Microsoft Acquires 60 Employees from Surface Duo OS Partner Movial (Updated)

UPDATE: Microsoft has not acquired Movial, the firm tells me. Here’s a statement:

“Microsoft recently completed an agreement with Movial to hire employees across several offices as part of the company’s efforts to boost Windows and Android development efforts.”

Sorry for the confusion. Here’s the original post…

Microsoft has acquired the Finnish firm Movial, which had been working with it on the Android OS that will power Surface Duo.

“We are excited to continue to expand Microsoft’s presence in Romania and would like to welcome these new employees of Microsoft Romania,” Microsoft Romania CEO Violeta Luca told SeeNews.

According to this report, 60 of Movial’s employees will join the Microsoft Devices team and will work out of Iasi, Romania at a facility that will be transformed into the software giant’s fourth research and development center in the region.

The report also notes that Movial was founded in 2001 in Helsinki, Finland, and it specializes in “mobile and embedded devices, with expertise in multimedia and communications systems, and capable in OS, driver and application layers.”

The theory here is that Microsoft is bringing its Android OS development efforts completely in-house, which could further suggest that it is serious about the platform and could be planning further Android-based devices.

Surface Duo is expected to launch in the coming weeks and be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6 GB of RAM, and 64/128/256 GB of storage, depending on configuration. But the big news is its dual-display design, which features two identical 5.6-inch AMOLED panels.

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Conversation 23 comments

  • chrisrut

    Premium Member
    07 July, 2020 - 8:37 am

    <p>"Nice looking" is about all one can say for sure… Less sure about the use case. I'm in a "Show me" state of mind…</p>

    • flinchbot

      Premium Member
      07 July, 2020 - 11:13 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#552590">In reply to chrisrut:</a></em></blockquote><p>Well just head to the Microsoft Store upon release to…oh. Wait.</p>

      • lvthunder

        Premium Member
        07 July, 2020 - 1:23 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#552634">In reply to Flinchbot:</a></em></blockquote><p>That's right. It's just an online store instead of a physical one.</p>

  • SvenJ

    Premium Member
    07 July, 2020 - 8:38 am

    <p>Hey Movial, run, it's a trap.</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    07 July, 2020 - 8:56 am

    <p>Looks like a pair of older Samsung Galaxy devices, cut square on one side and stuck together…</p>

  • peterc

    Premium Member
    07 July, 2020 - 9:26 am

    <p>That took longer than expected! Does that mean there’s been some prolonged internal procrastinations?</p><p><br></p><p>Now all they need to do is install the surface duo android OS fork as the “switch to tablet mode” option on the surface pro/go with apps and store etc, and you’ve got a Windows desktop and an Android tablet 2-1 device that would deliver before Apple launch their first A series arm chipped MacOS device. Sorted. ? Right I’m on a roll, what’s next.. ah yes, world peace…. simple…all you need to do is……</p>

    • Pungkuss

      07 July, 2020 - 10:00 am

      <blockquote>Not a fork, they worked with Google to create it. I would love if MS and Google worked more closely together. My computer is windows and my phone is android, make them both work well together.</blockquote><blockquote><a href="#552605"><em>In reply to peterc:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p>

    • SvenJ

      Premium Member
      07 July, 2020 - 10:32 am

      <blockquote><a href="#552605"><em>In reply to peterc:</em></a><em> </em>No thank you. If I want a tablet, it's iPad, then Windows, then Android.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • whistlerpro

    07 July, 2020 - 9:31 am

    <p>Only their Romanian operations though, it would seem.</p>

  • nbplopes

    07 July, 2020 - 9:33 am

    <p>So MS was sub contracting the development of the OS for the Duo? That's commitment.</p>

    • james.h.robinson

      Premium Member
      07 July, 2020 - 11:09 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#552607">In reply to nbplopes:</a></em></blockquote><p>The OS for Duo is Android. It's already developed. And yes, sometimes large companies partner with smaller companies.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      08 July, 2020 - 8:40 am

      It’s not clear. I assume it was more of a partnership thing.

