For Microsoft, 2018 could be a big year in mobile — but not phones

Microsoft Surface logo
Microsoft Surface logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

With the demise of Windows on phones, a spotlight has been cast on Microsoft regarding its place in the mobile world. Microsoft has rightly been criticized for flubbing its phone endeavor, putting at risk one of the pillars of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) for its app strategy.

Putting that aside, it is interesting to note that Microsoft has a lot on its plate for 2018 with Windows and 4G LTE. While this is not entirely a plan for phones, it does suggest Microsoft has a new strategy to succeed in the increasingly mobile tech world.

A tale of three PCs with LTE

Surface Pro 5

Surface Pro (2017) is getting an LTE variant that goes on sale soon according to Microsoft. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has no plans for devices in the smartphone category, but that doesn't mean cellular LTE and 4G are not on the plate.

There are three categories Microsoft is playing up this year that involve 4G LTE:

  1. Pro: Surface Pro 4G LTE (and other traditional Windows Pro laptops).
  2. ARM (New): Windows 10 on ARM, a.k.a., Always Connected PCs.
  3. Foldable (New): Microsoft's rumored "Andromeda" dual-screen tablet.

Microsoft is expected to begin pushing Surface Pro 4G LTE in the consumer space very soon. Previously, the Surface Pro 4G LTE was only available in the business arena, but Microsoft will be offering the device to retail for anyone who wants one.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has had an LTE-enabled Surface (see Surface 3), but it is the first Surface Pro with LTE, and that makes a big difference due to the OS and processing power.

The 'cellular PC' revolution begins: Full Windows 10 coming to mobile ARM chips

Microsoft's Always-Connected PC initiative is also a big deal. For the first time, Windows 10 – the full OS – will run on the same processors found in your smartphone. Early reports highlight the instant-on ability (like the iPad) and battery life that lasts weeks instead of a day.

The HP Envy x2 with Windows 10 on ARM tablets launches in March, 2018.

The HP Envy x2 with Windows 10 on ARM tablets launches in March, 2018.

HP should be the first out the gate with its Envy x2 tablet in early March. Marrying the flexibility of Windows 10 with the efficiency of ARM processors, it is a very intriguing option for those who want a PC with an iPad-like experience.

Interestingly, Always-Connected PCs fit nicely in the middle between a full Intel Core "pro" device and what's rumored to be Microsoft's biggest play in mobile: Andromeda.

Andromeda is a rumored folding tablet – small enough to fit in your pocket, but large enough to get more serious work done – and it's expected to also feature Windows Core OS (WCOS). WCOS is full Windows 10 minus all the "bloat" and legacy support from older Win32 systems, which have no place in the truly mobile world. (We do expect Win32 app support via streaming and eventually local virtualization, plus Centennial apps, however).

While Microsoft is expected to be the first with such a form factor, it's not meant to be a one-off creation. Other companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo and more are expected to follow in 2019 with their own twists on this new category of digital journaling. This strategy mirrors the original Surface initiative to jumpstart the 2-in-1 PC category, which is now one of the most popular in the market.

4G LTE – why now?

Perhaps the most interesting question is why this sudden push? Laptops with 3G and 4G modems have been around for years, though they've been mostly reserved for the enterprise space.

A lot of this has to do with converging technologies and shifting job strategies, including:

  • 4G LTE being nearly ubiquitous in significant markets.
  • The rise of embedded-SIM (eSIM) technology.
  • "Pay as you go" carrier data plans.
  • Merging of cellular abilities into Windows 10 (instead of Windows 10 Mobile).
  • Demand from consumers and workers for always-connected PCs.

A decade ago, it was common for workers to have a business laptop and a personal one for home. This sharp dividing-line between home and work has mostly eroded for many people.

So-called Millennials and Generation X people are some of the first to enter a highly flexible, almost nomadic work environment. For them, their jobs are wherever they are now. The companies they work for change every few years. A computing solution that reflects that world is increasingly needed.

Smartphones often supplant this requirement for mobile computing, but those devices grew out of a different world with different desires. While they can do a lot, ultimately many must fall back to a "real" PC or Mac at some point. And while those laptops are getting improved battery life the consistent need for Wi-Fi (or using a cellular hotspot) keep them at a distance from smartphones.

A patent from Microsoft that may resemble 'Andromeda'.

A patent from Microsoft that may resemble 'Andromeda'.

The rise of eSIM tech changes the game. Microsoft is expected to let users purchase data plans right through the Microsoft Store later in 2018. The ability to buy chunks of data like one or four gigabytes at a time, versus subscribing to a monthly data plan, will change how people view and consume data on mobile PCs. You'd just buy what you need, when you need it, with no immediate expiration.

Why Microsoft could very well revive the Courier in 2018

Finally, Microsoft's rumored Andromeda device is expected to blur the worlds of smartphones, PCs, and tablets. The new form factor allegedly can act as a phone, but it is not designed around that modality. Instead, it's a foldable, journal-like PC reminiscent of the original Microsoft Courier concept from 2010 but made for a 4G LTE world (and soon 5G).

A mobile world is here

Surface Logo

Surface Logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

None of this implies that smartphones are going to become unnecessary. But the need to have a more powerful computing option that is also easily mobile, flexible, and gets good battery life is a problem every major tech company is addressing.

Apple has the iPad Pro, which it increasingly positions as a mobile PC and laptop. Google has Chromebooks, as its attempt at a mobile PC, in addition to its Android phones. Microsoft has a three-pronged approach, as outlined here.

None of these strategies (or companies) need to be the winner, but Microsoft certainly seems to have the most comprehensive approach that is slowly coming online. Of course, whether consumers and first-line workers (retail stores, hospitals or manufacturing plant employees) respond to this push remains to be seen, but amidst the chaos of the Windows phone debacle, there is a significant mobile strategy brewing at Microsoft.

For 2018, it should be interesting to see very portable devices that run full Windows 10 hit the consumer market. With three major categories and a concerted push from its hardware partners Microsoft could be in an exciting position. The big question is, as always: Can the company execute properly on a concept that many people currently doubt?

