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It takes 2 baby - microsoft surface duo neo

Brown’s Bytes – It Takes Two Baby!

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

14th February 2020

It’s been a big week in the world of Windows…


First up, let’s look at the latest announcements on the Surface Hardware front. Since the original Surface’s launch in 2012, Microsoft has really made inroads into the Enterprise market with the Surface range of devices. The focus on getting the styling right and combining it with Windows OS has proved a big success in the market…

So, any news on the Surface line up is big news these days and has an Apple-esque launch format to match. Worth a watch to see all the news here (although all the talk of “flow” is perhaps a bit much sometimes).

There were a number of iterations to existing lines such as Surface Pro and Surface Laptop. They look good, but that’s not what I’m interested in for today… although they’ve finally cracked where to store the Pen – look for that if nothing else! 

Surface Neo and Duo

The big news was around the new Surface Neo and Surface Duo devices that both have dual screens. I have covered the Duo phone before on here, but it was good to see more meat on the bones of this interesting device.  In particular, I liked the way that the two-screen solution is starting to come to life in people’s hands. At one point, the device was held landscape in two hands with the bottom screen handling keyboard duties whilst the top screen could be fully used for an App – that looked useful!

In an Enterprise context, I do think this device could be particularly interesting. Definitely one to watch with one big caveat for now… we have no idea how much this will cost and the suspicion is that it won’t be cheap. Wait and see!

Now, on to the Surface Neo. In many ways, it’s the big brother to the Surface Duo Phone in much the same way that the iPad is a big brother to an iPhone. I must admit that I like the way the design language carries across the two devices. However, note that underneath the Duo runs Android and the Neo doesn’t (more in a minute).

A two-screen tablet/convertible is another really interesting idea. I particularly like the way that the keyboard integrates in. This device is screaming to be used in the Enterprise (if the price is right).

And a new Windows!

In the background is the news that the Surface Neo will be running a new version of Windows (Windows 10X) which is built for the two-screened device and has now been released as an Emulator for developers to get to grips with.

Windows 10X is going to be of particular interest… Microsoft has tried in the past to cut down the bloat in Windows by releasing cut down versions that cut the cord with all the legacy Win32 Apps (Windows RT anyone?) and failed partly because people still wanted to have the ability to run all the old stuff too.

Windows 10X is in some ways another cut-down Windows, but with a clever trick to keep (most, but not all) legacy Apps working as well (by effectively running them in containers). It’s a neat solution and could potentially allow Windows 10 to finally move on from its Windows NT underpinnings.

All this change may also mean management of these Win10X devices will also be more focused on Modern Management over traditional SCCM/GPO models. I definitely want to get hold of one to look into this… for testing of course!

Win10X is potentially another cul-de-sac, but it just might also be the first signpost to the future Windows for everything else too.

In the meantime, if you want to get your hands on the latest Surface Hardware then get in touch – we’ve got some great deals available and offering a range of purchase models to suit.