I believe Microsoft is still pursuing its Pocket PC vision with plans to bring a Windows 10X-powered Surface Duo-like device to our pockets in the future. And building developer relationships through Android is key.
In January 2015, I presented an analysis claiming Microsoft would bring an inking focused, telephony-powered pocketable PC to market. I even suggested Microsoft-branded earpieces would be a practical accessory for this device. In 2016 leaks regarding Project Andromeda, a Windows Core OS-powered (or Windows 10X) pocket PC, confirmed this analysis. As information continued to surface, I incorporated those details into my ongoing analysis of Microsoft's Pocket PC mobile strategy.
Microsoft has sought to converge the power of Windows and the broader Microsoft cloud, apps, hardware, and services ecosystem on a pocketable telephony-enabled mobile device for years. Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, and Windows 10 Mobile were all mobile OSes that flirted with Microsoft's mobile vision but failed to bring the "power" of Windows and the synergy of Microsoft's ecosystem to a touch-focused mobile experience. Thus, Microsoft designed the modular, lighter and context-conforming Windows 10X, for duo screen PCS like Surface Neo (a versatile tablet) and partner devices from Dell, HP, and Lenovo coming next year. It was even planned to power the now Android-based Surface Duo (a pocketable device), formerly known as Project Andromeda.
The surprise introduction of the Android-powered Surface Duo at this year's Surface event is a manifestation of Microsoft's work toward a telephony-enabled, Windows 10X-powered pocket PC. After all, Surface Duo was being developed for years - like the Surface Neo, which shares its design - with Windows 10X in mind until a relatively recent shift resulted with Android as the OS of choice. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is meeting users and developers where they are with this "miniature Surface Neo" that runs Android and makes phone calls. And meeting them where they are is key to leading them to the Windows 10X-powered telephony-enabled pocket PC I believe Microsoft also wants them to eventually embrace. And it may coexist with the Android-powered Duo.
Full story from the WindowsCentral blog...