Microsoft teases new foldable phone and unveils AirPods rival

Several years after Microsoft began retreating from the smartphone market, the company now appears to be trying to break back in.Microsoft teased a ne...

Posted: Oct 2, 2019 3:51 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2019 4:15 PM

Several years after Microsoft began retreating from the smartphone market, the company now appears to be trying to break back in.

Microsoft teased a new phone at its annual Surface press event on Wednesday. The new device, called the Surface Duo, is foldable with two 5.6-inch displays side by side and works with Android.

'You're going to talk about it as a phone, and I get that,' Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, said at the event. 'And you're going to talk about it as a communication device, and it does both those things incredibly well for sure.' But, he added, 'make no mistake, this product is a Surface.'

In an unusual move, however, Microsoft teased the product well before it's expected to hit the market. The Surface Duo will launch in the 2020 holiday season, more than a year from now, according to the company.

Over the years, Microsoft has suffered a number of high-profile hardware missteps, including a massive $7.6 billion writedown of its acquisition of Nokia's handset business.

Conversely, it's thrived recently in large part by focusing not on consumers, but enterprise customers. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the company has made a successful years-long bet on cloud computing, positioning it as one of the two dominant players in this fast-growing market along with Amazon.

But Wednesday's press event highlighted that Microsoft isn't giving up on hardware either, both for consumers -- with multiple new products including the phone -- and business customers.

In addition to the Duo, Microsoft teased a new dual-screen device called the Surface Neo that also won't be available until next holiday season. The device combines two 9-inch screens and folds inward. You can flip it, reverse it and surf Netflix. It's also possible to expand a single app across the two screens or use two apps at the same time.

'Neo is not only the next new Surface, it's the next category,' Panay said.

The product may remind longtime Microsoft watchers of the Courier, a two-screen tablet concept that pre-dated the iPad. Former CEO Steve Ballmer famously killed that device.

Microsoft also took direct aim at Apple with the launch of its new Surface Earbuds, wireless earbuds that are clearly intended as a rival offering to Apple's AirPods. Earbuds will work with some Microsoft Office products, such as allowing you to access your Outlook calendar and email, and boast a full day of battery life, according to the company.

The product will be available later this year for $249, compared to the $199 Apple charges for AirPods with a wireless charging case.

Beyond these products, Microsoft refreshed its hardware lineup with the introduction of the Surface Pro 7, an updated tablet with USB-C and deeper integration with Microsoft Office, and the Surface Pro X, a laptop and tablet hybrid with a new processor, 4K video and an edge-to-edge display.

Microsoft said the Surface Pro X is the first Windows PC to have an integrated AI engine, which will correct a video call and bring the eye gaze up so if you're talking to someone on a call, they appear to be making eye contact.

The tablets start at $749 and $999, respectively.

Microsoft is also expanding its hardware lineup with the Surface Laptop 3, a new laptop that instantly turns on when you open it and comes in an aluminum finish that's the color of 'sandstone.'

Panay said the new laptop is 'three times more powerful' than Apple's MacBook Air. A 13-inch model will start at $999 and a 15-inch model will start at $1,199. Both will be available starting October 22.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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