The Microsoft Handset Curse – Could the Surface Duo 2 change that?

It's been a rough ride for Microsoft handsets

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Good old Microsoft showed us competent personal computer operating systems (mostly) can be great ideas back in the early 90s. Now? They’re a multi-winged giant with their fingers in gaming, software, and hardware industries, to name a few. They’ve also had their fair share of catastrophic failures, we’re looking at your Zune. But one of the more famous Microsoft curses is their luck in the handset market.

In fact, the Windows Phone is considered to be the Zune refresh for 2010, featuring a Zune app that supported Zune pass (A Microsoft attempt at iTunes). From there, the Windows Phone saw two or three iterations, culminating in the Windows 10 phone. Championing its compatibility with Windows 10, Microsoft focused on PC to Handset connectivity. In a recurring theme with Microsoft in the mobile and tablet spaces, they were a step behind the competition.

2014 was seeing the head-to-head competition grow between Android and iOS, with users championing their handsets as stand-alone products with their respective app stores and services. Unfortunately, Microsoft bought out Nokia’s mobile division for roughly $7 billion, which is still cringe-worthy today.

Looking to today’s market, Microsoft is doing much better in the tablet market, positioning surface tablets and multi-functional laptop hybrids. In the mobile department, they stuck two phones together and tried to make them play together. Huawei, Samsung, and other Android OEMs are incorporating foldable and external screens into their designs in an attempt to find the next smartphone trend. Meanwhile, Microsoft is using old tech, poorly optimized software in an attempt to mimic the competition’s family of devices approach.

It’s not mimicking other companies’ success that is the major issue, it’s the fact that Microsoft is knocking out half-baked handsets still. Microsoft’s next Surface event is going ahead on September 22nd, and the Surface Duo 2 is heavily rumored to make its official debut. 

Multiple Geekbench listings have confirmed that Surface Duo 2 will be running the octa-core SnapDragon 888 SoC, which will support 5G. Running Android 11 (click here to learn how to install Android 12), it’s expected to have around 8GB RAM and have 4 x 1.80GHz and 3 x 2.42 cores, with a prime core running at 2.84GHz.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is still going to rock a similar form factor, which hopefully will mean a flexible screen over trying to make two screens work as one device. Although, the rumored fingerprint scanner on its power button sounds like a great idea. Either way, Microsoft will need to make some massive improvements with the Surface Duo 2 in order to redeem its shocking handset history. For all things Android, make sure to visit and bookmark our Android Hub.

Christian 'Reggie' Waits' is a contributor to PC Guide, having written a wide array of how to and buying guide content.