Surface Neo no longer has an official product page on Microsoft's website, prompting fears that something could be seriously amiss with Microsoft’s dual-screen device as rumors suggest a delay until 2022 – or even the possibility that the hardware could be scrapped or redesigned.
You may recall that Microsoft confirmed that Surface Neo was delayed back in July, and that the product wouldn’t be emerging as originally planned at the end of 2020 (some rumors since indicated that we may see the hardware launch mid-2021). At that time, the ‘Coming Holiday 2020’ blurb was removed from the official Neo site, but now this product page has been entirely taken offline.
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This has sparked worries that Surface Neo could be much further away from release than expected. While previously, we’ve speculated that a worst-case scenario could be a delay until the end of 2021, maybe that’s now looking likely; or could the dual-screen device be even further away than that?
Indeed, Windows Latest, which picked up on this, has spoken to sources who have suggested that 2022 is now the launch timeframe for Surface Neo.
Naturally, some corners of rumorsville are even reading this as a possible sign that Surface Neo might not happen at all, but obviously, we’d take that with a hefty dose of salt. Microsoft has, after all, put a good deal of effort into this project already (although there is a possibility that whatever dual-screen hardware emerges may be different, or even renamed – which would be a kind of cancelation).
Ultimately, this is all theorizing; but certainly the disappearance of the site is not a good sign, and neither is the fact that Microsoft has yanked down all the official Surface Neo teaser videos from YouTube.
Microsoft wouldn’t be drawn to comment, and in a separate report, when asked why the Neo site had been removed, the company told Neowin: “Earlier this year, we announced that we’re pausing development for Surface Neo. We do not have any updates to share at this time.”
Just a month ago, in an interview with The Verge in September, Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, was still using the language that ‘Neo is delayed’, and the subtle change of wording above – that Microsoft is ‘pausing development’ – has a more serious feel to it about the hiccups potentially involved.
If indeed we are looking to 2022 for the Neo launch now, the reality is that the device shown off back in 2019 may need a serious revamp – in terms of the hardware, or maybe even the design as well – to remain relevant anyway.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).