Prospective buyers of the Surface Duo might feel some trepidation about the product given Microsoft's past mobile efforts. However, there is a reason for hope when you consider the success of Microsoft's recent Surface hardware and mobile software.
And in a move that should offer further reassurance that Microsoft is committed to this new mobile effort, it has now hired a number of engineers and designers from Movial, a software engineering and design company that has been working with Microsoft to deliver the Surface Duo (via Android Central).
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Microsoft has not acquired Movial in its entirety; the global design services company that specializes in mobile and embedded devices will continue to exist as a standalone entity with a slight refocusing of its business. Rather, Microsoft has brought onboard Movial employees from multiple offices in Romania, Taiwan, and the U.S.
It's a logical move for Microsoft as the company gains considerably more control over its development schedule, and while it has an extensive number of Android developers in-house already working on its well regarded Android apps, the Surface Duo requires a different skillset to maintain a skinned version of Android.
This team will not only be responsible for ensuring that the forthcoming Surface Duo stays updated (a significant task for Android manufacturers), but it will also be working on the follow up to the Surface Duo, which according to Android Central's sources, is already in active development.
With Microsoft not creating its own operating system to support the mobile hardware, the Surface Duo certainly had the feel of a possible one-off device if it didn't find immediate success, but this move from Microsoft suggests that it will have more room to breath and, hopefully, succeed.