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Samsung will become the first victim of Surface Duo

Dec 29, 2019

At the Surface event on October 2 in New York, Microsoft's product manager Panos Panay transformed himself into a second Steve Jobs. As soon as he unfolded the Surface Neo folding screen PC, Mr. Panay pretended to go backstage and then said: No, this is not the end of the event yet.

"I have been following the leak, and while you (journalists only) did well, you missed one product."

The video is played. Microsoft unveiled an Android smartphone called the Surface Duo. A smartphone has 2 folding screens. A smartphone with Android installed with the Google Play app market, but brings a prompt interface to Windows 10 and a lot of Microsoft Android apps: Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Skype, Xbox and so on.

Direct threats

There was a smartphone giant that was definitely ticklish when watching a video introducing a new Microsoft smartphone.

The first objective is easy to see: Galaxy Fold. Although there is no folding screen connected like the Galaxy Fold, Surface Duo is essentially a display experience by combining two screens into one. : anyone who has used Windows has ever divided the screen into 2 halves vertically. On Duo, Microsoft just needs to recreate that long-standing experience - and at the same time avoid the countless durability issues that Galaxy Fold is facing.

But Microsoft's second goal really gives Samsung a headache: Galaxy Note. For a long time, the Note series has been a symbol of the professional user block with a strong configuration, many handy pen features, large screens and in recent years the ability to "transform" into a desktop. The presentation includes features such as intuitive mail browsing between two screens, the ability to activate Office (PowerPoint) easily and especially the smooth combination of Android applications themselves on two screens. Figure it out, it's not difficult to see which groups Microsoft is targeting.

Apparently, Surface Duo is a product for the traditional Galaxy Note user group - the professional user group. Microsoft even showed off the stylus - even for a brief moment.

The advantage of giants

There are still similarities between Surface Duo and Galaxy Note. For example, Samsung has had many years of developing smartphones. Samsung has its own payment platform. Both Galaxy Note and Galaxy S have DeX mode to transform into a laptop. It's unclear whether Duo has this feature or not, because information about the product (released in late 2020) is still very limited.

However, it is not difficult to realize that any advantage of Samsung can be flattened by Microsoft in a blink of an eye. Despite years "up and down the dog" but Microsoft has never lost the title of "software giant" at all. What Samsung can do with DeX, Microsoft will probably take less than a year to implement. Referring to Microsoft is referring to the world's No. 1 software company, the owner of the operating system that has been the PC world for decades, referring to the developers of many Android and iOS apps ... Samsung has never been considered a software giant.

Microsoft has always been a platform builder, a company aimed at developers and professional users.

Microsoft always has two advantages that Samsung and all the other technology giants can never match. First, if talking about software development experience working for professional users, Microsoft is definitely unmatched: no one can beat Office - let alone SharePoint, Exchange, Visio, BI, Dynamics 365 Next, Microsoft holds a huge number of developers. Microsoft still holds the second largest operating system in the world, and even owns GitHub (source code repository for programmers) and LinkedIn "social network" CV.

Microsoft itself today bluntly proclaims that Duo (and Neo) will not be available until the end of next year but will be revealed from this year so that developers can get used to it. Clearly, Microsoft knows what its greatest strength is - and Microsoft will use that strength to return to the mobile battle, even to continue the dream of invading Android.

Still winning

Samsung is not without a chance to win if it welcomes Microsoft. Regardless of the strengths of the screen or camera technology, Galaxy is at least still the only brand to compete with the iPhone in the premium segment. But indeed, if Microsoft develops hardware well enough (that is, not as damaged as the Galaxy Fold or Surface Pro 4), the Microsoft software alone is more than enough to attract the mass of users who claim to be "Pro" on smartphone.

Microsoft still has the right to expect Microsoft to develop Duo into a platform for other hardware vendors.

In this scenario, Samsung's only hope is Microsoft's attitude. After all, Microsoft has always considered itself a platform company, a software company. The Surface product line was born not to capture the PC market share but to inspire PC manufacturers to revive the technology industry. The same thing is repeated for Duo, in the context of smartphone sales still decreasing year by year and creativity dwindling day by day?
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