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Microsoft unveils new dual-screen device


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It's 'techtober' again. Microsoft unveiled a lot of new devices yesterday. A refreshed lineup with Surface Laptop and 2-in-1 with usb-c, a new wireless earbuds and two dual-screen devices. One of them is a tablet (Surface Neo) and another is a phone (Surface Duo). 

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You could use it as a laptop, a book, or a tablet in ways we haven’t exactly seen before. Microsoft isn’t revealing much more about the Surface Neo hardware just yet, but Intel Lakefield processors will power the device. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Asus are all also working on dual-screen or even foldable devices that will also run Windows 10X, so this isn’t just a Microsoft and Surface effort.

Microsoft created Windows 10X in collaboration with its Surface hardware team, though. “So when we first got started on this project, obviously, we didn’t have the hardware to start with,” reveals Carmen Zlateff, engineering lead on Windows 10X, in an interview with The Verge. “So we do all of our prototyping on the Surface Go and Surface Pro... and as soon as the hardware is ready, we started to move that over. We were able to start long before the hardware was actually ready.”

This is a key partnership. We saw a variety of OEMs experiment with wacky Windows devices back in the Windows 8 days and even some dual-screen hardware previously, but none of it has really had deep support within Windows itself. So the results have always been a Frankenstein’s monster combination of software and hardware. This time, the software and hardware will be tightly integrated. For that reason, current Windows 10 devices will not be able to upgrade to Windows 10X, Microsoft says.

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This also has a new version of Windows - Windows 10x. 

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You’ll be able to use Windows 10X devices in a number of ways:

Note-taking: This mode lets you have one full-screen app on each display, where one could be a browser at the top showing some video content, and the other could be a note-taking app that a student is using in class. A pen can be used to take notes or even a separate hardware keyboard.

Mobile presentation: This places content like a PowerPoint deck on the outside of the device, while you can read notes on the inside and control it with a keyboard.

Portable all-in-one: This places the dual-screen device in a book mode where it can stand on a flat surface, and you use a detachable keyboard to work. It’s similar to how you might use a dual-monitor setup at home.

Reading: This mode involves using the device like a book with one or two hands, and the ability to use a stylus for light note-taking.

Laptop: You’ll be able to use a software or hardware keyboard on one display, with the typical content on the primary display up top.

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This is called Surface Neo

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This is Surface Duo. I particularly like this because this is probably the best implementation of dual-screen in smartphone until today. It runs a customised version of Android. 

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These two are available later next year. 

MICROSOFT SURFACE NEO FIRST LOOK: THE FUTURE OF WINDOWS 10X IS DUAL-SCREEN

A FIRST LOOK AT SURFACE DUO, MICROSOFT’S FOLDABLE ANDROID PHONE

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