Microsoft is re-entering the smartphone market. At its Surface event in New York on Wednesday, the company announced a new lineup of hardware, including its return to the smartphone market, as well as new software. Here’s what you need to know.
The Windows Phone is dead. Long live the Windows Phone! Err… an Android phone, developed by Microsoft. While the paradigm-shifting Samsung Galaxy Fold features two screens, the Surface Duo offers a different configuration altogether; its dual 5.6″ displays expand into an 8.3″ device that offers the type of multitasking functionality found in the Galaxy Fold. Microsoft says the Duo will be available for Holiday 2020. Can adopting Android and catering to the high-end market help Microsoft find a place in the market? We’ll see.
A Surface Duo… but bigger? Microsoft is, ahem, doubling down on the dual-screen approach with the Surface Neo, a tablet that packs dual 9-inch displays and weighs just 1.4 pounds. Like the Duo, the Surface Neo will hit shelves in time for Holiday 2020.
The newest battleground for your money and loyalty is in your ears. Just a week after Amazon announced the Echo Buds, Microsoft announced its version of Apple AirPods: the Surface Earbuds. They’ll be noice-cancelling, truly wireless, and hitting store shelves later this year for $249.
Windows 10 X
Microsoft’s big software announcement on Wednesday was Windows 10 X, the OS powering the Surface Neo. Designed specifically for dual-screen devices, it’s the latest custom-built iteration of Windows that Microsoft is rolling out to all of its hardware. A lighter version of Windows 10, the 10 X will run all Windows programs, and is designed to offer multi-tasking by letting you run programs spanning both screens.
In addition to the hardware above, Microsoft also rolled out refreshes to some other Surface products:
- Surface Laptop 3: Available in two sizes (13.5″, starting at $999, and 15″, starting at $1,199), Microsoft says the Surface Laptop 3 is three times as powerful as the MacBook Air. It’s available to pre-order now, and ships on October 22.
- Surface Pro X: This 13″ Surface tablet is meant to offer the type of experience your phone offers: always on, always connected, and always with you. It’s available for pre-order today from $999, and ships in November.
- Surface Pro 7: A refresh to the Surface Pro 6, the Pro 7 added a highly-requested USB-C port, along with other minor performance upgrades across the board. It’s available for pre-order today from $749.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.
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