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

Posted on July 7, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Microsoft Surface with 22 Comments

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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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Microsoft Acquires 60 Employees from Surface Duo OS Partner Movial (Updated)”

  1. chrisrut

    "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...

  2. Awhispersecho

    This pretty much guarantees it will be canceled a year from now. :)

  3. glenn8878

    Nokia 2.0. Microsoft absorbs them and then abandons them.

  4. mrdrwest

    Bring back the tiles.

  5. waethorn

    Just let the Courier concept die.

  6. mikefrommarkham

    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.

  7. Pbike908

    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.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to Pbike908:

      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.

  8. dstrauss

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

  9. ndragonawa_ii

    Could be a defensive play, so no one else buy's em up.

    Here's hoping they don't get wrote-off and laid-off years from now.

  10. nbplopes

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

  11. whistlerpro

    Only their Romanian operations though, it would seem.

  12. peterc

    That took longer than expected! Does that mean there’s been some prolonged internal procrastinations?

    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......

  13. wright_is

    Looks like a pair of older Samsung Galaxy devices, cut square on one side and stuck together...

  14. SvenJ

    Hey Movial, run, it's a trap.

  15. Jorge Garcia

    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.