Microsoft returns to the smartphone business with a foldable Android device


Microsoft Office. PHOTO: Getty Images

Microsoft is back in the smartphone business, more or less, with a new foldable Android-powered device that it claims fills a needed gap in mobile computing.

The tech giant started taking orders Wednesday for its Surface Duo, a dual-screen phone starting at $ 1,399. Microsoft first announced the device last October.

“We designed the Surface Duo for people who want to do more with their device in their pocket,” said Panos Panay, Product Manager for Windows and Devices.

“Our internal research shows that three out of four people report having difficulty completing complex tasks while away from their computer. This is because single-screen smartphones are not designed so that you can easily multitask. “

The Duo represents a new entry in wearable devices for Microsoft, which years earlier ceded the smartphone market to Apple and Google operating systems after its own line of Windows phones failed to gain traction.

The new device with a 5.6-inch folded screen that opens to an 8.1-inch screen, will compete with other folding phones from Samsung, Huawei and others.

It seeks to differentiate itself from its rivals thanks in part to the ability to run applications from Microsoft Windows, as well as from the Android mobile system powered by Google.

Panay said the Duo also aimed to deliver a “seamless cross-device experience” with PCs running the Windows 10 operating system, including the ability to receive notifications and text messages, make calls, share images, or copy and paste content between. two devices.



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