If the rumors are correct, the Android-powered Surface Duo might finally be arriving on August 24. Initially slated for “late 2020” and then to July, Microsoft may finally be launching one of two incarnations of the stillborn Microsoft Courier device. For some, however, the phone-like Surface Duo is merely a shadow of that dream, with the Surface Neo and its Windows 10X offering a closer approximation. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to compare and contrast those two this year and, if other whispers are to be believed, not even next year.
Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay already hinted that the Surface Neo would be delayed. Actually, he was more explicit about focusing Windows 10X efforts on single-screen devices, making this new flavor of Microsoft’s operating system less exciting than what it teased last year. That said, no one ever mentioned if the Surface Neo would be officially delayed beyond the “late 2020” announcement back then.
Some say that silence is “yes” and you can’t get more silent than removing any indication that a product is launching at a certain time period. Windows Central noticed that the Surface Neo’s product page now says nothing where it once said “Coming Holiday 2020”. As if to crush hopes further, there were rumors going around last week that we won’t even see the Surface Neo until 2022.
While disappointing, the delay is understandable from a business perspective. At a time like this, Microsoft wants to focus on polishing and improving Windows’ traditional single-screen experience. Given its track record, it definitely needs a lot of polishing in that area.
Unfortunately, that also puts its OEM partners at a disadvantage after teasing their customers with revolutionary new devices of the future. Of course, the likes of ASUS and Lenovo can still push through with their own launch schedules, with or without Windows 10X, but those could also affect how the market will perceive something like the Surface Neo, when and if it does launch.