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Microsoft says its Surface Duo phone isn’t really a phone — here’s why

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Microsoft doesn’t want you to think of the newly announced Surface Duo as a phone. And the reasons are far from technical. The Surface Duo attaches two 5.6-inch screens around a central hinge. It has a modem to connect to the network and make phone calls. By any definition, Microsoft has made a phone. It even runs Android.

Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, even had difficulty denying that the Surface Duo is a phone. During the launch presentation in New York, he acknowledged that media would probably refer to it that way no matter how he spun it. (Here are 8 things we still don’t know about the Surface Duo.)

“Make no mistake,” Panay said by way of a redirect. “This is a Surface device.”

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo at a pivotal time when interest in devices that can double a phone’s screen size is on the rise. Samsung’s problematic Galaxy Fold shows the promise of an ultralarge screen you can fold up and put in your pocket, but it also revealed the peril of a bendable screen that’s far weaker than glass. With the Surface Duo, Microsoft thinks it can do better than fragile foldable phones.

In the Surface Duo, Microsoft attempts to plant a flag on the best of both worlds, a cellular device that doubles your screen size with two sturdy glass screens.

Microsoft Surface Duo and Surface Neo

Microsoft Surface Neo and Surface Duo: Dual-screen prototypes up close26 PHOTOS

So why can’t a Surface device be a phone, too?

Phone or Surface device, the difference is mainly semantic. Perhaps it exists within Microsoft’s marketing psyche as a way to deflect an awkward explanation for why a company with such a rich history making Windows phone software is now trying to sell an Android phone.

Maybe calling the Duo a “phone” is a way to explain why it doesn’t have a second, external screen like the Galaxy Fold and other prototypes we’ve seen. Or maybe it would be Microsoft uncomfortably admitting defeat after it closed its phone business in 2016 — the Lumia 650 was the last phone to run mobile Windows software. 

“Surface Duo does much more than make phone calls – it’s a dual-screen Surface that fits in your pocket, bringing together the best of Microsoft productivity experiences, Android apps, and Surface hardware design into a single device,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in an email.

Before the iPhone arrived in 2007, Windows Mobile was on the rise, with a 50% US marketshare in Q2 2007, according to NPD Group, and 12% global reach, according to O’Reilly, citing Gartner

At its inception, Windows Mobile software had a sophisticated file system that turned small-screen phones into mini computers that were perfect for on-the-go geeks. But it was Apple’s more intuitive iOS that caught the attention of the masses, with Google’s rapidly maturing Android OS following a year later. 

Despite several overhauls to Window Mobile, Windows Phone and Windows for phones, Microsoft’s mobile software struggled to match the features and apps available in Android and iPhone — even after buying Nokia’s phone business

By 2011, the brand barely registered 2%, while Android soared to capture 53% of the US market and iOS took 29%. Joining the Android current, which just a few years before was barely a blip on the radar, would be a bitter pill for any former competitor to swallow.

Microsoft begs to differ. “We are embracing customers where they are and building on technology they use with benefits only Microsoft can bring,” the spokesperson emailed. “We are building on top of Android, just as we’ve built on top of Chromium in our Edge browser, to give our customers the best of both companies.”

Microsoft may have a checkered mobile past, but its leadership today, helmed by Panay and CEO Satya Nadella, is taking the first necessary step to possibly repair Microsoft’s smartphone reputation. Making any kind of dent is a radical long-shot by any measure.

But by giving the Surface Duo an Android OS and the power to make calls, Microsoft is putting itself back in the conversation — no matter what kind of device you want to call it.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-says-its-surface-duo-phone-isnt-really-a-phone-heres-why/

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Systems

NEW NOKIA LAPTOP SERIES REVEALS BIS CERTIFICATION

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In the past, Nokia had quite a diversified business model, wherein it has manufactured personal and laptop computers, and a mini laptop as well at some point. MikroMikko was a dedicated line of computers manufactured by Nokia’s computer division Nokia Data back in the 1980s, which was sold until 1991. In 2009, Nokia also announced the Nokia Booklet 3G, a mini laptop or a netbook, which used Microsoft Windows 7 as the OS, had 3G support via SIM card, Nokia’s Ovi Maps service, and the company claimed a battery life of up to 12 hours on a single charge. Thereafter, we did not see any such product from Nokia.

