We weren't able to get too close to Microsoft's new pair of foldables due to Microsoft's reluctance for journalists to get hands on with the prototype devices, but we did get a good look at what they're set to offer when they go on sale in a year's time.

The comparison with Microsoft's decade-old Courier concept is essential - it's fair to say these devices have been in development for a long time and their design has oviously been informed by the decisions of other manufacturers, the demise of Windows Phone and the dominance of Android.

There's an obvious difference between these devices and rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X - while those devices are one screen, these are dual-screen devices like LG's recent forays into screen attachments for phones. Can they make a success of the dual-screen concept at long last? 

Roland Moore-ColyerFirst look Microsoft Surface Neo and Surface Duo image 3

Surface Duo - above - is most interesting, born of a partnership between Microsoft and Google. It has a 8.3-inch display when opened - dual 5.6-inch screens - and runs Android. There's a lot we don't know about this device at the moment, such as which platform it runs on.

Given Microsoft's happiness to talk about Intel in other parts of the presentation, we'd say it runs on a Qualcomm chipset - most likely the upcoming Snapdragon 865. UPDATE: It is currently running on Snapdragon 855 so it'll no doubt be 865 at launch. That most likely means it will be a 5G device. 

Microsoft says the software will be similar to other versions of Android, so it may run Android 11 at launch. 

There's a fingerprint reader, while charging is predictably via USB-C. 

Roland Moore-ColyerFirst look Microsoft Surface Neo and Surface Duo image 2

The Neo is pictured here with its physical keyboard attachment, meaning the screen above it changes to be the 'Wonder Bar' - here showing emojis. You can move the keyboard onto a different part of the display should you wish to, it seems. We guess this means part of the screen can act as a touchpad. 

These are dual 9-inch screens between a 360-degree hinge. Crucially, this devices runs Windows 10X which Microsoft is hoping to get developers involved with. It will be very interesting to see if it can manage to get developer support together when it hasn't really managed this with the Windows Store. 

Both devices will launch in time for Christmas 2020 - we can't wait. 

Photos: Roland Moore-Colyer 

Additional words: Dan Grabham