As part of today's conference in New York, Microsoft introduced Windows 10X, as well as two foldable devices with two screens.
Rumors that the company plans to rethink Windows have been circulating the Web for quite some time, this development was called Windows Lite. And so the company introduced us to Windows 10X, a system designed to run on ARM processors. The main difference from the failed Windows RT is compatibility with Win32 applications. That is, the user can run ordinary Windows programs (however, the speed of their work raises some doubts).
Windows 10X has received a new lightweight interface - no more tiles, the Start menu has been significantly redesigned. And this system is specifically designed for use on brand new folding devices with two screens. One of these solutions was also demonstrated at the conference.
Surface Neo is Microsoft's own take on what the perfect Windows 10X PC should look like. The laptop is interesting in the presence of two touch screens with a diagonal of 9 inches. Each of the panels has a thickness of 5.6 mm, when folded, the device most closely resembles a metal Moleskine, weighing 650 grams. Expanding it, the user gets a full 13-inch work surface.
Microsoft did not experiment with flexible screens, Samsung experience shows that this technology is still too raw. Of course, two screens cannot perfectly dock to each other, they will be separated, even if thin, but frames. But everything will be very reliable. Moreover, users are waiting for the high build quality traditional for Microsoft hardware.
Included with the laptop will be a Surface Slim Pen stylus with a magnetic mount, as well as a magnetic Bluetooth keyboard that can be attached to any of the screens. In this case, the information on it will be displayed only on the visible part - you get something like the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro models. In this case, this working area is called the WonderBar.
It is already known that the laptop will be built on an Intel Lakefield processor. It is also reported that Dell, HP, Lenovo and Asus have shown interest in creating such devices.
Microsoft is confident that Surface Neo will find many admirers. The device will be used for quick note taking, mobile presentations, reading books, and just as a very compact laptop. The user can launch one application on each screen or deploy one at once on both. It is also possible that one of the screens will be used exclusively for placing working tools on it.
Folding smartphone was shown at the very end of the conference. Rumors about Microsoft's intention to return to the smartphone market have been circulating for several months. However, few people expected this device to be introduced in 2019.
Visually, Surface Duo differs from Surface Neo only in size - both screens have a diagonal of 5.6 inches. Other technical characteristics have not yet been disclosed, it is also unclear where and what kind of cameras the smartphone will have. However, this is not surprising, given that the launch of the device is scheduled for December 2020 (by the way, Surface Neo should appear at the same time).
As with the Surface Neo, the user can run one app on each screen, or use one of the screens as a keyboard or game controller.
But what's really unusual is that the Surface Duo runs Android. A special edition that looks and feels like Windows 10X. It seems that the failure of Windows Phone was a big disappointment for Microsoft, since it decided to use the operating system from a competitor.
All the rest
More conference attendees were waiting for the Surface Laptop 3 line, which now included a 15-inch model. Laptops have retained a recognizable design, received a USB-C connector. The 13-inch model is based on the 10th generation Intel CPU Core processor, while the 15-inch model received a specially designed Ryzen Surface Edition. The devices are already available for pre-order, for $999 and $1199. Different body colors are available to consumers.
In addition, the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X tablets were shown with 12.3-inch and 13-inch screens, respectively. The first is built on Intel processors, the second - on Qualcomm Snapdragon SQ1, specially developed by order of Microsoft. These novelties will be on sale in the near future at prices from $749 and $999.
Plus, Surface Earbuds wireless headphones were presented, the main difference from Apple AirPods was the presence of a large touch panel for control. They will be on sale this year, but "a little later", at a cost of $249.