      • nbplopes

        08 July, 2020 - 2:48 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#552767">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Call it a hunch.</p>

  • ndragonawa_ii

    07 July, 2020 - 9:46 am

    <p>Could be a defensive play, so no one else buy's em up.</p><p>Here's hoping they don't get wrote-off and laid-off years from now. </p>

  • dstrauss

    07 July, 2020 - 9:54 am

    <p>I'd be a lot more sure of it if they cut 1/2" off the top and bottom bezels…</p>

  • Pbike908

    07 July, 2020 - 10:32 am

    <p>Microsoft definitely needs to come up with some sort of a plan to better integrate with mobile devices, else Apple is going to eat their lunch with their new ARM Mac's. ARM Mac's integrated with Iphone and Ipad's is a compelling device solution. I could certainly see myself ditching Android and Windows in a couple of years.</p>

    • VancouverNinja

      Premium Member
      07 July, 2020 - 1:47 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#552616">In reply to Pbike908:</a></em></blockquote><p>That's exactly what Microsoft has been working towards for several years now. The Your Phone app is the main solution. Windows will be a better platform for mobile device integration – it will work with Android and iPhones – MacOS will only work with iPhone (only 22% of the smart phone market). I believe it was Microsoft's pressure on Apple that finally got Apple to allow default choice of browsers and email client moving forward; it's pretty much all Microsoft needed to offer the required integration.</p>

  • mikefrommarkham

    07 July, 2020 - 10:52 am

    <p>Hopefully this works out better for all concerned than the Nokia acquisition of a few years ago… But I wouldn't bet on it just yet.</p>

  • waethorn

    07 July, 2020 - 11:57 am

    <p>Just let the Courier concept die.</p>

  • mrdrwest

    07 July, 2020 - 12:05 pm

    <p>Bring back the tiles.</p>

  • glenn8878

    07 July, 2020 - 12:19 pm

    <p>Nokia 2.0. Microsoft absorbs them and then abandons them.</p>

  • Awhispersecho

    Premium Member
    07 July, 2020 - 10:10 pm

    <p>This pretty much guarantees it will be canceled a year from now. 🙂 </p>

  • Jorge Garcia

    08 July, 2020 - 9:20 pm

    <p>OK, so maybe there is hope. There are a lot of routes to get this destination (all of them messy), but at some point Microsoft's efforts and those of Google (Android) must meet/meld in order to combat apple. Personally, I would urgently partner with Samsung (and/or Google) to slap a first-to-boot Dex interface onto a large chunk of the consumer-facing laptops on display at Best Buy, Target, Walmart. Of course Windows/WOA would still be installed as the "second-to-boot" OS for the business professionals who need it. Would that many people be offended by a friendly Boot menu that defaults to your last choice after say, 20 seconds? I am of the belief that most people are perfectly OK with the idea of viewing and updating a business document here and there with only the DeX (android) version of office, if given a large enough display and pointer/trackpad support to work with, if it meant they would have full access to all of their favorite mobile apps at the same time. If a "mobile moonshot" doesn't happen soon, Apple is going to run away with consumers' hearts, minds and wallets. Someone needs to quickly bring non-apple laptops closer to the mobile-ish future that Apple is targeting with iPadOS, and now slowly melding with MacOS. For some reason, I just don't feel like Chromebooks are the right solution. Samsung is the company best poised to make this transition happen IMO, but they've decided to restrict Dex to just the gimmicky mobile-phone feature it currently is. I know I sound like a madman/broken record, but I can't believe Dell, HP, etc. are just sitting back watching this travesty happen. I would be forming a consortium with my rivals to either buy DeX from Samsung or build a replica of it for "our" own use. I'm just a "normal" guy, surrounded by normal people, and absolutely no one uses Windows anymore unless they have run out of computing options or are required to by their place of work.</p>


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