Further reading

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Well, just because Microsoft isn't developing a phone doesn't mean that partners could'nt develop devices with the traditional phone form factor. OS wise everything is there for them to do it. If Andromeda works with Windows on ARM and telephony capabilites I'd guess that a non foldable device would do the same...
  • Sure, that worked out well the last time...
  • The last time a partner developed phones with the same Windows as the other devices? There's the difference now. No separate phone branch of windows. I belive that we would've seen a different development of the Microsoft phones if OneCore had been ready like three years ago. Now the only difference between Windows desktops, laptops, tablets, "foldables" and phones is the physical form factor, not the OS or the application development.
  • Did you read in the text that Andromeda will use Core OS? And on top of that it will have all limitations of Windows for ARM. And unless apps are recompiled (and truth to be told it isn't likely to happen for AutoCAD anytime soon) it will be too powerless for applications for which people actually buy Windows, and they might not be able to run at all. With current retrenchment it will be almost useless at its basic size. It may be good in Continuum thugh one still has to see how well Office works on it. Not to say that it is useless but far from some category killer and far from something that OEMs will jump like crazy. It is more likely that it will be Surface like - they'll wait for Microsoft to actually prove the market and then jump the ship.
  • I sense a failed Kickstarter in the making. It would be tough to justify a device that even MS wouldn't design or build. MS is trying to put some distance between their new device & the W10M debacle, I have to think they would be more than a little hesitant to be associated with yet another iteration of Windows phone, regardless of operating system. I would temper expectations on this unicorn a bit, as it's simply a foldable tablet. They are attempting category creation, the last time they succeeded took about 2-3 years after the 1st generation device was released. Maybe they could accelerate that given what they learned with the surface pro, but who knows. MS is centering the device around pen based input, which the vast majority of people do no regularly use. There is a very large adoption curve to overcome. They'll look at how people use & don't use the device, sink a few more billion in development & hopefully refine the engineering & experience. Nobody gunna make a phone.
  • Agree about phone stuff. Not happening.
    "They are attempting category creation, the last time they succeeded took about 2-3 years after the 1st generation device was released."
    However, Surface Book and Studio were arguably successful on gen 1. Not perfect, but SB2 was not a radical departure, and no one expects Studio 2 be radically overhauled either.
  • Can you please define the success of Studio? How many units were sold, 10? Also, you always talk about how Surface creates new categories. What exactly category did the Studio create, because as far as I know a category is something with wide range of options and followers yet I am eager to find any other OEM doing something even remotely close to Studio, except that one Dell device that noone has ever spotted in the wild. Noone gives a flying crap about Studio, not OEMs OBVIOUSLY, nor users yet this doesn't stop you to call it "success/category creator".. WTH?!?
  • "Dell device that noone has ever spotted in the wild" Uhmmm... why would anyone spot this device out in the wild?  It's a desktop PC.
  • "Can you please define the success of Studio? "
    Not my job to do that. Microsoft has internal data/projections. Whether Studio met those only they know.
    "What exactly category did the Studio create"
    Inking on a 27-inch PC for artists, architects that shifts to a drafting table. Thought that was pretty obvious. If I have to explain that this is going to be a rough comment.
    "I am eager to find any other OEM doing something even remotely close to Studio, except that one Dell device that noone has ever spotted in the wild. "
    Clearly, you hang around the wrong kind of people.
    "Noone gives a flying crap about Studio"
    Was positively reviewed with the exception of the processor/HDD. Even Apple fans gave it praise.
    "yet this doesn't stop you to call it "success/category creator""
    Actually, the fundamentals of the Studio are sound. The issue is the hardware could have been better. But if you need such a PC Studio is one-of-a-kind and works well. The issue is, you're confusing it with something that everyone needs, which clearly is not the case.
  • If you work in publishing or design, you are either using this device or drooling over it...there is nothing like it out in the market..
  • I work with plenty of design companies around the world, and can confirm no single designer (most of them really professionals in their field) knows sh*t about Surface Studio or care even a little bit.
  • Surface Book and Studio are not really new device catagories.  One is a laptop and the other is an "all in one".   Surface was the first a new catagory as a true attempt at a hybrid latop/tablet.  Surface Book and Studio just extended that design language and added features to existing and well estabolished categories.   The engineering is greate on those devices, but it's  not asking people to fundamentally change how they approach and use the device. To me that is a real "category creation"
  • Exactly what I was going to say. The Book's gimmick is that the screen can detach, but other than that it's a laptop with a funky hinge. The Studio is an AIO, well designed, but nothing revolutionary. Both of those products were evolutions of prior designs, AFAIK no one has made a successful folding, dual screen tablet geared toward pen/stylus based input.
  • "The Book's gimmick is that the screen can detach, but other than that it's a laptop with a funky hinge. "
    It's a helluva gimmick. The put an entire PC behind the display and used muscle wire for the latch. All firsts for PC.
    "The Studio is an AIO, well designed, but nothing revolutionary."
    By that metric Surface Pro was just a crappy PC with bad battery life and a floppy keyboard. I think you're confusing revolutionary with new category creation. Not every new category is a "revolution" it's EVOLUTION.
  • " It's a helluva gimmick. " Yawn, no it isn't.
  • Yawn, yes it is.  Because you see, opinions vary.  
  • Sure, I guess we just look at the evolution/revolution thing differently, but I get your point. Also, the Book's gimmick is very cool & crazy awesome engineering- but it seems like a one-off product, copycats/imitators/better versions from OEMs have not been forthcoming. Studio is an exceptionally niche product. These products seem a bit lonely in their respective categories. All that aside: With this new device I have a few different viewpoints, some of which are conflicting. I was pretty pessimistic about the potential new design, but your column the other week I thought made an outstanding point that hasn't seemed to resonate on the forums here. That the uses for such a device aren't readily apparent because no one has used a similar device before- form factor & software might produce new ways of interacting or using the technology & its not easy to conceptualize what those uses could be. At least that was the gist of it to me (so the OP's comment about putting windows on phones yet again just gets the eyes a-rolling). Can MS pull off some amazing feat of innovation? In the mobile space... Ehhh... Maaaybe...? They have billions to burn if they so choose, & honestly nothing to really lose (their reputation in mobile lol), but my expectations remain sufficiently tempered.
  • This approach is thoroughly insane - it was bad enough for Jobs to foist the tablet at us between the laptop/desktop and a phone. Now we'll have a folding device that IS a phone, but not call it a phone, and try to treat it as a tablet wannabe? So now we can have FOUR devices instead of THREE (or TWO). Just call it what it is - a phone competitor to the Galaxy Note 8, and go with it. It really could be the perfect two device solution - phablet and laptop/desktop. Just because MS screwed up the Nokia deal (and lost its shirt in the phone market) doesn't mean it shouldn't be honest and try again.
  • A more transportable tablet? A tablet that'll double as a smartphone for those with little app-need? A tablet that could serve as a smartphone AND a pc with an external display? I see those three use-cases for consumers. As for enterprise, you can add a variety of specific functionalities; as an architect I could use this for lots of things in the field, where a smartphone would be too small, a Surface Pro too big and a tablet just an extra piece of hardware to lug around...
