Microsoft has reportedly canceled a mid-range version of its dual-screen Surface Duo 2 device. A prototype has been briefly on sale on eBay before it found a buyer, and Windows Central confirmed that the now-deleted listing and the pictures of the device were legitimate.
According to Windows Central, this mid-range version of the Surface Duo 2 is codenamed “Cronos” and it was expected to ship later this year. The device would have come with a plastic body with flat displays, and the Glance Bar that Microsoft introduced on the regular Surface Duo 2 is also absent.
Compared to standard Surface Duo 2, this Cronos prototype also had a smaller camera bump with a dual-camera system. Under the hood, the device had an “upper mid-range Qualcomm SoC,” and the rest of the specs are unknown.
“The changes to Cronos were designed to bring the price of this form factor down, though it’s unknown exactly how much Microsoft was planning to sell the device for. I’m told Microsoft canceled Cronos in late 2021 after it decided to focus on the next Surface Duo flagship instead, which is currently scheduled for a late 2023 launch,” Windows Central reported.
In recent years, Microsoft launched more affordable versions of some of its Surface products such as the Surface Go and Surface Laptop Go. It’s possible that Microsoft wanted to do the same for its Surface Duo 2, which launched at a pretty steep $1,499 price last fall. However, maybe the fact that Microsoft is still selling the original Surface Duo would have made this Cronos device redundant.
It’s not the first time that a canceled Surface product leaks. Back in 2014, Microsoft canceled a new “Surface Mini” tablet just a few weeks before it was expected to be announced. The tablet was running Windows RT 8.1, an OS that Microsoft was about to discontinue due to a lack of enthusiasm from both app developers and hardware manufacturers.