Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a dual-screen phone, and the company is reportedly now also planning a larger dual-screen computer as well. According to a report from Windows Central, a new foldable Microsoft Surface ‘Centaurus’ device is coming in fall 2019.
The full details on the device are scarce, but Windows Central’s Zac Bowden reports that Microsoft has been working on Centaurus for about a year. Similar to Intel’s prototype projects, it apparently is a dual-screen 2-in-1 form factor whose two displays support tasks like inking, general productivity, and journal-keeping. Reportedly powered by Intel processors, Centaurus also will run classic Windows 32-bit programs ported from the store in Windows Core OS, the rumored revamped modular version of Windows 10. That means that consumers will eventually be able to fold back and enjoy the device like either a tablet, laptop, or book, with the OS being able to visually adapt and switch between each of the modes with ease.
“If Centaurus is being used in a tablet orientation, you can fold it into a laptop position, and the OS will adjust to provide an experience akin to a laptop. This would make one screen a keyboard and trackpad and the other screen a familiar desktop with a taskbar along the bottom, and windowed apps,” explains Zac Bowden.
As for the smaller dual-screen phone dubbed Project Andromeda, Windows Central reports that the project is not dead yet, but is currently on hold. Microsoft is instead prioritizing Centaurus and wants to ensure that developers, laptop makers, and consumers are ready for the new foldable computer. After all, this would be the first new Surface form factor since Microsoft introduced the 2-in-1 back in 2012.
This will not be the only new Surface device coming within the next two years. Last week it was revealed that Microsoft is also planning to release a standalone Surface Studio monitor with modular functionality for 2020.
Obviously, the projects are still under development, so don’t expect fall 2019 to be a solid release date just yet. Instead, consumers looking for a disruptive device might settle for a slightly similar — but also different — folding PC. Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 features a conventional LCD display on the top and an e-ink screen inside, something that is truly unlike any other laptop in the market.
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