  • You guys still have major problems understanding the technical underpinnings of the OS.
    WCOS is full Windows 10 minus all the "bloat" and legacy support from older Win32 systems, which have no place in the truly mobile world. (We do expect Win32 app support via streaming and eventually local virtualization, plus Centennial apps, however)
    This is completely contradictory. If centennial apps are supported, then the "bloat" and legacy support MUST still be there! It's one or the other. If an app doesn't require Win32, then there is NO point using centennial! Only if an app does depend on Win32, is centennial required to distribute it through the store.
  • Why are you here?
  • To keep tabs on the slow, inexorable death of Windows. (Not that slow, actually.)
  • Sounds like your life needs less pathetic in it.
  • Yes,  it does...So,  Please leave Rodeny,  thank!
  • Bub78 it kind of did with Nokia but then the devices just stopped and the os was dropped.
  • I guess MSFT has this categorization all wrong. I don't think Windows 10 on phones are dead but Windows Core OS that caters Foldable and whole new form factors to come would be just an another upgraded venture at mobile in a constantly evolving world of technology. I hope this one stays.
  • It's it possible to see this foldable device at the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019?
  • We are hearing 2018.
  • Dan I sure hope that the Windows 10 Andromeda 2 screen foldable device does indeed come out especialy because it will be the only Microsoft device with a built in 4G cell phone.  I hope Verizon will carrt the Andrmeda device or at least let Microsoft sell it and Verizon  Activate it like They did with The Verizon version of HP Elite X3 Smart phone.  I am going to buy an 8 inch Windows 10 mini Tablet and use it around the house in the yard and porch through my Wifi. I wish this 8 inch Windows 10 tablet had a built in Cell phone. I am not the only Person who wants a 7 ot 8 inch single screen Windows 10 Mini Tablet with a built in Celll phone. Such a device has a bigger screen and with a blue tooth headset and small shoulder bag it wont be a hassle to send and recieve voice calls or carry around.    
  • We'll just have to wait, and see.... A new season is coming, and times are changing... Nobody stays on top forever, and those on the bottom tend to rise... Look at the NFL.......................
    Look at the auto industry.
  • Are you suggesting a Surface Scribe Developer’s Edition, spring 2018?
  • 😏😏😏
  • I'm suggesting that MS make at least 3-4 different Andromeda form factors in the next 2-3 years.
    Andromeda for Artist
    Andromeda for Productivity
    Andromeda for the Technician
    Andromeda for the Photographer
    Andromeda for Industry
    Andromeda for Education
  • JESUS NO TEK COP.  Don't start on that stoopid name thing again!  Just when it has died down you send rodney on another 5 week tyrade about the stupid scribe name again!
  • I hope so too. Based on the past efforts and developments, MSFT should have learnt something.
  • You would hope!
  • Andromeda has great potentials but it must have adequate phone features.  Otherwise, it would confine itself to a small niche market.  The Samsung Galaxy X would be the future folding mobile device to beat.  
  • We don’t know what the Galaxy X is, though consistent rumours suggest it’s basically a very tall phone that folds in half.
  • and unfortunately will run Android 😉
  • While the final folding design for the Galaxy X is not quite clear at this point, but it would be a fully featured foldable phone.  Since MS deliberately avoids calling Andromeda a smartphone, that makes you wonder whether Andromeda can actually be used as a phone with enough phone features.  If not, Andromeda would be a hard sell for me.  Galaxy X would be my backup choice.  I certainly don't want to carry two devices in my pockets.
  • I don't need another phone. My watch is my phone now.
  • As opposed to the not so tall tablet that will fold in half.   
  • Of all features, the phone part of smartphone is the function I use the least. Having a cell number is needed for some apps like Whatsapp, Uber, etc. It should be easy. There is a reason they kept W10M around, just to have the telephony stack to experiment with.
  • At least Microsoft's timing is good.  Hopefully, they are focused, committed, and patient enough to follow through.  The mobile device market has been commoditized so the window (pun intended) is open for something new and exciting.  
  • I think you hit the nail on the head, the key is focus, commitment, and followthrough.  A folding tablet (Andromeda) with LTE and GPS would be a great move on MS part.  But they need to assure their base - their fanbase, and particularly their developer base - that they are fully committed to this product.  There is nothing more dubious to a developer than a lack of commitment.  After putting your blood, sweat, and tears into an app it becomes your baby, and frankly you want some assurance that the device your baby runs on is going to be around for a while.  
  • Not possible. Anyone can say committed today, but no company will/can say we are committed regardless of what happens. $hareholders are who they report to.
  • "I think you hit the nail on the head, the key is focus, commitment, and followthrough. "
    They do need to earn that, but you also can't earn that if you don't actually release something.
  • Hmm, there is a weird dynamic developing around the Microsoft victim-base (the response of previous fans is now more like a victim response, I'm not being sarky here, this is what I have observed and am experiencing). We expect MS to bail on us, to lie to us, to fail to support us from the start and to ignore our feedback. MS themselves have assured us that future mobile devices will be for enterprise and that consumers should expect the cold shoulder. And yet, in the sure and certain knowledge that they will be treated like dirt, MS victims are keen to take on such devices so long as they are flexible enough that we can bend them to our needs despite MS and the pervasive evil of Ol' Nads. This is very interesting. This is why Windows on PC has worked so well, it is an OS that does not require MS to keep it supported to work well. The OS is not locked down so tight that anything beyond an app in a sand box is kept away from users. From delving into the registry, to custom drivers, to wiping the system completely and installing any OS desired, to writing and running pure machine code, the PC is ultimately under the full control of the end user whatever Ol' Nads decides to do. Windows Phones, of course, are locked down hard and are reliant on MS support to remain useful. If MS can make this device something that can be as flexible and open as a PC and not as tied down and dependent as the old smart phone paradigm then the Microsoft victim-base will be able to use it in many creative ways that MS can't even imagine, and it will flourish despite them as we cam support it ourselves. That will mark the not-Phones out as a new type of device that will be able to change the way we use technology. If not, if it is to follow the tied down old style smart phone paradigm, then it'll just be the same old story. I believe this will be a true PC in my pocket and not just another smart phone app platform. I think this is the way to avoid the need for trust in Microsoft. I trust myself. I trust the community. If MS can show they trust me and the community and give us the tools to do with the not-Phones as we will then I may even start to trust MS in return. If they want to remain in control, if they fail to show trust and lock users out and keep us reliant on the whim of Ol' Nads, we all know where this will end. Bitterly. This is the chance to turn the corner and I hope that MS will take it. Despite the massive drag factor that is Ol' Nads.
  • This is why I really hope PWA is successfull.  If Microsoft pulls the plug, the developer has not lost all of their work.
  • PWA is only going to cover the simplest of apps, stuff that a website could do. It will be quite a while before they replace native apps.
  • Something is better than nothing. Not all (popular) apps need to be native. And it has already been explained that PWA doesn't get rid of the need of native apps. Like you said some apps need more features or power so they'll remain native built, but PWA should be become more advanced as it grows.
  • Why not move to a supported system?   makes life much easier and better.  Instead of HOPING for PWA and half assed support again.
  • It's predicted according to Gartner that 50% of native Mobile apps will be replaced by PWA. Lets be honest no company wants to pay dedicated native developers, they'll rather use the web. PWA is exactly that.  I don't think you realise but a vast majority of Mobile apps are simple apps, not complex apps. It'll impact native IOS and Android development than Windows 10 development. 
