Twin-screen duo puts Microsoft back in smartphone game

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Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled new Surface tablet devices with twin-screens that open like books, including a notepad-sized version that will put it back in the smartphone game next year.

Surface Duo was touted as the first device in the lineup to fit into a pants pocket, with two “paper-thin” 5.6-inch screens that unfold and work in harmony with a specially tailored Windows operating system.


Duo handled telephone calls, as well as applications designed to run on Google-backed Android mobile software, which powers most of the world’s smartphones.

“You are going to talk about it as a phone, and I get that,” Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay said of Duo at a Surface event in New York City.

“You can text; you can write; you can do what you want, make no mistake this product is a Surface.”

Microsoft years earlier surrendered the smartphone market to operating systems from Apple and Google after its own line of Windows-powered handsets failed to gain traction.

At the event on Wednesday, the US technology titan also introduced a Neo dual-screen version of its full Surface tablet, which like the Duo will be release late next year.

Microsoft also unveiled new Surface laptops and earbuds to hit the market in time for the year-end holiday shopping season this year.

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