But one thing Microsoft hasn’t offered to date? A pocket-sized Surface.
Rumor’s have been circulating for years that Microsoft was working on a Surface Phone and/or a dual-screen pocketable Surface. Now The Verge reports that an internal Microsoft document confirms the existence of the device. As previously reported, it’s currently going by the codename “Andromeda” and it’s said to resemble a set of concept images created by David Bryer lat year:
— David Breyer (@D_Breyer) December 18, 2017
Details are still pretty scarce, but according to The Verge, the Andromeda device will have a single flexible display that covers a hinge, allowing you to use the device with a phone-sized display or unfold it to reveal a more tablet-sized screen.
The device will also likely support some sort of digital pen input, allowing you to take handwritten notes, draw pictures, and use a pen to navigate the operating system.
Microsoft is said to be testing ARM-based processors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the company has chosen the final hardware. It’s possible Andromeda could ship with a Qualcomm processor, but it could also ship with an Intel processor — Windows on ARM still seems like a bit of a work in progress at this point, and while there would certainly be advantages to using an ARM processor (including low power consumption, long standby battery life, and integrated 4G LTE support), some Windows applications still work better on devices with x86 chips from Intel or AMD.
There have also been some indications that while Andromeda would ship with Windows 10 rather than Windows 10 Mobile, that it might include the feature necessary to use the device as a phone.
While Andromeda is said to have been under development for about two years, there’s also no guarantee that it will ship. Microsoft has been known to pull the plug on hardware projects in the past.
Microsoft is also hardly the only company working on dual-screen/flexible display gadgets. Samsung, LG, and Huawei are expected to launch smartphones with folding displays in the next year or so. And Intel recently unveiled a reference design for dual display tablets. Lenovo and Asus have both announced plans to launch hardware inspired by Intel’s design.
Oh, and while Microsoft still hasn’t officially confirmed the existence of its Andromeda project, the company’s Panos Panay did put out a tweet today that a lot of people are interpreting as a tease of an upcoming dual-screen/hinge device:
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) June 28, 2018