  • Hopefully they update edge on mobile because of the pdf bug right now. Hopefully that will be the edge including pwa support. Like to see what happens...
  • The PDF bug in Edge for Windows Mobile was the last issue I encountered on my 950XL that made me purchase an Android phone this Tuesday.  I used my DualSim 950XL phone for work in two countries.  I receive pdf documents several times a day. I could no longer tolerate this bug. My Android cel phone purchase was done in haste out of necessity, so I didn't purchase the phone that I wanted, but rather the one I could get quickly here in Mexico. That said, the inexpensive Huawei Mate 10 Lite that I purchased is a very good piece of stock.... 2160x1080 5.9" screen, 4GB of Ram, 64GB of Storage, Android 7 (yeah... I hope Oreo support is coming soon). It even allowed me to clone WhatsApp, so that I have seperate WhatsApp instances available for my US number and my MX numbers. And of course, I installed MS Outlook and configured all of my Email accounts. in fact I'm an Office365 subscriber, so the Android phone got all of the participating apps. Basically, my 950XL is now only used to accept phone calls and text on my US number... So I will find a cheap phone and move the sim and eliminate this 950XL. Why, becuase everything else has moved to Android.... because basically, Microsoft can't commit to fix the PDF bug in my Windows Cel phone... My wife is having the same issues and is looking to do an Android phone as well.  I've found the Mate 10 Lite Unlocked with Dual Sim variants for the same price that I purchased the Single Sim variant... so I will probably purchase one of those for me.... and then pass my Single Sim version over to my Wife... (it's helpful to have a similar device as my wife for 'in house' tech support... lol) Crazy... but there is absolutely no Windows Mobile alternative available and I won't drag a large tablet, laptop or desktop around with me to handle tasks that the rest of the world accomplishes with their iPhone and Android Mobil Phones.... I don't care how 'Always Connected' Windows is in Tablet Form, Desktop Form or Laptop Form.... I'm not sliding one of those in my pocket..... And I don't think I'm willing to spend the estimated $1200usd that this Adromeda device might carry in order to slide 'Something Windows' into my pants pocket... Congradulations Microsoft... in the last 3 months my wife and I have kicked to the curb Two Asus 2 in 1 Tablets and now 1 950XL phone (another 950XL will be retired shortly).... None of these devices were more than 16 months old..... And Android is replacing all of them... That said... I prefered WIndows 10 Mobile... but the bugs and broken stuff are too much to endure..... and the lack of commitment to fix them.... I don't need to repeat myself...
  • I think this is going to become more and more common.  People think of Android as mobile, not MS.  Also, why wouldn't you stick with  the same ecosystem?  Want something always connected, like a Chromebook....get a Chromebook.  For most office workers - Google has a suite of productivity tools - that will do.   I am waiting for Google to announce Android on Intel....the opposite of MS Mobile is life now.  And the Phone is the common tool (I was always hoping Continuum would get some traction.....but nope...But if Apple released it - it would have flown)
  • With this recent PDF/Edge issue I merely went to the MS APP STORE and downloaded a free PDF reader app as a temporary solution until MS fixes Edge.
  • Yeah, but that doesn't sound as dramatic as ditching your phone and then whining to a bunch of people on the internet
  • We need the drama to keep the hit counts going.
  • Well said...exactly how I feel and my experience mirrors yours...
  • OdwyerPW,  welcome to the reality of NOT SUPPORTED ANYMORE.  Enjoy the mate10.  it's a great phone.
  • If as you say Andromeda runs Core OS without Win32 capabilities then it's dead from the start for me.  Always wanted a portable device which would turn into a full PC when needed, if it doesn't even emulate Win32 then forget about it... If I can't install my legacy app in an emulator by double-clicking a "setup.exe" file then forget it.
  • "If as you say Andromeda runs Core OS without Win32 capabilities then it's dead from the start for me."
    I suggest you watch the video embedded here. Andromeda will have Win32 app support via app streaming, and then later, local virtualization (or some combo therein). The point is, they're NOT making a clean break with Win32. What is being removed is old, legacy nonsense like Fax Machine, and Win32 layers not neeed for Centennial/streaming/virtualization of Win32.
  • You are highly non-sensical with these messages. Lets look at streaming, who is gonna offer streaming services? Or are you just talking about remote desktop connection with you local x86 machine? Second Virtualization. How can (local) virtualization help you to run Win32 programs? For Win32 programs you just need the proper Win32 dlls, there is no virtualization involved nor can any type of virtualization help you to overcome the missing dll issues. So this virtualization talk is non-sense. Aside from this, if you have support for Centennial you need to have support for Win32 as Centennial apps are just Win32 apps wrapped into an UWP container. In fact Centennial apps do _NOT_ have any API if the plan is to support Centennial you need to support uncompromised Win32.
  • I have no idea why people love win32 application so much.  It is the reason you windows PC runs slowly in getting viruses all the time.
  • Every week there's a new story about Microsoft coming with something mobile, something something Surface Phone, something something Andromeda. Well after all this time we are seeing zero actual activity. I'll be damned if this fabled Andromeda will ever see the light of day and if it does it'll be so niche about 3 people on here will buy one. WC is so needlessly obsessed with mobile-centric news. I've got news for you, Microsoft is barely interested in mobile right now.
  • Well they *are* working on a mobile device, so your claim of them not being interested is wrong. It's not a phone per se, but it's still a mobile device. And to be honest, trying to create a new device category in the mobile space involves a lot of interest.
  • " I've got news for you, Microsoft is barely interested in mobile right now."
    Sorry, we're the ones that tell you the news ;) And you're wrong. And we've given planned ETAs on Andromeda, which was NOT 2017, not CES, not MWC and likely late 2018 with RS5.
    "We are seeing zero actual activity"
    What is this "we"? You haven't seen what we have seen. You haven't done the research/reporting we have. You aren't operating on the same level of knowledge that Zac and I have on this topic. We stand by our reporting 100 percent (which is why we repeat it). I realize that sounds supremely pretentious, but we have literally seen things that we have not shared/reported on yet. If you saw them too, you would be at least a little excited.
    "Andromeda will ever see the light of day and if it does it'll be so niche about 3 people on here will buy one."
    Considering how little you know about it, I can't say I would be so bold to make a prediction like that. That' some hubris. Even I'm not sure about how useful/neat it would be. But I get it, Lee. Everyone on the internet has an opinion, no matter how uninformed it may be. Even putting aside Andromeda, the points here still stand about Surface Pro and W10onA.
  • The good news is that Microsoft has set the expectations bar so low, that literally no one believes they make anything successful smaller than 2n1.  The bad news is that it appears most people either (a) care about Microsoft and don't believe in them anymore, or (b) don't care about Microsoft at all.  You're 100% right that you have more insights on the Andromeda, and other devices that may be cooking.  However, it's not about the device, the OS, or any App Gap anymore.  People don't believe in the current leadership, their vision and commitment, and/or are happy on other ecosystems now.  Plus, they know Google, and their army of partners, can copy anything Microsoft does in a year or two, so... 
  • The issue here is I see a lot of "people don't believe..." without actually any data/evidence for this. I get Windows Phone users feel this way, but being that group was always small, I can't see it having much of an impact. Most normal people didn't know WP was still a thing even in 2016 let alone 2017. Consumers, in a way, are easy. You build a good, interesting, product, they will buy it. Over the last decade, I have seen many companies on top fail, and many who failed who are now on top. I don't subscribe to this "believe" thing as strongly, or rather, think its impact is a lot less than some articulate. Regardless, I also don't care. Microsoft is going to build stuff, make new hardware, continue Windows 10. I'd rather report on that and see how the market responds than simply guess in comments based on hunches, or living in an online tech bubble. I mean, exactly what are you arguing for? Assuming this "bad will" thing is spot on, so do what? Should Microsoft not try to innovate? Not try Andromeda? That's the plan you want? Make an Android phone? Or is it just fire Nadella...and then what? I get you're against Microsoft and where they are, but what are you for and want them to do? Because not making new hardware and not trying to innovate seem like terrible ideas to me.
