We've seen a lot of patents related to Microsoft's "Andromeda" mobile device over the years, but it now seems that the company could be more interested in a larger, non-pocketable version. This larger device was first mentioned by Brad Sams in his new book chronicling the origins of Microsoft's Surface business, and the existence of this larger dual-screen device has just been confirmed by a second report.
According to Zac Bowden from Windows Central , the larger folding device is codenamed "Centaurus" and is powered by an Intel processor. Just like Andromeda, Centaurus will run Windows Core OS, the new modular version of Windows that will work on dual-screen devices (as well as the next-gen HoloLens and Surface Hub), but the presence of an Intel chip will allow Centaurus
Because of its larger form factor, Centaurus is expected to provide A laptop-like experience with one screen providing a virtual keyboard and trackpad, and another screen providing the Windows 10 desktop we all know and love, with support for windowed apps. Net zoals Sams zei in zijn boek, Windows Central verwacht Microsoft te onthouden Centaurus in de tweede helft van 2019, terwijl het bedrijf niet verandert zijn plannen in de komende maanden.
Evenals Microsoft is reportedly focusing its efforts on a larger dual-screen tablet, this does not mean that the pocketable "Andromeda" device has been put back on a shelf. According to Windows Central, Microsoft is well aware that Microsoft has put Andromeda on hold and is prioritizing the release of Centaurus instead. That's all in the name of ensuring that Andromeda has a successful launch when Microsoft finally decides to re-enter the mobile market. The problem with Andromeda is that when it's being used as a phone, it's too small to take any real advantage of Win32 programs, and there are not enough Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) or Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps in the store for people to warrant buying one as a phone.
As we have seen with Windows Phone, an OS without a strong ecosystem or third-party apps is pretty much dead on arrival, and the same thing could well happen with the first wave or Windows Core OS devices. But interestingly, Microsoft could fill the app gap on Andromeda by resurrecting Project Astoria, the emulation of Android apps on Windows 10 Mobile that ultimately abandoned Microsoft. "I'm told Microsoft is also considering (but has not committed to) the use of Android apps on Andromeda as another way to fill the void of apps when being used as a phone, but that's something I'm still digging into this time, "Bowden wrote.
Now that PCs, tablets and smartphones have matured, it's pretty hard to create innovative form factors powered by new operating systems. Nu har både iOS og Android krysset 1 milliard brukere (noe som Windows 10 har ennå å gjøre), vil Windows Core OS være i stand til å lykkes der Windows Phone failed? That's a very difficult question to answer, but a Windows device that can not run all existing Windows apps may never be able to replace the good ol smarphone / laptop combo.
Further reading: Andromeda, Centaurus, Microsoft, Surface, Windows Core OS