Microsoft may have pretty much given up on smartphones, but the company continues to crank out new laptops and tablets. And according to a report from Windows Central, it looks like next year Microsoft may introduce a tablet that’s nearly as portable as a phone.
It’s code-named Andromeda, and it’s said to be a tablet that you can fold up and slip into a pocket… you know, like a phone.
In fact, you may even be able to make calls on the device, so it could be a kind of smartphone replacement. But don’t call it a phone, because it’s not expected to work the same way as today’s phones.
Instead, it’s a portable device designed for note-taking using a digital pen and touchscreen display. It’s sort of like a portable digital notebook that runs Windows-powered software including Microsoft’s OneNote app.
Rather than compete with Android or iOS, Microsoft is said to be trying to develop a new category of device aimed at a different niche: folks looking for an upgrade from pen and paper rather than from an iPhone or Android.
It’s unclear of the Andromeda device will ever see the light of day, but it seems to be in keeping with the hardware and software Microsoft has been designing for the last few years. I suspect Microsoft has the expertise to build an interesting product in this space… but what remains to be seen is whether anyone would be interested in buying that kind of device.
Microsoft had previously developed a Surface Mini tablet that was said to put note-taking front and center, but the company scrapped its launch plans for that tablet at the last minute and we only know about it thanks to a series of leaks.
Windows Central says the soonest the Andromeda device would launch (if it launches at all) is 2018.