  • Sorry, I do not see how putting Windows on another phone-esque form is innovating, it is the exact opposite of innovating. It is more of the same crap that failed every time they have attempted it. Their not-phone needs to be running not-Windows or else it will be a not-success. Windows is a fine brand for traditional PCs, it is a very poor brand for anything else.
  • Then why are you here?
  • 'Cause Microsoft. Why are you here?
  • wow, you have a lot of time on your hands. 
  • Commuting mostly.
  • Rodney is here to orally pleasure Nadella....
  • Rodney, go bark somewhere else fanboy. Eating enough of Nadella's crap already? Yeah Nadella should be fired, maybe after that we would see some proper QA at their products, not junk insider tested stuff.
  • It's not Nadella's crap Rodney is eating MMGN.
  • Even though windows was a great name for an os on desktop, being a pun on the little app windows and the os being a window to the world...i agree with u on one has built up negative connotations through the decades.  And saying windows phone just doesnt sound sexy to customers...  A phone is the most personal of devices and branding, design, look, all that matters..   I also agree with you that Tiles in their last iteration were never going to sell on phone...human beings are drawn to three things, symmetry, color, and familiarity.  Also beautiful backgrounds..... iOS provides all three, and android provides richness of color and familiarity to a paradigm of icons over beautiful backgrounds.   No one wants tetris blocks of color with white icons.   Thats why if MS keeps tiles, they need to be fluentized, along with depth and fluid animations with both horizontal and vertical endless scrolls.. Like how they are workin on 3d fluent tiles for mixed reality...imagine a circle of tiles with depth that makes it look like they will jump out of phone..then each subsection can have horizontal scroll...but my point is MS needs to elevate to next level with full fluent design at work. Windows is however a great brand for other form factors such as tablets and mixed reality.  I will disagree with you that MS shouldnt call the os on their mobile simply should stay away from words windows phone at all costs... First off most people don't even know the os running on their devices....they will just say iphone os or samsung os.   Secondly, the brand that would sell is not windows 10 but Surface.  And Surface imo is the epitome of a brand name used for touch devices...ur touching a surface...a glass surface...of a window..... In the mobile world, two brands are iconic, iphone and the tablets and laptops, surface brand name is superior to macbook, pixelbook, galaxybook IMO.  Not just surface brandname but the devices are much more versatile and beautiful than the competition..or at least on par considering the surface laptop is thinnest touchscreen laptop.  So the brand will be Surface and part of the surface ecosystem of devices... MS mobile device can never beat android in sheer numbers... But it CAN offer thing Android or iphone NEVER could...That is full integration into the windows ecosystem.  That is why the os will be simply called windows 10.   The brand windows 10 by itself doesnt sell in mobile but a combo brand of surface, windows, xbox Can sell.  Besides, MS doesnt like developing multiple os like apple or google....thats the whole point of windows core keep development streamlined and unified...and complete the universal windows platform...remember...the device will have polaris composer for CShell too so...full desktop with UWP apps.. Surface Andromeda, Surface Corona, Surface X, or Surface Halo Those would make for good brandnames with the whole space theme...
  • It doesn't really matter it would offer full integration into the windows ecosystem, which is anyway half baked. the only good stuff that windows is and will be for many years to come is Win32. That's it! New comers grow up with Android and IOS and won't need windows. This is MS's problem, but they are too blind and stupid to see it.
  • Good points and fair questions.  The negativity of Microsoft technology (except cloud) is antidotal, but also based certain facts.  For example, if Harman-Kardon can build a device based on Cortana, then any could.  I don’t see Microsoft is saying no to other partners.  In fact, I bet they are actively seeking partners.  However, there is only one device on the market, and that company hedged its bets with Alexa And Google products.  You may claim only Windows Phone users feel a lack of belief, but companies choosing to partner with Alex and Google over Microsoft is done for a reason, and it is strong evidence that potential technology partners also lack faith in Microsoft’s current plans, direction, and commitment (aka, leadership).   It took Microsoft Build a week to sell out.  I understand cost is factor, Google I/O, UWP losing hype to PWA’s, etc., but the cost is about the same as when it used to sell out in minutes.  I believe part of the issue is that many developers have lost trust in Microsoft and their “Store” as well.     I also strongly doubt, with evidence, that it is as simple as “build a good, interesting, product, they will buy it.”  Perception to consumers often trump who built the better widget.  The famous Betamax vs VHS is an example where a superior technology lost in the consumer space.  Advertising, branding, and key spokespeople often play a role that overrides objective measurements.  That’s why companies pay so much for them.  Another example is the Invoke, which is a great product and value at $99.  But, neither one of us believes the Invoke has sold a ton of units, although we both own one and enjoy them.  So why aren’t people buying this “good, interesting, product”?    So, you asked what do I think Microsoft should do?   I agree they need to build a “build a good, interesting, product”, but that is far from sufficient.   If that’s all they do, I agree with others that it will fail.  Sometimes you have throw out the ROI analysis and bet big on yourself.   The Andromeda is Nadella’s chance to do that.  Because they are behind, he needs to convince everyone that he is 100% committed to both its near and long-term success, and that he is betting his company and his reputation as CEO on it.  Advertising should be non-stop, it should be the first thing you see when you walk in a Best-Buy, he should go on every show that will have him and personally demo how great it is.  That’s what I want. Also, that’s why I’m so pissed at him, because I know he doesn’t have that in him.  They are going to throw this over the wall and say things like “we don’t really expect it to sell that many units”, “we don’t see it as a consumer device”, blah, blah, blah, blah, freakin blah.  Basically, they will subconsciously tell everyone that they are afraid of failure, and unsure about it.   Once consumers smell Microsoft’s lack of commitment, it will be doomed.  I want to wrong.  I really, really, want to be wrong.  But the lack of fire and fight from Nadella, has me afraid I am right.
  • This comment is the closest thing to my own point of view; MS has lost credibility with developers as well as enthusiasts and profile among the general consumers outside the PC field. The only way to get proper forward momentum for this Andromeda device is to show full commitment and advertise the crap out of it!
  • They went all in on Xbox and are getting good results. They went all in on Surface. I don't get your assumption that they won't go all in on Andromeda. They have bet the farm on it already just to get to this point. They have (in effect) burned the lifeboats. Why would they not go all in?
  • I don't disagree, but breaking into the mobile space is going to be way more difficult for Microsoft than Xbox or laptop replacements.  Matching those efforts will not be enough when entering areas smaller than 12" 2-n-1s.  I am convinced they neeed to take it to another level to have any chance at success.   Also, Panos is great, but I strongly believe this needs to led by Nadella himself.  He needs to announce it, and personally demo it everywhere he goes.  Like Jobs was the personal champion of the iPhone, Nadella must be personally viewed as the champion of Andromeda, and Nadella needs to demostrate the same level of personal passion and commitment.  If he leaves it to delegates, people will question his commitment (and therefore Microsoft's). 
