Surface Duo: Microsoft's dual-screen Android phone

Microsoft is getting back in the phone game, but not with a Windows device. The dual-screen Surface Duo will be Microsoft's new Android phone, due out next year.

Foldable future: How Microsoft hopes to define a new hardware category with Surface Neo and Duo ZDNet's Larry Dignan and TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler discuss why Microsoft's Windows-based Surface Neo and Android-based Surface Duo are just a glimpse at the dual-screen, foldable devices that will redefine the laptop, tablet, and phone markets. Read more: https://zd.net/2oEa5Zj

Those crazy Microsoft Android phone rumors were true. Microsoft is making a dual-screen Android device that can be used as a phone called the Surface Duo.

The Surface Duo has two 5.6-inch screens. The device is coming in holiday 2020. Microsoft is using the Snapdragon 855 Arm processor in the device.  Officials are not sharing the expected pricing at this point.

Also: Microsoft Surface event 2019: All the new products announced CNET

Microsoft partnered with Google on the device, according to hardware chief Panos Panay. That means the Google Play Store and possibly other Google services will be on the Duo. Microsoft obviously will be preloading its own Android apps on the devices, as well.

Around the time of Build 2019, I heard a rumor that Microsoft was considering making an Android phone. To say I was incredulous is putting it mildly -- even though Microsoft has been building hundreds of Android apps and partnering with Samsung on its Android Galaxy Note 10 device. (Earlier this year, there also were rumors circulating that Microsoft was considering making a Surface device that would run Android apps.)

Tipsters said that Panay never gave up his dream that Microsoft should make a phone, even though "Andromeda," its Surface-branded phone device, was canceled and Microsoft wrote off the Nokia phone business it purchased. 

Also: Photos: Highlights of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and the Neo TechRepublic

Microsoft has more than 150 apps published by different Microsoft teams in the Google Play Store, with a handful of them having more than 500 million downloads. The company also has been working to bridge the gap between existing Android phones and Windows PCs via the Microsoft Your Phone app

I think Microsoft is going to have to do a lot to win back fans for its phone, given its checkered mobile history. I, myself, am an Android user but I also was a Windows Phone user and am leery of Microsoft as a phone maker.