Foldable devices are all the rage these days. A bunch of major phone makers plan to launch foldable phones with flexible displays in the next year or so. And in the laptop/tablet space, Lenovo already has a line of dual-screen devices, while Intel and Asus showed off prototypes earlier this year.
Now it looks like Microsoft may want to try its hand on a dual screen device. Again.
According to a report from Windows Central, Microsoft is working on a dual-screen, foldable device code-named “Centuarus.”
It’s said to feature an Intel processor and features a customized version of Windows 10 that’s been optimized for dual screen devices. Among other things, that means that not only would apps rotate automatically if you switched from portrait to landscape orientation, but if you fold out the second screen and set up the device like a laptop, the lower screen could turn into a virtual keyboard.
The operating system is said to be based on Windows Core OS, which will support Win32 applications… but only if they’re packaged as Microsoft Store apps. On the one hand, that seems like it will be a key element in ensuring applications work properly on devices with this new form factor. On the other hand, many developers have been reluctant to distribute their apps in the Microsoft Store and apps which are no longer actively developed will likely never become Store apps. A huge list of incompatible apps could slow adoption of this new form factor.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft doesn’t plan to officially unveil the device until the fall of 2019, so there’s plenty of time for plans to change between now and then — and this is hardly the first time Microsoft has toyed with the idea of releasing a dual screen device.
The company is also rumored to be working on a phone-sized dual-screen gadget code-named “Andromeda,” which Windows Central says isn’t going to be ready to launch anytime soon. And it’s been nearly a decade since Microsoft started… and then stopped development of the dual-screen “Courier” tablet.