  • I said months ago on an article (that many people downvoted) Microsoft needs a brand ambassador. They need someone like Dona on the consumer side to interact with consumers and encourage them that Microsofts products are not only useful, but engage with then and banter them up like Dona does with Zac on Twitter. The need celebrity endorsements that aren't fabricated by contractual obligations. Find a celeb, and use them as a 6 month guinea pig to gut their buy in and have them tell their friends and audiences, throw them in commercials. Its funny because almost every movie I've seen over the last 5 years (granted I don't watch many) has had a windows, phone in it but no one actually gives a care. Microsofts biggest problem isn't products, it's their image. Old tech heads see them as a conglomerate, young adults see them as desktops, and kids see them as Office software that they may have to use. They have two many images in the market.
  • Totally agree. How many times have I been burned by Msft? Let's see, Surface RT, Band, Zune HD, Zune/Groove Music, WM/WP (15 yrs)...have traded in my Lumia 925 for a Galaxy S8 and 80% in an Amazon ecosystem. Still have a Win10 laptop which I only use for light home/business purposes. Other than PCs, I now avoid Msft consumer products.
  • "The issue here is I see a lot of "people don't believe..." without actually any data/evidence for this"   The trolls are thick on this post. There are so many people who can't see the forest from the trees. Windows Phone DID NOT WORK. Yes it was technically the best mobile OS but it got to the party late and Microsoft botched the marketing. It's dead. Get over it. It's not coming back. Ever. Microsoft is doing something new. It may fail spectacularly or it might be the start of something exciting. An actual computer in your pocket that can make calls. Not Apps but full applications. No it probably won't run auto cad, but who runs auto cad on a 7 inch screen anyway? Just the act of launching a new form factor shows that Microsoft is alive and kicking and yet we have folks on this thread proclaiming the death of the company, and that they have no mobile strategy despite the fact that they are commenting on an article that provides and abundance of evidence to support the fact that they very much do. Flogging a dead horse is not a strategy, at least Microsoft recognizes that. Clearly many on this thread don't .  
  • So people with that dare to express different points of views are just "Trolls", nice. "Microsoft is doing something new ... An actual computer in your pocket that can make calls"  Most people believe they already have this in their smartphone.  In reviewing the definition of "computer", they are right.  Also, people are mostly supportive of Andromeda.  It's not a matter of what they produce, but how they release and support it.  It took 6 years for Bing to make a profit, in the first 21 years of Amazon they rarely made any profits.  Were they beating dead horses?   Many believe they were.  
  • "So people with that dare to express different points of views are just "Trolls", nice." Not at all.... but don't come on here and whinge about how "Microsoft has no strategy" when it clearly does. You are free to say that you disagree with what they are doing but you don't get to state something that is demonstrably untrue.  Just for clarity that last sentance is not directed at you InfoSage  
  • BajanSaint69, The people "whining" about MS stratagy in here are mostly former WP users.   They see the crazed fanboys in here claiming that the andromeda is the answer to all their problems,  with running acutal programs instead of "apps".    However,  Seeing as I use my phone as a phone, and mobile device,  NOT a computer that I can put in my pocket,  I see it as a tablet, and nothing more.   Therefore,  lacking apps,  is exactly what is going to do in the andromeda again.   PWA is nothing to fix the issue.   Banking , magainze, travel / airline apps will not move to pwa.   Not for a couple of years anyways.   By then, the almighty andromeda will be shitcanned like everything that does not gain traction in 3 months under Nadella's watch.  
  • @steve Adams
    "However,  Seeing as I use my phone as a phone, and mobile device,  NOT a computer that I can put in my pocket"   aren't you the least bit intrigued by the possibility of having that option?
  • I welcome Microsoft creating ARM based laptops and PCs but having suffered through the slow experience of a Cherry Hill Surface 3 worry about the performance.      Can a QualComm 845 chip take on the A10X chip in the iPad Pro which is nipping at the heals of Intel i5/i7.    Just bought a Surface Pro with LTE (8 GB, 256).  It definately runs better than the S3, but some of the touch response of the UI could be better.    I do wonder if you could have two 845 Chips in a laptop with 16 GB for performance when needed?
  • I believe that the A10X is faster in some benchmarks than the i5 MacBook Pro 13. They are smokin' fast!
  • People said the same thing about Surface devices, however the Surface devices were never copied from other than OEMs devices that run Windows 10. We never saw a Surface clone running Android. 
  • Ahem. The iPad Pro is a direct copy of the Surface Pro concept.
  • Not sure I would say direct copy, but they are definitely lifting ideas from Surface and Windows (split window apps).
  • I like the Microsoft from the recent past, I like Windows 10 and I loved Windows Mobile. I even like the concept of Windows 10 S, Andromeda and WoA. However Daniel, I feel that your coverage is a bit... too excitable? You're trying to hype some things up to be total game changers but in reality it's just a natural progression of the technology. I don't see any of the latest technology being as groundbreaking as is being made out. I also think the implementation is lacklustre and the long-term support and development could be worryingly short if Microsoft's current trend is anything to go by. More facts, more realism, less hype, less what-ifs and less blind conjecture please Daniel. It's almost as bad as AC's suffocating coverage of the Galaxy S9. Give it a week and they'll have their "GALAXY S10 RUMOZ & SPECCZ!!1!" post up 🙄
  • That is awesome get see the foldable tablet.  I can wait to see the smartphone and smartwatch.  I'm hoping  it will be launch by     springtime. 
  • DR FTW. Troll killer.
  • I agree with one thing.  It has been frustrating to hear these rumours for soooooooo....... very......... long.........   That said I think 2018 is a make or break moment for Microsoft.  I'm no millionaire CEO, of course, but from a purely business perspective it appears to this mere mortal that it would be Windowcide for MS not to address mobile.  iOS and Chrome/Android are already attacking in Education and even Enterprise sectors.  Resting on its laptop laurels (even with the new life 2-in-1s seemed to have breathed into it) won't serve Windows OS well in the long run. Developers are already considering non-Windows alternatives like iOS for the enterprise: and Android for the enterprise: As developers leave Windows behind, what do they recommend to their bosses about say... cloud computing, Azure, AWS, or Google?  Most likely AWS or Google if you've just created a bunch of enterprise Android apps.  How about in A.I., Cortana or Alexa?  Most likely Alexa.  Or server techology, Windows Server or Linux?  etc. etc.  IT people want marketable skills.  Windows products as a whole become less and less a marketable skill each year Microsoft stays out of mobile. Microsoft simply must address mobile.   And I think they have to do it in 2018 or just all quit their jobs and go to work for Apple or Google.    
  • The Andromdea stuff is just busy talk for now. I ALMOST pre-ordered the HP envy Arm PC for $999 but the specs gave me pause. Waiting on a review.
  •   I'm really sorry to break it to you Microsoft is working on a smartphone smartwatch and fordable tablet. 
  • The MS mobile future is bright.......if you are a believer in fairy tales. I have been reading too long about all these MS projects that never seem to materialize or are discontinued before they can take off. I'm still deciding on whether my future will be android or IOS. I'm even considering a Chromebook, that's where MS has pushed me sad is that.
  • Sad for you, not anyone else....
  • Pointless reply. Rude and pointless... Of course it matters! If Microsoft are pushing some customers away, there will be fewer customers left to pay for the development of new soft- and hardware, to the detriment of their "loyal" customers.
  • The Always-Connected PCs should also come with LTE enabled to be consistent with the other two categories....
  • Pretty sure that is the point, though nothing is stopping an OEM from hitting a lower price point with it not enabled, I presume.
  • So assuming this is catered toward business since who would buy a $1000 smart phone and a $1000 Andromeda
