Surface Duo is perhaps the most confusing hardware product that Microsoft has ever announced. It doesn’t seem to have a clear purpose, there’s no meaningful audience waiting for it, and it’s not even a particularly unique form factor. What is Microsoft’s real motivation in creating Surface Duo? And what does the future hold for a device, that many believe will quickly disappear from the market?
To get started answering these questions, we turn primarily to Panos Panay. And he doesn’t just run Windows and Surface: Panay is now taking credit for having invented Surface Duo in the first place.
Panay told Fast Company that he began “fantasizing” about “a fold-up Surface device” about six years ago. That puts the time frame at 2014, which is the year Microsoft sum...
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