During the holiday season, smartphones are a popular choice of gift. However, Microsoft’s new Surface Duo may not fit the Christmas present concept considering it is more business than pleasure. Still, that is not stopping Microsoft promoting its Android dual-screen handset with a new ad campaign.

Featuring USA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, the TV commercial pitches the Surface Duo against the athlete. Microsoft sets a series of challenges for Ohashi and the Duo to perform.

It shows the Surface Duo playing a cat meme videos, drawing with the Surface Pen, and opening, closing, and flipping in its various form guises. The ad does not touch on the Duo’s clear business-centric concept and feature set.

In other words, this seems to be a direct play for Microsoft to drum up more interest amongst normal consumers. Personally, I think the company would be better off going direct and selling the Duo as a pure enterprise device.

Either way, the ad is fun in the kind of cringey way these things tend to be.

Expanding Availability

If you are a customer interested in the Duo this holiday season, you may not have much luck, depending on where you live. Microsoft has still not released the smartphone outside of the United States. We expected U.S. exclusivity at launch, and it seems we must wait until 2021 for a launch in other regions.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said it will make the handset available in other key markets soon:

“We’re pleased to share that in early 2021, we’ll be offering Surface Duo in Canada, United Kingdom, France and Germany. We’re excited to share more information at the beginning of 2021, so stay tuned for more.”

There have also been rumors of a black Surface Duo coming soon. That is something to really get excited about. Those rumors point to a release for the black variant alongside the international roll out.

Back in November, Time Magazine named the Duo one of the best inventions of 2020. It’s hard to disagree, at least from a design and hardware perspective. On the software side, the Duo is more of a mixed bag, hence the lukewarm reviews for the smartphone.

It is clear to see what Microsoft is trying to do and the Duo seems a solid first attempt. The problem is it is a $1,399 first attempt. Running year-old specs hardly helps, and Microsoft has already started updating Duo’s software to improve it.

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