One is an interesting nascent curiosity, while the other is an interesting mature functional product. Of course Bill Gates chose the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold over the Microsoft Surface Duo. On Tuesday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 4, complete with a game-changing partnership with Microsoft that seems to put a nail in the coffin of the Surface Duo.
At the same time, it emerged Microsoft founder Bill Gates uses the Galaxy Z Fold 3. In a Reddit AMA this year, Gates seemed to throw some subtle shade at the Surface Duo by not making it his daily driver. Is anyone really surprised, the Surface Duo 2 feels like a half-ready device while the Galaxy Fold handsets are usable right now.
Look, I am a Surface Duo apologist and appreciate what Microsoft is trying to do. At the same time, it is a classic example of Microsoft half-assing a consumer product and then washing their hands of it.
There has been no official hand washing just yet, but Microsoft deepening its partnership with Samsung this week is hardly an encouraging sign for customers waiting for news on a Surface Duo 3.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a powerhouse smartphone that will handle your social media and multitasking without breaking a sweat. It is also a productivity dynamo thanks in part to Microsoft. Samsung has partnered with Redmond on what Microsoft does best. That’s enterprise products by the way and not hardware.
Surface Duo Future
Specifically, the full Office Suite is baked into the new Fold smartphone, including Outlook and Microsoft Teams. Interestingly, Microsoft has worked directly with Samsung to ensure Office apps work on all the various screen configurations on the Z Fold 4. Open, closed, portrait, dual-screen, or massive tablet-like landscape are all supported.
What does this mean for the Surface Duo? This was the smartphone that was supposed to offer this level of flexible productivity. Microsoft has not said it is killing off yet another smartphone series, but the signs are hardly encouraging. Yes, the company has a long-standing partnership with Samsung, but this seems something most substantial.
Unless Microsoft is willing to put the same care and attention into making a Duo 3 with software as excellent as the amazing hardware, what’s the point in making a Duo 3 at all?
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