Microsoft is making a phone. Again.
The tech giant, which stopped making phones years ago, is hoping to make a comeback . Like the name suggests, the device has two screen, connected by a hinge that effectively makes the phone a dual-screen device.
“This product brings together the absolute best of Microsoft, and we’re partnering with Google to bring the absolute best of Android in one product,” Microsoft Product Chief Panos Panay said. “This is industry pushing technology.”
The whole thing is a bit of a surprise, considering Microsoft Nokia for . This time, Microsoft says its new innovations, like the dual-screen folding display and special technology it built for the Google Android software that powers it, will help make the difference. We won’t know for sure until it’s released next year.after its troubled purchase of phone giant
Those aren’t the only products Microsoft announced Wednesday. The company also showed off updates to its Surface laptop lines, including , a larger dual-screen laptop powered by a new version of Windows designed to allow apps and keyboards to work more seamlessly with these new devices. It too isn’t being released until next year.
It’s rare for a company to pre-announce new devices so far in advance of their launch, particularly because excited customers may hold off purchasing this year’s new devices while they wait for the ones coming next year.
But for Microsoft, the risk may be worth the reward of surprising the tech industry with new devices and a promise of a different approach to its laptops. Microsoft surprised the tech industry when, in 2012, . Until then, Microsoft had primarily been a software company, with the exception of its Xbox video game console and some phones.
New laptops for this year
The attention on Microsoft may be focused on next year’s new devices, the company also announced new laptops coming this year. They include an update to the Surface Pro line, a new Surface Laptop with new high-performance “Ryzen” graphics chips from AMD. The company also announced an ultra-slim Surface Pro X tablet-laptop hybrid, powered by a custom chip that promises better performance and battery life.
Videos from the event