Microsoft has suspended development of the Surface Neo, the dual-screen device it originally planned to release on vacation 2020.
According to our sources, Microsoft’s decision to stop production was taken in order to shift resources to other needs. We don’t have a revised release date for the Surface Neo, but it’s unlikely to arrive this holiday season.
Conversely, our sources have confirmed that the Surface Duo, the dual-screen pocket phone running Android, is set to arrive later this year. This echoes previous reports which claimed the Surface Duo was unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic and could even be released early. According to a recent report from Windows Central, the Surface Phone will launch next month, the week of August 24.
Windows 10X delay casts a shadow on Surface Neo
While we can’t say for sure why Microsoft chose to stop production of Surface Neo, the decision comes as no surprise. The Surface Neo builds on the successful release of Windows 10X, a streamlined operating system originally designed for dual-screen and foldable devices, but now launching first on single-screen laptops.
Microsoft originally planned to release Windows 10X later this year, with the Surface Neo serving as a hero device for the operating system. It now seems unlikely. ZDNet reports that the first devices running Windows 10X (single-screen laptops) will arrive in spring 2021. Dual-screen devices are not expected to arrive until spring 2022, reporting a significant delay of at least 18 months.
Earlier this year, Panos Panay, the director of Windows products at Microsoft, cited the coronavirus pandemic as the reason Windows 10X would move to single-screen devices.
“The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices,” Panay wrote. “As we continue to put customer needs first, we must focus on meeting customers where they are now.”
Foldable and dual-screen Windows devices could work without Surface Neo or Windows 10X. All eyes are now on Lenovo as we hit the ‘summer 2020’ release date set for the ThinkPad X1 Fold, a foldable tablet that’s supposed to run Windows 10 Pro. We used the device earlier this year and saw the potential in its flexibility. Now we’re just waiting for it to hit store shelves.
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