Microsoft acquires Movial developers to work on Android for Surface Duo

Microsoft acquires Movial developers to work on Android for Surface Duo
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

Microsoft has acquired developers from Movial to develop the custom flavour of Android for the Surface Duo.

Surface Duo is an exciting new smartphone/tablet hybrid from Microsoft which requires a custom flavour of Android. The “foldables” category is still emerging and Microsoft is betting on it early to make up for its Windows Phone failures.

Microsoft previously contracted the development of the Android-based OS for the Surface Duo out to third-party development companies, including Movial.

Redmond has now acquired Movial’s operations in the USA, Romania, and Taiwan. The company has created an internal team under the Microsoft Devices division to work on the OS for the foldable project in-house.

Movial’s headquarters is in Finland and will continue to operate as an independent company. According to SeeNews, Movial’s former office in Iasi will become Microsoft Romania’s fourth R&D centre and Redmond will take 60 employees into its fold from that location.

“We are excited to continue to expand Microsoft’s presence in Romania and would like to welcome these new employees of Microsoft Romania,” said Violeta Luca, CEO of Microsoft Romania.

The creation of a dedicated internal team to oversee software updates for the Surface Duo is evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to its new venture.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo is expected to launch later this year packing a Snapdragon 855,  two 5.6-inch AMOLED displays, 6GB RAM, 64/128/256GB storage, and 11MP camera.

When it was first announced, the Surface Duo looked to be a groundbreaking device. However, tech moves fast and it’s already looking somewhat dated compared to existing and upcoming foldable efforts from the likes of Huawei and Samsung. For example, the Surface Duo isn’t expected to support 5G, wireless charging, or NFC… all of which are expected features for any high-end device launch in 2020.

The first Surface Duo sounds like it will be something of a prototype that will hopefully begin to attract third-party developers into helping Microsoft build out its ecosystem. According to Zac Bowden from Windows Central, the Surface Duo 2 is already in development.

Microsoft released a preview toolkit for developers wanting to get started with creating apps for Surface Duo back in January. In May, Microsoft released a guide to using the Flutter SDK to build for the upcoming device.

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