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The Surface Duo is dropping tomorrow, but its bigger brother, the Windows 10X-powered Surface Neo, has been kicked into the tall grass many months ago.
In an interview with the Verge, however, Panos Panay insisted the device is merely delayed but was still on the way.
“Neo is delayed,” said Panay. “I wanted the right time to bring that product with the right experience. We believe in that concept and form factor and size. It will be a beautiful complement to Duo with Windows and I’m excited about it. It’s a product that’s near and dear to my heart.”
“The next natural evolution is different [dual-screen] sizes,” Panay continued. “Whether the larger moves into Windows where it’s appropriate to use the Windows codebase and software, and the smaller form factor uses Android, I think you can safely say that’s the right path with what we’re doing right now as a team.”
Panay said he expects other companies to jump on the dual-screen bandwagon also.
“I believe that different sizes will happen, and I actually believe different companies will make different sizes too, and I think they should,” Panay said. “We want dual-screen architecture to be prevalent, we want every app to work on these screens, and we’re fundamentally committed to that. It includes a roadmap of multiple sizes.”
It is widely believed that a dual-screened version of Windows 10X will only arrive in 2022, which has raised questions about the current Surface Neo hardware, particularly the lack of a flexible folding screen.
Steven Bathiche, Microsoft hardware innovation lead, said at this point folding glass was not reliable enough for a Surface device yet.
“I think it’s an exciting era of research, it’s one of the things we’re really on top of,” explains Bathiche. “We know all the physics problems that need to be addressed to deliver the experience that we really want to go after, but for us, not yet.”
Panos did not reveal when the Surface Neo is arriving yet, but you can get a taste of Microsoft’s dual-screen vision by trying a Surface Duo now.