Patently Mobile, a non-Apple patent blog, first reported Microsoft for a foldable smartphone in January 2017, four years before the Surface Duo arrived. More about its launch may be found here: 01, 02, and 03 are the first three numbers.
A first display panel #1402 is connected to a second display panel #1404 via a first hinge #1406. The second display panel is connected to a third display panel # 1408 via a second hinge #1410. the third display panel can be rotated so that the three display panels are stacked on top of each other to reduce the overall form factor of the multiple-panel display device.
Device Orientation Sensor (Patent #2)
A second patent application released by the US Patent Office on December 23, 2021, was for Microsoft’s initial Surface Neo device, which was a foldable tablet, for those following the progress of Microsoft’s Surface gadget. The Surface Neo “Orientation Sensor” was the subject of the patent. The keyboard attachment # 404 is shown in a row or 360-degree orientation with regard to component #106 in the Microsoft patent Figure.4A below.
Figure 4B shows the accessory rotated 90 degrees with respect to the Figure 4A Orientation Figure 4E shows the attachment rotated approximately 360 degrees from the orientation of Figure 4E.4a to implementation or zero degrees orientation against the display 402 (2). fig.4f indicates the first closed part on the second part with the accessory inserted in the centre and the maintenance of the first and second part slightly spaced.
The “Surface Neo” was Microsoft’s first foldable tablet, which was supposed to be released in Q4 2020 but was pushed back to Q4 2021. Microsoft chose to put the project on hold because of COVID-19, supplier difficulties, and other considerations.