We’ve been hearing rumors about Microsoft creating a new Surface form factor, dubbed Andromeda, for the last two years. According to rumors and a few patents, the device sits in between a PC and phone, and it’ll feature a dual-display design.
Recently, a new report from The Verge reveals a little more about the device. According to internal documents, Andromeda is expected to be a pocketable device, which you can open like a book for an experience similar to a tablet.
In the document, the company defines the new project as a computing device that Microsoft has been incubating internally, and it’s expected to create a “new and disruptive” device category. “It’s a new pocketable Surface device form factor that brings together innovative new hardware and software experiences to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience,” the internal Microsoft email revealed.
The software giant isn’t giving any official comments on the content of the internal documents obtained by The Verge. However, this new information backs up other reports, including a render concept of Andromeda created by David Breyer last year.
— David Breyer (@D_Breyer) December 18, 2017
Microsoft has been struggling for a long time in the smartphone market, and it’d appear that the company is positioning Andromeda as a different approach to respond to its recent failure with Windows phones on a market dominated by iPhone and Android devices.
However, Andromeda won’t be targeted as a phone, it’ll be leaning more toward a Windows 10 device backed with Microsoft cloud services.
In addition, the report mentions that the company has also been experimenting foldable prototypes that use pen input for a more natural notebook-like experience. Currently, the device is being tested with ARM processors, but it’s unclear if the final product will use Intel or Qualcomm processors.
As always, Microsoft is proceeding with caution to avoid repeating previous failures in mobile. In the past, the company created a note-taking device, dubbed “Surface Mini,” but it was canceled at the eleventh hour. This means that the project Andromeda could follow the same path.
If the device becomes a reality, it’s expected to arrive before the end of 2018, and if everything goes according to plan, other companies (such as Intel, Asus, and Lenovo) will follow releasing similar devices.
Update July 2, 2018: According to a new report from ZDNet, it now appears that Microsoft won’t be releasing its Surface “Andromeda” device in 2018. The new report by Mary Jo Foley claims that sources are now saying that the AndromedaOS (the Windows 10 components for the new form factor) won’t arrive with the upcoming Redstone 5. “This is partially because of scheduling and quality, sources say.” However, there are still chances that we may see this device, but could take another year or more.