Surface Neo might not even arrive next year

Microsoft almost seemed to be on the verge of redefining its Surface brand yet again when it revealed the Surface Neo and the Surface Duo dual-screen devices last year. 2020, however, caught everyone unawares and plans had to change drastically. The Android-based Surface Duo launched a bit earlier than the initial late 2020 schedule but the Surface Neo was delayed instead. Now it appears the Windows 10X dual-screen computer could be delayed even further than most presumed, increasing the chances it could be scrapped entirely.

It's really no longer a surprise that the Surface Neo won't be making it this year. Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay himself stated that the device has been delayed and that the first release of Windows 10X will be focusing on traditional single-screen experiences. What the exec never disclosed, however, was the time table for the device's launch.

It was perhaps presumed that the Surface Neo could still make an appearance next year but Windows Latest's sources may have discouraging news. 2021 will be the year Windows 10X debuts, sometimes around Spring, but that's only for "normal" computers. The dual-screen Windows 10X might not come until 2022, which would be the only time a Surface Neo could launch.

On the one hand, that does give Microsoft time to perfect the experience as well as the hardware based on the lessons it learned from the Surface Duo. It needs, for example, to make sure that the Surface Neo will have durable construction and less buggy software out of the box. Microsoft will also need to ensure that the 2022 device won't have 2019 hardware either.

On the other hand, pushing a product's timetable back years further opens opportunities to scrap it altogether. Considering the Surface Neo is practically the spiritual successor of the aborted Microsoft Courier, that possibility could almost be too poignant for some. The fact that Microsoft has removed official product pages and videos for the device doesn't inspire much confidence either.