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Microsoft Windows head Panos Panay says that the decision to ship the Surface Duo smartphone on Android reflects the company's focus on flexibility in reaching customers

Microsoft Windows head Panos Panay says that the decision to ship the Surface Duo smartphone on Android reflects the company's focus on flexibility in reaching customers

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay with the Surface Duo smartphone, which runs on Android.
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press




Microsoft recently released the Surface Duo, a dual-screened smartphone that folds in half like a book, running on Google's Android operating system.




Releasing such a device on an operating system other than Windows would have been unthinkable at Microsoft under former CEO Steve Ballmer.




Microsoft's chief product officer and Windows chief Panos Panay explained the reasoning the decision was to "meet customers where they are."




"As [CEO Satya Nadella] and I sat down and discussed it, it really is about...bringing the Microsoft that you love to different platforms," Panay said in an interview this week at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival.




Are you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (astewart@businessinsider.com).




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


When Microsoft announced its long-awaited smartphone, the Surface Duo, would run on the Android operating system, it marked a major reversal for a company once notorious for prioritizing Windows above all else a?? and that had only a few years ago abandoned the smartphone market entirely. The recently released Surface Duo is a dual-screened smartphone that folds in half like a book, running on Google's Android operating system. Microsoft's chief product officer and Windows head Panos Panay explained the reasoning behind the decision was to "meet customers where they are.""As [CEO Satya Nadella] and I sat down and discussed it, it really is about...bringing the Microsoft that you love to different platforms," Panay said in an interview this week at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival. "I mean, as much as I love Windows...there are times when you are going to step away from your PC."Panay is generally considered the driving force behind Microsoft's line of Surface devices, starting with the release of the original Surface tablet back in 2012. In 2018, he was promoted to chief product officer. Earlier this year, Panay was placed in charge of a new Windows + Devices team in a reorganization that also saw him take overall leadership of the Windows operating system.
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