  • I would not assume that. Look at Surface Book 2. Business device? They positioned it artists, architects, engineers, scientists (STEM), and anyone who needs a pro machine with inking abilities. Those are the same people who, I would imagine, Andromeda would be positioned at. Creators, professionals, business, designers, artists, 3d imaging, journalists, etc. Look at the whole focus on "creators" in Windows 10 lately. All business or is that 3D paint thing, photos/video creation, and Windows Mixed Reality aimed at kids, creators, consumers, etc?
  • Yes but you your self said not replacing smartphone. That means buying 2 $1000 devices. If I buy a Surface Book 2 that is all I have to buy whether I am business, artist. So any idea how this would work thru carriers?  
  • "Yes but you your self said not replacing smartphone. "
    ...and yet it can make phone calls and do SMS. What I mean is, AFAIK, they're not going to call it/market it as a smartphone both with that name/label and specific usage. The question is, can you use it as your smartphone replacement? For some people, the answer will be 'yes', for others 'no'. Longterm, that would presumably shift with more saying 'yes'. At the very least, it would diminish the need to buy that $1,000 phone, which merely does what a $500 or $200 phone can do anyway. If you're buying a $1,000 phone just to Snapchat or wirelessly charge, well, that's not really well spent $1,000. If you're buying it for the larger display, faster CPU, more storage, well that could be replaced with Andromeda.
  • As you have said yourself, the biggest differentiator of the smartphone is the camera. Insofar as the newcomer which can make calls and send sms-messages does not have a camera competing head to head with other 1000 euro or dollar devices, it really must excel in everything else to get people to buy it (the landline telephony got ditched fairly quickly following mobile phones). It cannot be an addition for most people. It must be a replacement of something for most people to succeed. There is a limit to people who can have a first class camera/smartphone and a top-class laptop and a big tablet and this in their hands and pockets.
  • You should also be reminded that Andromeda was meant for businesses and enterprise sectors, not for everyday least for the initial iteration....
  • Are you saying Andromeda won't have wireless charge?
  • I think most of the target market will forgo the andromeda device and get a surface book/pro for doing their inking on since the screen will be to small on the andromeda device to have a great graphics design inking experience.   I know if I was doing ALOT of that,  I would NOT do it on  a tiny foldable screen,  the crease in the middle,  small screens, etc would be a terrible experience.  
  • LTE isn't a differentiator (at least to anyone capable of browsing to a PC makers website or visiting BestBuy) but at least will provide surface users who want the option a choice. The other devices for all their other touted features will ultimately offer a limited version of Windows. I don't see that appealing to a significant number of users especially in the case of the "non-phone" mobile device which will have the added burden of being a lacklustre smartphone device. Don't see these appealing to anyone but Microsoft acolytes.
  • These "limitations", especially with W10onA, are very niche and limited. No Hyperviser? What consumer cares about that. The lack of x64 app is also niche for this device category - light computing - especially when the focus will be on the Microsoft Store and PWA/UWPs. No OpenGL games on a tablet? Oh no. LTE + eSIM is a differentiator when you combine it with buying data bits from the Store vs. getting another SIM and paying month to month. It's something even I want because I actually don't need mobile data every month, but would love to have it when I need it.
  • You got it all wrong. The only limitation is the missing hypervisor, as you mentioned most will not care. However OpenGL is supported as with every other Windows Version: OpenGL 1.1 SW renderer. Any other driver has always been 3rd party, and if Qualcomm wants to they can release an updated OpenGL driver as well. In addition if you need 64 bit, ARM64 desktop apps can be used and are supported.
  • LTE + eSIM data can also be substituted for getting internet through the traditional ISPs...
  • I can see that I am not the only one thinking that the lack of support for win32 applications is a bad thing. If the rumors about windows core Os are correct, then the device will in daily use not be able to do much more than windows 10 mobile or windows rt. One can always argue that it is "full windows 10" but when you are using the device, you are still stuck with apps from the store. This usually means Microsoft apps or bad clones of apps meant for other platforms.  So for all intents and purposes the Andromeda device will just be a foldable windows phone, and I think that the consumers will still stay away, as they did with mobile and rt. 
  • Win32 app support will be there via streaming/virtualization. We've said that multiple times. Also, Andromeda will be defined by what it can do out-of-the-box and not necessarily the current app paradigm. Or rather, it will let creators do new things they currently can't do on any modern device. Bottom line: Let's wait to see how Microsoft "sells" it. There is way more we don't know than we do know to reach any conclusions at this time.
  • yes, I know like the smartphone and smartwatch.  
  • I carry a (windows) phone, but I use it as a tablet. I typically use less that 10 min a month of talk time, and wish my 950XL was just a little larger....
    Andromeda? Bring it ON!!
  • Interesting. Sounds like we will see.
  • It is great to be able to talk about an exiciting mobile product again from Microsoft.  I honestly I don't think I've been this excited about a product that hasn't been released since McLaren (although we know how that ended).  I look at this mobile approach, and it does seem that Microsoft has a good plan in place.  It is about taking what is out there in mobile today, and really pushing it's limits to come out with the next thing. While I agree that smartphones will not be going anywhere anytime soon, it is nice to see that the smartphone successor is closer than ever before.
  • It's great to be talking about an exciting mobile product, period. That been Andromeda or Galaxy X
  • The claim that ARM laptop/tablets will have weeks of battery life is disingenuous. I mean sure, if it is left in standby mode and never used. But just because my smartphone could last a week+ in a drawer somewhere doesn't mean I can legitimately brag that it has a 7-day battery. It's basically Intel = 1 day battery and ARM = 2 day battery.
  • "The claim that ARM laptop/tablets will have weeks of battery life is disingenuous."
    Not disingenuous, but sure, we'll wait for reviews. Talk to people who are actually using it right now vs. just guestimating based on your smartphone. Thought experiment: Take your phone's internals and strap a 56Whr battery to it. How long will it last especially once you take away cellular phone requirement?
    "It's basically Intel = 1 day battery and ARM = 2 day battery."
    I'm confident in saying you do not actually know this.
  • 56 Whr battery? It's supposed to be a mobile device. I don't expect it to run longer than current phones.
  • 40-60Whr is what size battery is found in tablets and laptops, which is what Windows 10 on ARM is about right now and what we are talking about. Moreover, the smaller SD chipset allows for larger batteries. For reference, Surface Pro 2017 has a 45Whr battery. HP is stating 22 hours of video playback, and 1,000 hrs of standby. Even accounting for OEM's rounding up, that is significantly higher than any PC on the market today. By comparison, the HP Envy x2 with Intel should have a smaller battery than the Envy x2 with ARM.
    "I don't expect it to run longer than current phones."
    Then your math is really weird.
  • We are talking about a laptop/2in1 size device that has the 56 Whr battery running on a Snapdragon 845.  I don't think Daniel is saying the andromeda folding device will have a 56 Whr battery.  We are mixing several things together. A Surface Pro with an LTE chip will have a lower battery life simply because you are powering a modem chip in addition to all the other processors on the Surface Pro. The Windows on ARM will replace the 15 watt Intel chip with a 2 watt ARM chip plus other processors, but keep the large battery. Andromeda will have a smaller battery but probably run on an ARM 845 chip.  The question is can the snapdragon efficiently power inking capabilities.  Is the screen for inking on an Andromeda more power hungry than a touch/pen capable Windows on Arm device?  Maybe it is the same screen just smaller on the Andromeda with a smaller battery.
  • Exactly. And yes, Sd845 for Andromeda. Likely with OLED display.
