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Microsoft Encourages Devs to Embrace Dual-Screen Ahead of Surface Duo and Neo Launch

Microsoft is encouraging developers to start thinking about dual-screen development, offering more information to early adopters but signaling an extended push in 2020.


New year, new device format. As 2019 wraps up, is encouraging developers to jump on the dual-screen train, highlighting its upcoming Surface Duo and Surface Neo devices.

Announced in October, the ambitious new entries will give developers more screen real-estate but require increased flexibility. While that could be complex, Microsoft is indicating that this won't be half as hard as some may expect.

“Your code is important, and you will not have to start anew on these devices. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for your existing websites and apps to work well on dual-screen devices,” said Kevin Gallo, corporate vice president, Windows Developer Platform.

The will run Windows 10X, a dual-screen optimized variant that has nothing to do with the Surface Pro X. Gallo says devs will able to use ‘existing investments and tools' to craft Web, UWP, and Win32 apps for the device.

Moving to Android

As a smartphone, the Duo will run . Microsoft has made big strides in tying together its ecosystems, but the bulk of dev tools will naturally be 's. However, that's not to say those working outside of Windows will get no help from its creator.

“For native app developers, our goal is to develop a common model layered onto existing platform-specific tools and frameworks for Windows and Android,” said Gallo. “Of course, APIs to access this model will be tailored to the developer platform for each operating system. For example, you can use APIs to enhance your apps to use dual-screen capabilities and features like the 360-degree hinge.”

The team is working on identifying key postures, such as screen positions, that developers can use in their apps. That's likely to extend beyond first-party devices and into OEM efforts. On the web, Microsoft will also work towards standards and APIs. It's asking early adopters to reach out at [email protected] and will share information with the rest early next year.

The general sentiment with dual-screen is that we're yet to see the full capabilities. Desktop users have been taking advantage of multiple screens for some time, but it's always been a very separated experience. Theoretically, will bring a new world where apps intelligently span across screens. All Microsoft needs to do now is get creative developers on board.

Last Updated on April 9, 2020 12:04 pm CEST

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.

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