Rumor has it that the Microsoft Surface Duo is coming this summer. When the phone was first announced last October, Microsoft said the dual-screen Android smartphone would be available in time for the 2020 holiday season. But there’s mounting evidence that Surface Duo is ahead of schedule, unlike some other Microsoft products.
The company hasn’t made an official announcement yet. But the Surface Duo received FCC and Bluetooth SIG certification recently. And over the past month, bunch of Microsoft executives have shared photos of Surface Duo phones in real-world settings on social media.
Microsoft VP Shilpa Ranganathan posted a picture of the phone in the kitchen, where she’s using it to display recipes.
— Shilpa Ranganathan (@ShilpaRan) July 28, 2020
Frank Shaw, who leads the company’s communications department, has also been using the Surface Duo in the kitchen.
Kalamata olive bread sticks in first rise. pic.twitter.com/XQvC00jgxT
— Frank X. Shaw (@fxshaw) July 9, 2020
He also recently took the phone out for a hike.
In the wild. pic.twitter.com/Udk4qT57ZZ
— Frank X. Shaw (@fxshaw) August 7, 2020
Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay has shared a few different pictures, including one showing the Surface Duo as a book-like device for reading, and another showing the phone in a clear case.
Fresh air and coffee to start the day. pic.twitter.com/TJRWDOcbfH
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) July 16, 2020
I’m pretty pumped too, John. pic.twitter.com/j0TmKtj6DG
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) July 1, 2020
Microsoft VP Brad Anderson also used a Surface Duo recently to control a green screen in a video posted to LinkedIn.
Anderson has also joined the chorus of Microsoft executives using the Surface Duo in the kitchen, in this case to view two recipes at the same time.
What can you do with two screens? Well, tonight I had the recipes for the main course AND dessert open at the same time! Go @surface. Amazing experience @panos_panay and team. pic.twitter.com/EEZyfscQI0
— Brad Anderson (@Anderson) July 30, 2020
Joe Belfiore, vice president of Microsoft’s Essential Products Group took his Surface Duo on a recent trip to Disney World.
Kids… check! Water bottle and umbrella.. check! Masks and hand sanitizer.. check!
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) July 24, 2020
The Surface Duo is expected to feature twin 5.6 inch, 1800 x 1350 pixel AMOLED displays, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, an 11MP camera, and a 3,460 mAh battery.
Aside from the design which allows you to use the phone in single-screen or dual-screen modes, the most interesting thing about the Surface Duo is that it will be the first phone from Microsoft since the company abandoned its own Windows Phone operating system. Rather than try to compete with Android and iOS, Microsoft has instead started to use them for its mobile strategy by releasing apps and services that run on those platforms.
So Microsoft’s newest phone will ship with a non-Microsoft operating system, but it will be highly customized with a Microsoft-designed home screen and app launcher, support for the company’s apps which are designed to span both displays, and support for using the two screens for multitasking. I suspect Office, Edge, and other Microsoft apps will also come pre-installed.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.