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.

Microsoft Courier concept (2009)

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.

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6 replies on “Report: Microsoft is working on a dual-screen device code-named “Centaurus””

  1. Every year or so we hear about Microsoft developing some double screen gizmos, and then cancelling them.
    They should concentrate on what they’re good at, like releasing October updates in November, letting Office365 go offline for 2.5 days a year, or launching Surfaces without usb-c.

  2. It looks like a mobile phone case with two mobile phones in it!
    – perhaps I can recycle my old android phone as second screen if I could find that lets me extend the mobile phone screen??

  3. A dual screen folding x86-powered Windows 10 tablet is absolutely something I would use.

    I might be in the minority here, but I would find more use out of it if the screens could be arranged in a double-landscape orientation. It could be a mini workstation.

    1. Sounds good, but I would use the second screen to type words and it would be even better to have tactile feedback…. oh wait, we already have Ultrabooks.

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