I think the duo and neo are a mistake


I think it is a mistake to have two devices that look identical just are different sizes – from the same company – that run different operating systems. I think it will be confusing for customers – who are used to buying laptops, phones, tablets, TVs and being able to choice the size and everything else is the same – that one runs android apps and can act like a phone. But the other runs windows apps. And the names. I can never keep straight which is neo and which is duo. Shouldn’t they both but duo as they both have two screens. Duo and Duo max/plus? The value of two screens with a bezel between them aside. (Couldn’t I basically do that now if I wanted to by carrying two smart phones in my pocket. Same thickness in my pocket. Unlike folding phones – you can’t use the whole screen for a bigger experience gaming or video.) they should have decided windows or android and done both with that.

Comments (21)

21 responses to “I think the duo and neo are a mistake”

  1. jlv632


    Absolute mistake. Not to mention that these weren't available the minute Windows 10 Mobile entered EOL... We have all moved on. When Duo comes out... Everyone who rode Windows Mobile into the sunset will be in year 2 of a phone plan.

    The Neo... Just make a Surface Pro X mini later on down the line.

    Don't worry,... After numerous Microsoft Bands, Lumia 950's.... my Money will be spent elsewhere....

  2. anderb

    I don't think either device will be released this year. The impact of the coronavirus in China will give MS the excuse it needs to delay the launch.

  3. gregsedwards

    I get where you're coming from, but I think this is purely a practical decision. Neo is the closest in size, architecture, and performance to the current Surface family of devices, and as such, it runs Windows 10X for maximum desktop app compatibility. Duo is their mobile play, so it makes sense that it should run Android for maximum mobile app availability. Of course, if I had my druthers, then I'd rather see both devices running Windows (and Windows in turn to provide support for running Android apps), but it makes sense to me the way they're doing it. Perhaps in time, we'll see Duo evolve to a point where they can reintroduce a Windows-based OS (or at least an option) to it.

    With regard to the naming, I actually think it's important to note that these are different devices. To me, going with a similar naming scheme would actually be more problematic, because it would imply that these devices are somehow part of the same series or based on the same underlying architecture/software platform. Granted, the Surface Pro X shares a name (sort of) with Intel-based Surface Pro devices, but they all at least run Windows 10.

  4. robincapper

    Surface Duo Phone and Surface Duo Note are the obvious names to me assuming Duo becomes the 'twin screen' sub-brand

  5. PeterC

    Hi Angus. I carry an iPad, moleskin notebook, pen and oneplus 7t around with me. It’s quite a stack. I’m hopeful the Duo will replace my moleskin notebook, pen and oneplus 7t.

    I’m hopeful my iPad and surface pro 5 (2017) will be replaced by the Neo, leaving me with two devices which are extremely portable, configurable, and very easy to travel with. I have access to desktops in numerous locations.

    For me it’s a total no brainier. Devices like these are attractive to users who value portability and mobility in the workplace more than desktop bound people. Some organisations, especially traditional business are dominated by desktops, some are almost exclusively mobile in nature. Of the 170 people I’m around, 30 are desktop based the rest all require mobility, portability and connectivity to Microsoft based systems.

    Thats the Duo and Neo market.

  6. Vladimir Carli

    I have no idea where the duo will be placed, phone, not phone, we shall see. But the Neo, if it will ever ship, might be good for the surface line. It's clear that for any surface to succeed, it should be peculiar and different from anything else. The surface 4 is a pure tablet, it's unique in being a tablet that can be used exactly as a PC and it's the most sold surface device by far. The surface laptop doesn't have anything special, it's expensive and competes with much better laptops made by Lenovo, HP, Dell etc. I wonder how many people would really prefer it over laptops that cost less, have many more ports (including TB3) and flip as tablets. I don't think they sell many,

    The Neo, would be unique and different than other devices made by other manufacturers, so it could actually sell well. The problem is if they will ever ship it or not

  7. codymesh

    "I think it will be confusing for customers"

    I actually think customers are far more clever than techies give them credit for. Differentiation between the two devices can be immediately obvious through the sales channels and marketing

  8. jules_wombat

    These are NOT consumer devices. They are Enterprise and Business use devices, so will be bought by IT department, after some evaluation. They are not developing these devices for you, unless you are responsible for Enterprise IT. So not an issue.

    • Jhambi

      In reply to Jules_Wombat:

      There is no Enterprise or Business phone left after Blackberry bit the dust. Anything bought by the corporate world are also available on store shelves

      • Paul Thurrott

        Right, because such a phone is unnecessary now thanks to more sophisticated mobile device management solutions. You can mix and match personal and work data on a phone and if you leave your company, they can remotely wipe just your work data (it's called Selective Wipe). Etc.
        • waethorn

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          They had this in Blackberry Fusion. It was shown off at press and partner shows before BB10 was even launched (one of which I attended). They even had the BBX prototype on display. It supported iOS and Android MDM in a limited fashion but still offered selective wipe for data. Only the BBX (later to become the Q10) supported separate work and play scenarios at the time. Later on, Android for Work became a thing.

  9. rob_segal

    It may not be as confusing as you think. People will think of Duo as a phone. They understand Android phones. That makes it more marketable. Consumers know about the Google ecosystem. Their expectations and what the device can deliver is clear.

    Microsoft's marketing around Neo will be interesting. If there's going to be any confusion, it will be around this because it runs Windows 10X and if doesn't have all the compatibility of Windows, people may get confused. It was the problem with Windows RT and S Mode. It's called Windows, but doesn't run everything Windows does. That's why I thought Windows 10X name is misguided. I believe Microsoft should have given it a completely new name. A new brand will come with far fewer expectations than something with Windows in its name.

    That being said, both are really niche devices and I expect Microsoft is not expecting both to be hits. They shouldn't expect to sell more Neos and Duos than they do Surface Pros. They are devices that they might be able to sell in enterprise channels. Businesses and partners might purchase them. The feedback Microsoft gets from the small number of Neo users should help them refine and evolve Windows 10X for a possible larger market in the future.

  10. bnyklue

    They're a mistake, but the "mistake" will be used as an excuse to kill off the whole Surface line when they fail.

    • simont

      In reply to bnyklue:

      It may stop Microsoft from getting anywhere near phones again if it fails, however I don't see Microsoft killing the Surface line when it was almost 2 Billion last quarter.

  11. the escalation

    I don't think I'd go as far to call them a mistake, but they do both feel incredibly niche. I think the appeal is very limited unless MS has some brilliant marketing plan ahead of their launch.

    I'm more interested in Windows 10X on a regular 2-in-1 laptop. I continue to use Microsoft software and services, but I don't invest in their hardware at this point.

    • shameermulji

      In reply to the escalation:

      I agree. They are niche. But that's okay. There's room for them to succeed.

      "I'm more interested in Windows 10X on a regular 2-in-1 laptop"

      I'm actually more interested in Win 10X on the Surface Pro X.

  12. ngc224

    Microsoft’s strategy here is not as clueless as it appears. I just wish they were honest about what they’re up to. The amount of deliberate disinformation Microsoft spreads is disappointing. Fans like myself are getting tired of being lied to.


  13. darkgrayknight

    I don't agree. They are not a mistake, and may be actually fairly nice. The multi-screen aspect I find interesting and would love to see Windows 10X on a desktop with multiple monitors. If they focus on making multiple screens more functional for UWP, WPF, Windows Forms, and other application platforms, I would greatly appreciate it.