Microsoft isn’t the biggest name in the smartphone market, but
last year, the company tried its hand at a high-end dual-screen
phone ‘Surface Duo’ with a customized Android experience.
Surface Duo may have only been released less than a year ago,
but it appears the company is already prepping an updated
model, according to sources familiar with the development.
Surface Duo 2 is apparently in development since the second
half of 2020 and it is scheduled to launch in the fall of this
year, though Microsoft’s plans are always subject to
change. Beyond hardware (faster processor,
5G and improved camera), the software appears to be
the primary focus of the Surface Duo 2.
Reviews of the Surface Duo commended design, display, and
hinge, but software issues ruined the product. According to
sources, this new Duo will put “special emphasis” on fixing and
improving the software, which includes the camera app.
In addition to these quality improvements, Microsoft is
slowly adding more engineers to the team behind Surface Duo 2.
According to multiple job listings seen by us, Microsoft wants
to “deliver a mobile user experience” that brings the best of
Microsoft to the Android ecosystem.
In fact, the company is directly contributing to the
development of Android. For example, Microsoft has been
a new “Obscured Regions” API that will add information about
regions of the display that has been obscured by other tasks or
“The API will allow the developer to re-flow the experience
into the visible regions. For example, a Launcher might animate
its bottom drawer to the un-obscured are to allow the user to
launch another application,” Microsoft noted.
What to expect from Microsoft in 2021
Microsoft is also working on other Surface products. The tech
giant is planning to launch Surface Laptop 4 in April and
Surface Pro 8 in October/November.