Inside Story of How Google & MS created the Surface Duo


The Surface exists because of a meeting last year between MS & Google. An inside story of that meeting and everything that came after

“Long before that meeting in Redmond, Panay and the Surface team decided the Surface Duo couldn’t be a Windows device. It needed Android. Anyone can fork and develop on Android, of course, but for this strange new thing to be great, it needed the Play Store, it needed Google Maps, it needed the millions of apps people expect on the device in their pocket. It also needed a huge amount of development to make apps run on side-by-side screens, both from Google and from app developers. The only way to get developers on board, Microsoft knew, would be to turn the dual-screen shape into a trend bigger than one Microsoft gizmo, so they wanted to give all their work to the broader Android ecosystem.”

“So Panay decided to reach out to Google, and see if the companies might be able to work on this device together. If not? No Duo. “If he’s like, ‘I don’t think I want to do this,’ we wouldn’t make the product,” Panay said. “It was either, we’re doing it together, or we’re not doing it.”

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Inside Story of How Google & MS created the Surface Duo”

  1. garethb

    An interesting perspective. I figured that 'Google helping' was some just one poor guy hidden away in Mountain View trying to keep MS happy - seems not...

  2. kwright62

    I've got one and it is a very nice phone. It is the first phone that I can really use as a computer despite the prior efforts to link phones to full size peripherals. I'm still hopeful that the OS will One day be Windows based or that a launcher that replicates the Windows Phone OS (I know they are out there but not perfect by any means) will be available.

  3. ngc224

    The “Inside Story of How Google & MS created the Surface Duo”?

    Oh please, Microsoft. This is getting just gross. You have a market cap over $1.5 trillion. You can at least be honest.

  4. johnh3

    I have watch plenty of reviews now. A interesting concept. But to be fair not working so good to be honest, not as a Tablet and not as a phone. So im little suprised it went all the way out to stores. Remind me a litte about the Amazon Fire phone, But then it was the 3D feature who was the selling point. Nobody at Amazon think it was useful, but Bezos liked it..

    Maybe its in Amazons and Microsoft business structure that nobodody dare to say no if a weird hardware project not working? Fire phone was Jeff Bezos favourite. And I guess Duo was Panos Panays darling so to speak.

  5. irfaanwahid

    It was disheartening to know Leo is returning his Duo. If a tech enthusiast cannot deal with all the bugs of the device, then it is gona be a tough sell.

  6. ponsaelius

    They needed Google Maps. Microsoft have Bing Maps. Of course, there is no app on Android or IOS for Bing Maps. Is Bing Maps even still being developed? I know the data comes from "Here" however, even in the WindowsPhone days, it never really gave Microsoft's mobile customers a good experience. A good comparison would be with Apple Maps. Apple started disastrously in the mapping space but it has improved year on year.

    I agree. They needed Google Maps.