Now, it looks like we will again get to see the Nokia brand on a laptop, albeit by a Nokia brand licensee. The new series of Nokia laptops that were certified on November 27 will be launched in India. As per BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification, the laptops will be manufactured by Tongfang Limited in China. The certification mentions at most nine different models of Nokia laptop with model numbers NKi510UL82S, NKi510UL85S, NKi510UL165S, NKi510UL810S, NKi510UL1610S, NKi310UL41S, NKi310UL42S, NKi310UL82S, and NKi310UL85S.

It is a pure guess from my side, but as per the model numbers, the first two characters (NK) probably mean Nokia, the next characters (i5 or i3) probably describe the processor, and the number ’10’ probably means Microsoft Windows 10 as the OS. So if we go as per the model numbers, we might see five Nokia laptops with Intel Core i5 processors, while the other four Nokia laptops with Intel Core i3 processors.

 

Source: https://nokiamob.net/2020/11/29/new-nokia-laptop-series-coming-to-india-reveals-bis-certification/

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Next Galaxy Z Flip to sport 120Hz display and narrower frame says leakster

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Samsung already has two foldable clamshells in its lineup with the Galaxy Z Flip and Z Flip 5G and we’ve been hearing about a successor coming in Q2 of 2021. Now, leakster IceUniverse shared a couple of bits about the upcoming foldable which is referred to as the Galaxy Z Flip3.

IceUniverse Weibo post
IceUniverse Weibo post

According to his intel, the Z Flip3 will sport a 120Hz AMOLED display which would match Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold2 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra flagships. The new Z Flip is also touted to feature a narrower frame which likely means less bezels around the panel.

Next Galaxy Z Flip to sport 120Hz display and narrower frame says leakster

The tipster also mentions a cheaper pricetag though we don’t get specific numbers here. Previous reports on the upcoming Z Flip model suggest it will feature stereo speakers and is expected to launch around March 2021, separate from the Galaxy S21 line. There’s also talk of a Galaxy Z Flip Lite model in the works as Samsung’s most affordable folding phone.

Source: https://www.gsmarena.com/next_galaxy_z_flip_to_sport_120hz_display_and_narrower_frame_says_leakster-news-46438.php

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Systems

Google Zork Chromebook with AMD Ryzen 3 3250C spotted on Google Play Console

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HIGHLIGHTS
  • Google Zork Chromebook specifications have been spotted on Google Play Console
  • Key specs include AMD Ryzen 3 3250C, 4GB RAM, Radeon Vega 3 GPU, and Full HD display
  • There could be another variant with Ryzen 7 3700C processor, as per Geekbench

Google is said to be working on a new Chromebook with the codename ‘Zork’ and it was spotted on the Geekbench platform back in April revealing key information, including the Android operating system version and chipset powering it. Now, the same Google Zork Chromebook has appeared on the Google Play Console, 91mobiles has discovered. The listing reveals more specifications of the notebook and reiterates earlier leaked details. Google Zork Chromebook specs, as per the listing, include the AMD Ryzen 3 3250C paired with 4GB RAM, Radeon Vega 3 GPU, a Full HD display with 1,920 X 1,080 pixels resolution, and 160 screen density.

Google Zork

Though the Google Play Console listing shows the device will run Android 9 OS, we suspect it might run on Chrome OS considering Android devices aren’t powered by AMD processors. The HP Pro Chromebook c645 that was introduced recently comes with the same AMD Ryzen 3 3250C processor, thereby making way for more Chromebooks with AMD processors. The listing also includes a render of the notebook with a sizeable trackpad and a proper keyboard with a matte finish. However, it’s possible the image could be a placeholder for now and may not represent the actual design of Google Zork.

Google Zork Chromebook specifications on Geekbench previously also mentioned a variant with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700C processor variant that has 4 CPU cores and 8 threads. The chipset is paired with Radeon Vega Mobile GFX graphics module and a large 8GB of RAM. Since the Chromebook has started appearing on the web, we suspect the development is inching closer to the final stages and the launch could be around the corner. We hope to learn more information soon. Stick around.

Source: https://www.91mobiles.com/hub/google-zork-chromebook-specifications-on-google-play-console/

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