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Microsoft’s next Surface phone could ditch dual-screen design for a foldable display

Microsoft is apparently ready to give up on a dual-screen design and join the rest of the industry with a folding display for the next Surface phone.

Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo devices haven’t exactly set the world on fire with their popularity, and it looks like the company is preparing to shift gears with the third generation of the product. According to a report from Windows Central‘s Zac Bowden, Microsoft has scrapped existing plans to use a dual-screen design for the next Surface phone, replacing it with a foldable screen similar to what’s used on phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

The decision to do away with the dual-screen design seemingly came very late in the development stages. Microsoft had already finalized the dual-screen design for what would have been the Surface Duo 3. That device was planned to launch near the end of 2023, but with this design change, it may be a while before we see the next Surface phone. In fact, there’s no target release window for this device just yet. The Surface Duo 2 will turn two years old this year, so it will be a fairly long period without a new Android device from Microsoft.

There really isn’t much that’s known about this device, other than that it’s expected to feature a 180-degree hinge with an internal folding display, along with an external display for more typical smartphone use. Of course, this design change also brings questions about the name of the device, since the Duo branding won’t make as much sense with a single folding screen. There would still be two screens, of course, but they wouldn’t be equal and likely not usable at the same time.

Three folding phones standing up with screens open

The Vivo X Fold (middle) with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (right) and Oppo Find N (left). 

However, there are some more interesting tidbits in this report. First, the fact that Microsoft is thinking about expanding its Android device offerings with more traditional slab smartphones, in addition to its upcoming foldable. Seeing as foldable phones are fairly expensive and niche devices, this could be a valuable strategy for Microsoft to bring more customers into its ecosystem of services.

And on that note, Bowden mentioned that Microsoft is also expanding its software efforts to bring its Android and Windows devices closer together. This makes sense, since it was reported last April that the company had formed a team to focus on Android and Windows development, encompassing things like Microsoft Launcher, SwiftKey, and the Surface Duo. This initiative is being called “Perfect Together” internally, and the goal is to achieve a similar level of seamless integration between Android and Windows as what Apple has with iOS and macOS.

The big takeaway here is that Microsoft isn’t done with its Android efforts just yet, and there seem to be big news on the horizon. It just looks like we have a while to wait before we can see them.

Source: Windows Central

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