Lenovo already sells a dual-screen laptop/tablet hybrid. Asus and HP have dual-screen laptops on the way. And Intel is showing off Twin River and Honeycomb Glacier concept designs that could be used by PC makers for future dual-screen devices.
And Microsoft? It looks like the company may have one too.
According to The Verge’s sources (and confirmed by ZDNet’s), Microsoft held a staff meeting recently where employees got an early look at a new dual-screen device that’s code-named “Centaurus.” It’s said to have been in development for a few years, and we first heard that codename in December.
Centaurus is likely to be more of a laptop or tablet-style device than a smartphone-sized handheld. It won’t fold up and fit in your pocket. And it’ll probably ship with “Windows Lite,” which is expected to be a stripped down version of Windows that will compete with Google’s Chrome OS by offering a simple, secure operating system capable of running on a wide range of hardware.
It’s unclear if or when Centaurus will be released, how much it will cost, or even what you’re supposed to do with it. But this isn’t the first time Microsoft has considered releasing a dual-screen device: the company was said to be developing a pen-enabled dual screen device called Courier a decade ago, but Microsoft pulled the plug on the project in early 2010.
This time things might be different… or they might not be. On the one hand, Microsoft would hardly be the only company to release a dual-screen and/or foldable device in the next year or two. On the other hand, none of those devices have really been around long enough to tell if there’s actually enough consumer demand to help justify the relatively high price tags that tend to come with innovative hardware.