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Microsoft Dual-screen Android Phone On The Anvil

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Microsoft has made a comeback into the smartphone business by partnering with rival Google.

On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a dual-screen smartphone called the Surface Duo, powered by Google's Android software, to be launched for the next year's holiday season. The company also unveiled five new Surface Laptops that will be available this holiday season and a foldable, dual-screen tablet called Surface Neo, to be launched next year.

The Surface Duo has two 5.6-inch screens that swing 360 degrees around a hinge and unfold to make an 8.3 inch display. The device is slim enough to fit into a user's pocket.

The dual-screen capability enables a user to view his inbox on one screen, while responding to a specific email on the other screen. The device can run two different apps at the same time.

Microsoft's launch of a smartphone comes at a time when major companies like Samsung, Apple and Huawei are finding it difficult to convince buyers to upgrade to newer devices. People have stayed away from buying new smartphones due to rising costs and lack of innovation.

Microsoft, which has been dominating the PC industry with its Windows desktop operating system, failed to win in the war of mobile platforms. Google's Android and Apple iOS are the two biggest mobile operating systems in the industry today.

Microsoft started designing software for mobile devices more than two decades ago. The company launched a smartphone with the Windows Phone operating system, but it did not sell as well as the company hoped.

Two years ago, Microsoft discontinued making phones, but now re-entered the smartphone business by launching a device powered by Google's Android software.

To support the Surface Neo foldable, dual-screen tablet, Microsoft announced the introduction of Windows 10X, a new version of Windows 10 designed for a new category of dual-screen PCs.

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