Microsoft’s foldable ‘Andromeda’ pocket device may never surface

microsoft andromeda foldable surface indefinite hold rendering

The computing world has been buzzing over Microsoft’s unannounced two-screen “Andromeda” project for ages — but multiple sources suggest the project is on hold indefinitely.

“Multiple sources have told me that Microsoft plans to overhaul the software and hardware before releasing the device. At this time, the software and hardware do not create a compelling solution that would move the needle for Microsoft and more importantly the Surface brand which is why when it came to the ‘go, no go’ decision earlier this year, it was not given the green light,” reported well known tech enthusiast Paul Thurrott on Friday. This report expands on an earlier, similar tale from ZDNet, in which Mary Jo Foley cited unnamed sources and said software components and services used by Andromeda would not be included in the next Windows 10 feature release, aka Redstone 5, slated to arrive in October.

The Andromeda components may not arrive in Redstone 6 (or whatever it’s called) either.

Sources claim Microsoft put Andromeda on ice over scheduling and quality. Given the company split up its Windows engineering team to better focus on artificial intelligence and cloud computing, the new Windows team will be building “experiences” based on those platforms. That also means retooling current software and services to take advantage of those platforms.

The problem with Andromeda is that it had no real target audience, and even if it were to hit the market, it would be sold at a price that wouldn’t be attractive to whatever market it does find. It was on a path to become a device “in search of an audience,” thus Microsoft currently sees no compelling reason to launch a dual-screen device.

Another problem with Andromeda is that it reportedly didn’t have a supporting app ecosystem. Given Andromeda would still be based on Windows Core, that means developers would need to re-tool their apps to accommodate a two-screen device or create new apps from scratch. Right now, third-party manufacturers could build a Windows-based Andromeda device, but it wouldn’t include Microsoft’s Andromeda-based software and services.

A recent prototype revealed that Andromeda included telephony components. The two-screen book-style form factor seemingly aimed to transform the smartphone market much like the original Apple phone did in 2007, but apparently, that is not the case at all. Sources said Microsoft never had any intention to enter Andromeda into the smartphone market to compete with Apple and Google.

The latest wave of “leaks” indicated that Andromeda would arrive by the end of the year sporting the Surface brand. In fact, one leaked document said the disruptive “new pocketable Surface device form factor” would provide a personal and versatile computing experience based on “innovative new hardware and software experiences.”

Even more, another leak revealed Andromeda would have five modes depending on how the screens are oriented via the 360-degree hinge: Closed, flat, convex, concave, and full. In a flat position, the two screens would come together as a tablet while convex would be similar to “tent mode” on 2-in-1s. Concave would serve as your typical laptop mode while full mode would see the two screens’ backs touching each other. To put the device to sleep, simply close it by touching the faces together.

What’s interesting about all this Andromeda talk is the sheer amount in 2018 alone. Based on all the leaked information, an official reveal looked promising at the end of 2018 along with new Surface devices and Redstone 5’s launch (likely called November 2018 Update). But given that Microsoft is putting Andromeda on hold indefinitely, someone or some group is apparently trying to save the project, generating hype. Maybe Microsoft itself is “leaking” the information just to evaluate consumer response.

Talk of Andromeda isn’t exactly new. Rumors of the device appeared in 2015 as Microsoft reportedly dumped an earlier phone project to create a “disruptive” device. It would be an entirely new design built by the Surface team and led by Microsoft hardware lead Panos Panay.

Updated on June 15: Added new Thurrott report confirming ZDNet report.

Computing

Dell’s refresh of the XPS 13 2-in-1 series dips its toes into Intel’s Amber Lake

Intel said its “Amber Lake” Y-series processors would arrive later this year. One month later, the Chilean arm of Dell leaked an upcoming 13-inch XPS 2-in-1 device sporting five CPU options, two of which are Amber Lake chips.
Computing

Microsoft's foldable Andromeda device may debut this year. Here's what we know

Microsoft was reportedly working on a pocket-sized clamshell device code-named 'Andromeda' sporting two touchscreens. Meant to disrupt the mobile market, it's now put on hold. Here's everything we know about the Surface Phone.
Mobile

HTC U12 Plus will be the first phone to feature the CryptoKitties mobile app

HTC has released some pretty great flagship phones in the past few years, and it's now aiming to follow up with another one. After plenty of rumors and leaks, the company has finally taken the wraps off of the new HTC U12 Plus.
Home Theater

Need more contrast in your life? Here’s what you need to know about HDR TVs

So what is HDR TV? In a nutshell, it’s the best thing to happen to TV since the arrival of 4K. Here's everything you need to know about the technology, what it can do, and why it’s a must-have.
News

Amazon knows it’s in the doghouse over Prime Day glitch

Amazon's on Fire and not in the way it intended. Mere seconds after Amazon's Prime Day went live at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m.PT, the online mega-retailer crashed and burned. The company is apparently working very hard to restore the site.
Home Theater

Don’t wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Laptop screen extenders and self-healing tents

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Wearables

At least one new Galaxy Watch may upstage the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9

Samsung may introduce a sequel to the Gear S3 smartwatch in 2018, but this time it may have a different name or even multiple versions. Rumors are spreading about a Galaxy Watch coming alongside the Galaxy Note 9.
Mobile

Fuchsia could eventually replace Android, but it's years away from doing so

Details have emerged about a new operating system Google's developers are working on dubbed Fuchsia OS. Here's everything we know about Google's mysterious new operating system so far.
Computing

Microsoft’s pressure-sensitive software keyboard is ripe for dual-screen laptops

Microsoft is working on a new keyboard that will make it easier to type on glass. The software keyboard will be able to recognize pressure and gestures to help speed up your typing, especially when you're entering symbols.
Computing

What is G-Sync? If you’re a gaming fan, you’ll want to know

If you're buying a new computer monitor, you may have noticed the label "G-Sync" in the specifications. It's an important feature in modern gaming monitors that fixes a major issue with the way they sync refresh rates with graphics cards.
Movies & TV

Close that torrent! Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Sling TV, Hulu, or Amazon.
Computing

VR is in a tailspin, and the sales numbers prove it

VR is the future! Except if you look at the data. Sales of the biggest VR headsets, including the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Go, are all declining. What does it mean for the state of VR, and where do we go from here?
Computing

The 2018 MacBook Pro just launched. How does it compare to last year's model?

An all-new MacBook Pro 13-inch has finally arrived, bringing with it Intel's powerful quad-core processor. But should you buy the 2018 model or save some cash and get last year's version instead?
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 could have an in-display fingerprint sensor

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Computing

The launch of the new MacBook Pro has been a complete disaster

Apple has flubbed what should've been a simple processor bump for the MacBook Pro. From issues with pricing and CPU throttling to the keyboard, the MacBook Pro is in an even worse position than before the update.
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts in the process.
Computing

Millions of health records may be at stake in ransomware attack

LabCorps revealed that it was a victim of a data breach, and the FBI confirmed it was notified of a ransomware attack. With millions of health records at stake, it's still unclear what information, if any, the attackers accessed.
Computing

Congressman says we should be banned from mining, using cryptocurrency

Congressman Brad Sherman believes the government should prohibit U.S. citizens from mining and using cryptocurrency. As a medium of exchange, cryptocurrencies facilitate narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.
Computing

Apple quietly confirms 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard ships with anti-debris design

Apple appears to have a permanent fix in place to address the MacBook Pro's sticky key problem when it announced the 2018 refresh. But the fix won't be coming to the company's older notebooks, leaving existing owners out in the cold.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…