I will be the first person to admit that I was only mildly interested when I initially heard about the Microsoft Surface Duo.
My first smartphone was a Microsoft-powered HTC Titan, branded the XV6800 and made for UTStarcom. I loved that phone—it ran Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition and came with Microsoft Office pre-installed on it. It was great for doing my homework when I didn’t have my laptop. Of course, the interface was horrendous for a mobile phone, but none of us knew any better at the time—all we knew was Palm and Blackberry. Microsoft eventually updated Windows Mobile to 6.5 in a last-ditch to save the operating system before it canned everything for a new version. Finally, Microsoft migrated everything to Windows Phone 7, but that ultimately pushed all Microsoft’s mobile developers to Android for trying to be too much like (sinking Nokia along with it).
A fresh new start
I give you all this history because my prior experience with a Microsoft mobile device was a mixed experience that ultimately left a bad taste in my mouth—hence my initial lack of enthusiasm at the Surface Duo announcement. Still, I was curious to see what the company would do with its first Android device. Furthermore, I believed it was the right call not to run Windows, given the current state of mobile ecosystems.
I struggle to call the Surface Duo a phone because aside from its cellular connection and dialer apps, it does not act much like one (aside from having a cellular connection and a dialer app to make and receive phone calls). And to be frank, I think most people of my generation and younger don’t care much for the phone aspect of our mobile devices today; we prefer to chat and text much more than talk on the phone, and if we do use voice, it’s usually in one of our many chat apps. More