Microsoft CEO shows off Surface Duo, and it's 'darn slick'

(Image credit: Brian Sozzi)

It seems that the Microsoft Surface Duo is solid enough right now to be a daily device — at least for Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. And most probably for many others too.

As implied by this tweet by Brian Sozzi — Editor-at-Large and anchor for Yahoo Finance‘s program The First Trade — Nadella is walking around with his Duo. Sozzi interviewed Nadella this week at Microsoft’s offices in New Jersey and, on an aside, the CEO pulled out the Surface Duo out of his pocket to show it to him. Sozzi says that he was mesmerized — “darn slick device!“ was his verdict.

(Image credit: Brian Sozzi)

The Surface Duo is coming in 2020, and it has the potential for being one of the best phones of the year, so it makes sense that the Microsoft‘s CEO is using it right now on a daily basis. From his presentation at last October’s Microsoft event, we know that the guy is positively enthusiastic about the slender device — it really looks fantastically sleek in this shot — so it’s understandable that he wants to put one of his core projects through its paces before the release.

I’m sure that there are other prototypes going around — for several reasons.

Surface Duo: One last chance to get phones right

First, Microsoft really needs to get this one right. Not only because it will be beating Apple to the punch with a dual-screen device or because the Surface Duo is a huge bet for Microsoft — one of its future core products, as Nadella made clear at the October event. 

The main thing is that this is the third (or fourth, depending on how you count it) time the company is trying to make a phone. Microsoft must nail it because this phone is going to be scrutinized to no end — which is why it’s avoiding calling it a phone.

And precisely because it is a phone beta testing can’t only happen in a lab. You need to test its connectivity capability in as many real-life settings as possible. All companies put phones in the wild in the hands of many people to extensively test them — just try not to take it to a biergarten to get hammered on your birthday.

The Surface Duo's software is already out

We have a pretty good idea of what the Surface Duo is going to be. We even have access to a preview of Microsoft’s new Android launcher right now, which will be the soul of the Duo.

One final reason: if the Xbox Series X is already being tested in the living room of Xbox big boss Phil Spencer — with a Holiday 2020 release date, no less — you can count that the Duo is out being used on a daily basis too.

So yes, my bet is that not only Nadella but other key members of the Microsoft Surface Duo team use it as their primary phone at this point. And Bill Gates probably has one too. Bill, if you are reading this, drop us a line with your impressions. 

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.