With the launch of the Surface Duo, Microsoft has embraced the Android ecosystem in general and Google’s flavour of Android in particular. Anyone familiar with Android devices using Google Mobile Services – arguably the vast majority of Android devices on sale in the US and Europe – will recognise many of the apps.
But the Surface Duo also shows just how much Microsoft has embraced the Android ecosystem itself. Following the loss of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft ensured its presence in the mobile market by bringing its services to iOS and Android through the app economy.
And you can see that in the initial app load out of the Surface Duo, Gogole’s core applications are there, but so are Microsoft’s. Access to Google Mobile Services requires a number of applications to be pre-installed, such as Gmail and YouTube. The team at WindowsLatest have the list of the 20 Google apps that will ship with the Surface Duo.
As for Microsoft’s Android apps? You’ll find 15 of them inside the Duo (assuming you count Office as a single and don’t strip out the likes of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the likes as separate apps).
If you take a closer look at the suite of apps, you’ll see that Microsoft has its own flavour of the mobile mainstays. You have Office and Outlook for individual work; you have Teams to work collaboratively; have OneDrive for cloud storage; OneNote and ToDo for organising information; plus News, Authenticator, Bing, LinkedIn, Swiftkey and more.
And yes, Microsoft is including Solitaire. This is a Microsoft device after all!
Not everyone will use all of these applications, there are alternatives that will be favoured by individual companies; Slack instead of Teams is an obvious one, as is Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word. It’s also worth noting that Edge and Outlook will be set as the dealt web browser and email client in the Surface Duo.
While the Surface Duo may be an Android device, it’s an Android device in Microsoft’s world… a world that is arguably more connected and more usable than any world created by Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.
Now read more about the Surface Duo going head to head with Apple’s iPhone launch…