?

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Clever money on the street is saying that Microsoft intends to announce availability of the Surface Duo before August (when the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 launches) - it's all speculation at this point but, given that the hardware has been 'ready' for at least a year at this stage, I wouldn't be surprised if this is all true. It would mean launching with Android 10 under the hood, with an upgrade to 11 in the Autumn, but that's OK and, at this point, it's only really Microsoft's own Android applications that have been adapted to work well with the dual screen environment. From a WC article, these do seem to be in good shape for these timescales.

On the subject of timing, Zac Bowden tweeted:

Zac's long feature on WC includes screenshot examples from the Duo Emulator running the various Microsoft app properties. Here a snippet:


Outlook on Surface Duo

Microsoft Outlook is preinstalled on Surface Duo and is the premier email and calendar experience for the device. It's also what manages your phone's contacts, with hooks into the Surface Duo's settings app that lets you synchronize your contacts stored with Microsoft through the Outlook app.

On Surface Duo, the Outlook app has two icons for email and calendar by default. The calendar icon shows the current date and provides quick access to the calendar portion of the Outlook app. The main Outlook icon will take you to email, just as Outlook normally does on other smartphones.

Microsoft Outlook supports spanning, with your inbox on the left display and email contents on the right display. Tapping on an email when spanned will let you read the email on the right display without leaving the email inbox. Spanning when in the calendar will spread out the calendar across both displays. It also supports drag and drop.

To Do

To Do on Surface Duo

Microsoft's To Do app for Android also supports spanning across both displays. When spanned, tapping a to-do item on the left display will showcase its contents on the right, giving the user access to different options for that specific to-do item without leaving the main to-do list.

You get the idea. Do read the whole article.

I'm continuing to monitor the Surface Duo emulator (for anyone to try, but mainly for developers) and will report back if it gets to the stage that I can do anything interesting with it!

WindowsLatest also has Duo launch timeframe discussion, including proof that Duo support is already in the Your Phone system now built into Windows 10:

Microsoft is also working on a new update for Windows 10’s Your Phone app that will allow you to manage and control Surface Duo from your desktop.

Surface Duo with Your Phone app

Microsoft is testing a new version of the Your Phone app for Windows 10 that can differentiate between traditional phones and the dual-screen Surface Duo. I’m also told that Your Phone app will support other dual-screen devices as well and the integration won’t be limited to just Surface Duo.

Of course, the initial promise of the 'Surface Phone'/Andromeda was that it was going to run Windows 10 on ARM (evolution of Windows 10 Mobile), but that was scrapped over a year ago and this is Android all the way, though with Microsoft's own launcher and applications. As to whether it will become a 'must buy' for readers here, I'm not very sceptical. Aside from the dual screen novelty, the single camera will be unadventurous, the bezels are large, and we heard some time back that it may launch without NFC (for Google Pay) or Qi (wireless charging). Add in an expected high price of over £1000 and this will be a company executive plaything, I fear.