Microsoft's Surface Neo is only the beginning for dual-screen Windows laptops. A handful of other vendors are also working on dual-screen or foldable-screen devices that could look similar to what Microsoft revealed at its event earlier this week.
Microsoft listed Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo as vendors that will release their own dual-screen devices “soon” after Neo, or no earlier than fall 2020. The four Windows laptop makers were quietly named-dropped in a blog Microsoft posted about Windows 10X, its new operating system built specifically for dual-screen and foldable-screen devices.
"Windows 10X will be available on dual-screen and foldable devices starting in the fall of 2020, in time for the holiday season. The first wave of devices will vary in size, design and specs, and be powered by Intel," Microsoft wrote.
We already knew about Lenovo, which became the first company to unveil a laptop with a foldable display earlier this year. We even got a chance to go hands-on with the unnamed ThinkPad X1 device that's set to go on sale in 2020. Lenovo didn't officially say which operating system the device would run on, but it now seems likely to be Windows 10X.
Asus went all-in on dual-screen laptops this year when it released the ZenBook Pro Duo, a powerful laptop with a primary 15.6-inch, 4K OLED display and a secondary 14-inch, 4K panel on the deck. But that device has a traditional form-factor and runs full Windows 10, so Microsoft might be referring to an unknown Asus device that could be revealed later this year or early next.
We haven't heard anything from the HP and Dell camps about a foldable or dual-screen laptop, but we wouldn't be surprised if the devices were revealed early next year at CES 2020 (or at Computex at the latest).
By listing other vendors, Microsoft is emphasizing that Windows 10X isn't built only for Neo, but an entire ecosystem of devices with exciting new form-factors that the company believes will usher in a new era of computing. As such, Windows 10X won't be an upgrade to Windows 10 for those of us with traditional clamshell or 2-in-1 laptops.
Microsoft says that Windows 10X will support Win32 applications and be able to manage how they impact battery life. We will have a better idea of how successful dual-screen laptops and Windows 10X are when we get a review unit of the Surface Neo (or a similar third-party device) late next year.