Although official corporate stuff usually does not have this kind of general or summarizing title, I still sum up the current situation like this, as it might just be that next year will be the year when Microsoft takes the place that Apple managed to take almost a decade ago.
This is the place from where you can direct and control the evolution of digital tools as the leader of the market, from where you can show the best ergonomical and UX concepts. Or the one that is purchased the most.
Back in the day, Apple found this place with the iPhone, naturally, to which the road took them through failed products and such extremely important forerunners as the iPod.
An interesting parallel is that Microsoft went through a similar journey in the past couple of years: their first visions about an ambitious future were published in the beginning of the 2010s, and now we can see that all the directions set out on visualization at the time start to form into fascinating products capable of leading the market, which are all preceded by less successful or even unfinished ideas.
So the Surface Duo and the Surface Neo, as well as the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Prop Laptop, the Surface Pro X, the Surface Earbuds and the Surface Pen will arrive in 2020.
The essence of the collection presented here is that everything will be transformed into touchscreen, for sure, the keyboard almost functions as an accessory and that instead of the foldable screens, they prefer the folding together of separate screens, even in the case of telephones.
These are important questions but let me just say that the success of the latter will depend on how the operating system and possibly the applications developed for this new skill will be able to utilize the benefits of the dual screen. Because this is the case, for both Duo and Neo: a notebook like, two-sided device with the sides facing each other, for which they did not even try to supply the screens in one piece, like Samsung did. On the contrary: they think this is how the two screens should be.
All in all, I think so, too. I already thought in the case of Surface Book that they have created something that was needed. It is incomprehensible how Apple tried to get away with the ridiculous Touch Bar, while Microsoft (which is, let’s be honest, looked down) released the Surface Book Pro series, with a detachable touchscreen. Ok, I get it, the MacBook Pro is like a shark in its category, it is ready, it does not need to be reinvented because it’s almost perfect – still, the current situation is that the MacBook only lost some of its appeal with the plug issue and the lack of innovation, while Microsoft debuted with revolutionary, yet functional innovations.
A unique, yet less distinct direction of development manifests in the Earbuds, which give wearing a computer in our ear sense with a bundle of voice and gesture-controlled functions other than phoning and listening to music. The viability of this product is more questionable than that of the “telephone” – however, this is for the users to decide. Hype wasn’t born in Delphi, either.