Thoughts on The Surface Duo

Microsoft released all the information for the upcoming Surface Duo and let people pre-order it.

  • What? No. I’m not buying it. You probably shouldn’t buy it either. Microsoft tends to soar around the third version if they really want to do a thing and never if they don’t.

  • Yes, I owned five Windows Phones. Why are you asking? What are you, a cop?

  • The name is bad. Was Courier so hard? Why is every phone name bad now?1

  • US $1400 is the price of an expensive small computer with two screens. It’s still a new category and they call cost at least this for now. This is probably the best one so far but it’s a very young category.

  • I have no idea if it’s useful as a device by itself. But I do think some of its ideas are very good.

  • The pen! It uses the Surface Slim Pen, which is a good computer pen. This thing might be the OneNote machine of my dreams.

  • The Xbox controller!2 This thing will run Xbox Games Pass games over the internet. This is Microsoft’s plan to leapfrog both the PS5 and the Switch in one shot. It’s crazy but it might work?

  • I’d really like a pen like that for my iPhone please.

  • You can launch two apps and once, sure, but you can also pair” two apps so they’ll both launch at the same time. This is one of those features I’d like on Windows proper.

  • Typing on one screen while the app you’re using is on the other is also cool. This is sort of how tablet mode already works. I wonder how modular the keyboard is.

  • Further keybord question: I’ve got two apps up and running. I want to type in one. Where’s the keyboard pop up? Vertically on one screen? Can you only type with the Duo in your hands like a Nintendo DS?

  • I still have no idea how a human being is supposed to hold it. I guess that’s why the bezels are big. For your dumb human thumbs.

  • Drag and dropping stuff from one screen to another, that’s the whole concept of Courier. It’s the main use case, right? It’s the real reason you want two screens. Why else would you, really?

  • So, let’s say you’re a Microsoft 365 and Xbox Games subscriber. Is this the best device you could get for living like this? Maybe. It’s neat.

  • Like many things Microsoft though, I kind of wish this thing existed ten years ago. It feels like a product form an era that maybe doesn’t exist anymore? Imagine where the Courier would be now if they’d just iterated on it from 2010?

  • Ew, Android.

  1. iPhone 11 Pro Max ain’t much better, ladies.↩︎

  2. The pen is $100+ and the controller is $100+. So there’s that too.↩︎

August 12, 2020