in dramatic fashion Microsoft announced a variety of rather amazing looking devices today but the larger vision seems somewhat blurred.
Both Nadella talked about future trends and have previously talked about ‘the next bend in the curve’ i.e the next big thing. but they may just have given all that ground to google. Today they announced three key future leaning devices
1 – Surface Pro X – a slimline ARM (snapdragon 8cx) based surface pro likely running windows 10 on ARM
2 – Surface Neo – a intel Lakefield based dual screen journal like tablet that runs windows 10 X
3 – surface Duo – a snapdragon 855 based dual screen phone that runs android.
You can probably see the problem here, in Microsoft future vision there isn’t a consistent hardware platform bet, intel or ARM, there isn’t a consistent app platform bet, win32 app, UWP, android apps. And to add to all that there isn’t a consistent operating system bet now with windows 10, 10x and ANDROID?
So what’s the message here, ‘we don’t really care a creating a cohesive system, as long a we have some Microsoft logos on sh*t who cares’
Don’t get me wrong as usual the hardware is gorgeous, I even buy into the dual screens thing.
But this whole ‘achieve more do more’ thing is bullcrap
The NEO will likely run photoshop faster than the pro x (because of native x86 vs emulation). Nor will the neo run Android apps (seemingly) which are key to a small form factor.
The DUO will never run full fat photoshop, why would you want to run full fat photoshop on a mobile device, I DON’T I want to be able to dock it into a monitor and run a full windows desktop not some neutered android desktop environment.
The pro X will never truly be a ‘pro’ device because any pro\ desktop apps on windows will take 25% performance hit due to emulation.
Then comes the plea for developers, please develop dual screen apps for Microsoft, well hell no, why should we build brand new apps for you if you’re using android and android manufactures will build their own dual screen devices, well just update our existing android apps thanks, windows be damned
Microsoft SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT BACK ANDROID APPS ON WINDOWS! The duo and the neo for that matter, should have been windows 10 X based devices that ran android in some sort of emulated/containerised fashion. Then Microsoft could say the android apps are fall backs to fill any gaps for mobile scenarios (banking apps, social media etc) for PRODCUTIVTY SCENARIOS we have win32 and UWP etc. Dual screens apps should target win32 and UWP NOT android. Why not android ( I don’t have any inherent hatred for android I use a Huawei p20 pro), because it kills the rest of the windows ecosystem!!!!!!! It will make hololens worse, it will make windows 10 x worse, it will make any future consumer-oriented products worse because all developers will run towards the DUO why because developing for duo is also developing for the galaxy fold the huawei mate x.
The only thing I can think of that can fix this is if Microsoft figure out a way (maybe through Xamarin) to merge UWP and android apps such that any hybrid app can run NATIVELY on both android and windows and has all the features of UWP namely it can adapt to any form factor. At the end of the day, the modern apps that windows desperately need’s to stay relevant will NOT be coming less Microsoft forces it by using android apps on windows. I’ll probably still get a duo depending on the price but this is very disheartening that Microsoft has essentially given up.
“The operating system is no longer the most important layer for us,” he says. “What is most important for us is the app model and the experience. How people are going to write apps for Duo and Neo will have a lot more to do with each other than just writing a Windows app or an Android app, because it’s going to be about the Microsoft graph.” Satya Nadella