The dual-screen Surface Duo is slated to be Microsoft's first Android device, but most of the work involved in porting Android was done by a contracted team of developers. Microsoft seems sure of the Duo's success (whenever it is released), as the company has now acquired the external development team, and development on a Surface Duo 2 has begun.
The Surface Duo's Android operating system was being developed by Movial, a software, services, and design engineering company. While Microsoft has not purchased the entire company, it has acquired Movial's offices in Romania, Taiwan, and the United States — similar to how Google purchased the Pixel hardware team from HTC in 2017. The team who was already working on Android for the Duo will now be part of a new division under Microsoft.
Movial provided the following statement to Windows Central:
This transaction involves people in Movial operations in Romania, Taiwan and the United States. Movial will continue operating as an independent company going forward, continuing to provide software engineering and design services. The transaction enables Movial to focus efforts on some key competency areas, such as cyber security. In the short term majority of our remaining staff will be located in Helsinki, Finland but we are also hiring in other locations.
According to Windows Central, Microsoft has also started work on a second-generation Surface Duo, with the same newly-acquired software team. There's still no word on a launch date for the original model, though — Microsoft originally said the Duo would be released at the end of this year, but rumors in February pointed to a summer launch.
- Windows Central