Panos Panay, chief product officer of Microsoft Corp., displays the Surface Duo smartphone during a … [+]
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The Surface Duo is Microsoft’s first major hardware release that runs on Google’s Android operating system. The dual-screened mobile device is radical in its own way, but going with a dual screen plus hinge, rather than a single foldable screen, the Duo is practical as well as reliable.
With no other mainstream Android device using a similar form factor, Microsoft has been working not just on dual-screen compatibility for its own apps, but also on the open source portions of Android OS. The latest Microsoft job listings show that effort is continuing, as noted by Windows Latest:
“Microsoft is now looking for ‘Senior Software Development Engineer’ to work on Android apps and ecosystem for the Surface Duo. The job listing says that the employee will work with the current team to “create and build” innovative Android apps showcasing the dual-screen experience of Surface Duo.
“Microsoft is also working on a “software roadmap” to follow Android ecosystem evolution and push new mobile innovations and technologies. In addition, the engineer is required to optimise the app experience across the stack and collaborate with other Android SW Engineering teams.”
Naturally the Surface Duo is going to be supported for the next few years, which will involve Microsoft working on at least the next two versions of Android. What I’m drawn to is “create and build” part of the job specification and how this will be specific to the Surface Duo.
Microsoft already has a significant number of Android (and iOS) apps that talk to its cloud – it’s arguably possible to MacGyver a ‘Microsoft Phone’ on any Android device. No, this is more about ensuring that the Surface Duo remains on the cutting edge.
It’s clear that the Duo is not going to be a concept device, it’s going to have a long and fruitful life and Microsoft has plans for its evolution.