Microsoft is making a phone. Again.
The tech giant, which stopped producing phones years ago, is hoping to stage a comeback . As the name suggests, the device has two screens, connected by a hinge. (Here’s how the .)
“This product brings together the absolute best of Microsoft, and we’re partnering with Google to bring the absolute best of Android in one product,” said Microsoft Product Chief Panos Panay. “This is industry-pushing technology.”
The whole thing is a bit of a surprise, considering Microsoft eventually Nokia for . This time, Microsoft says its new innovations, like the dual-screen folding display and special technology it built for the Google Android software that powers the gadget, will help make the difference. We won’t know for sure until the Surface Duo is released next year.after its troubled 2014 purchase of phone giant
It’s not the only product Microsoft announced Wednesday. The company also showed off updates to its Surface laptop lines, including , a larger dual-screen laptop, powered by a new version of Windows designed to allow apps and keyboards to work more seamlessly with these new devices. Like the Surface Duo, it won’t be released till next year.
It’s rare for a company to preannounce new devices so far in advance of their launch, particularly because excited customers may hold off on purchasing this year’s devices while they wait for the ones coming next year.
But for Microsoft, the risk may be worth the reward of surprising the tech industry with new devices and the promise of a different approach to its laptops. Microsoft pulled off such a surprise in 2012 when . Until then, the company had primarily been a software maker, with the exception of its Xbox video game console and some phones.
New laptops for this year
The attention on Microsoft may be focused on next year’s new devices, but the company also announced new laptops coming this year. They include an update to the Surface Pro line, a new Surface Laptop with new high-performance “Ryzen” graphics chips from AMD. Microsoft also announced an ultraslim Surface Pro X tablet-laptop hybrid, powered by a custom chip that promises better performance and battery life.
Videos from the event