  • Of course we don't have third-party battery results yet, but we do have some claims from the manufacturers at least. ASUS NogaGo -- 13.3 FHD Screen + Snapdragon 835 + 52Wh battery = Up to 22 Hours ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UN -- 13.3 FHD Screen + Intel Core i5  + 50Wh battery = Up to 14 Hours Yes, DVD playback is only one use case, but I highly doubt the ARM computer is gonna last even close to a week under more traditional usage. And let's not forget that the above comparison is 835 vs i5. An intel Core Y-series would probably shrink the difference even more. The analogy of a cell phone with a large battery is not fully comparable here, and that's because the screen is so much larger on the laptop. Even on a smartphone, the primary consumer of energy is typically the screen and that's even more so the case with a laptop display. A 13 inch laptop screen is about 6 times larger than a 5.5 inch screen so it draws much more power(it's not linear but still much greater). Plus the size of these laptop batteries isn't massive or anything. A 50 Wh battery translates to ~4600 mAh (assuming 10.8 volts), which is only about 1.5 times larger than the 3000 mAh average of smartphones these days. (Yes, that seems frustratingly small give then vast differences in device sizes, but it is what it is.) In other words, expect the battery life to be improved, but it certainly is not going to be anything revolutionary. What we know about the components just won't permit it.
  • Asus Zenbook  13UX331UN has been tested with below 10 hours video playback and below 10 hours web browsing: This also disproves your assertion that the screen is the primary consumer when Intel chips are used in the device - even if we are talking about screens as large as 13 inch.
  • Not surprising. Manufacturers are known for overstating the actual battery life of their devices. (They do tests with screen brightness all the way down, etc.) I would be willing to bet a nice sum of money that the same techniques they use to extend battery life for their intel laptops under test would also be used on their ARM laptops. If that intel version got 10 hours in reality, I would guesstimate the ARM device would get about 18 or so. That's why I made the claim in my original post (that Dan objected to) that intel = 1 day and ARM = 2 day. I didn't pull those numbers out of thin air; they were based on the manufacturer's claims. Regarding the screen energy consumption, I was actually just comparing ARM phones vs ARM laptops in that last paragraph. I didn't intend to make a claim that screen power > intel power. Sorry for the confusion.
  •  You forgot to take into account the voltage discrimination between those two batteries. The phone battery is running around 4.2 volts  versus the 10.8 you are referring to in the laptop. You can't compare mAh to mAh when the voltages are different, however you can with Watt hours, since they take into account both amperage and voltage. Therefore if you calculate it out, the phone battery has something like 12Wh, which is way less than the 50Wh of the laptop battery. So, even with the increased screen size, you're still going to be seeing incredible battery life.
  • I'm really curious about what such a device could/should look like if its set to come out by end of this year. I think the ZTE Axon M can give us a very generalized idea of what to expect at the very least. I would expect slightly smaller bezels and slightly thinner frame than the Axon M. Another thing that I'm thinking could be possible is that the back might be finished in the same material as the Surface laptop keyboard. I think this can work because there are a lot of people out there with wallet cases that open/close, and this could help in getting people used to this design paradigm. As much as I like the headphone jack, I would almost certainly expect no headphone jack, just USB-C. This would save much needed space given the small form factor and needed battry life to accomplish being essentially a 3-in-1 device. It would be really ballsy if there were no mic and receiver like in a traditional phone, you'd do everything through headphone and mic (via USB-C or Bluetooth) or speaker phone. This could really be "not bad" at worst, and freaking revolutionary at best.
  • Win32 is an absolutely critical component for this to work for businesses (enterprise and especially smaller businesses).  Streaming may work for some in the short term, but the ability to run the multitude of win32 desktop applications locally will make or break it (i.e. for the many times when reliable, robust Internet access is either not available or not allowed).  My employees and I are starting to see signs of age in our Lumia 950s and 950XLs, so hopefully these new Andromeda phones will be available this year.
  • Absolutely. Microsoft finally has the ability to run Win32 apps with Windows on ARM and immediatly throw this feature away with Andromeda. How stupid can they be? I was looking forward to Andromeda in anticipation of full Win32 this will be just another device with no apps.
  • ps it's called  PWA lol
  • In my small world, the biggest impact on productivity is the replacement of Quickbooks with a cloud-based management software package. Now all those old pen and paper business processes have been transferred to digital. This dramatically shortens the time to complete tasks and shifts a bunch of workload to the customer by making their use of our services simpler. For example, paying rent. The customer has to pay rent. Instead of writing a check, buying a money order, or making an online payment through their bank, they just open their online portal to our system and pay the rent. This saves everyone a lot of time, especially all the time I used to spend recording the payment, filling out the deposit slip and going to the bank. My thought is the devices we currently think of as necessary is changing. I don't need a desktop when I could carry a laptop between offices. The data is now in one location that I carry with me to process into a more useful form (think of accounting processes). Now the Surface Pro with my cloud-based software system allows me to replace the 5 plus pound laptop. Can the andromeda replace the Surface Pro? Seeing how I use a surface dock and much larger screen at my home and office gives me sufficient screen space to be more productive than relying on the "small" Surface screen. However, when I am on the go the Surface screen allows me to be productive. I don't fully see how an Andromeda device with the smaller screen will be able to replace my Surface. However, if I am traveling, maybe the Andromeda can replace my phone because often times when traveling, my 950 is just too small to be truly helpful. Think of looking at a map and trying to figure how to walk through the streets of Venice. But I think the most important aspect here is the integration of software with the device. Software is now more powerful that increases productivity on a smaller device. I used to be adept at use graffiti input for making notes on my old Palm device. But it was never sufficiently productive to carry on. How will programs like OneNote, Office and Teams allow people to input information on an Andromeda device once these software teams work with the hardware group to make the interface between hardware and software more intuitive and productive?
  • You've misunderstood Venice! You're supposed to wander and get lost! 😄
  • Microsoft Courier was exciting in 2008 becaue there was nothing else like it on the market, but since then we've had the iPad, Galaxy Note, Surface, etc.  The bottom line is, if this foldable PC isn't going to replace my phone, then I don't have a use for it....  The first pagers, phones, and laptops, served an actual purpose.  It was new sure, but the selling point wasn't simply a foldable version of something you already own. The whole point of a Surface Pro is so that I don't need a separate tablet and laptop.  If this foldable device is really a new category then it needs to offer something that people don't already have, but I really don't see it.  If it works as a flagship phone or a remote control for another PC then I can see it, however I don't need yet another note taking tablet....   An always connected PC that isn't a phone doesn't interest me either.  WiFi is literally everywhere these days and you can hardly escape it.  The rare occasions that I don't have WiFi I just tether my phone which literally takes 2 seconds to enable and I don't need a separate plan. Obviously Daniel is privy to something that we don't know, but nothing here excites me in the slightest yet.
  • "The bottom line is, if this foldable PC isn't going to replace my phone, then I don't have a use for it.... "
    I don't have an actual use for Surface Studio, or need for a car that runs on batteries when my gas one is just fine. I still want them. And go back to the release of cell phones. No, most people did not see the need for them. In fact, there was a HUGE backlash about people talking on phones in public places and on mass transit (I took the LIRR every day, and remember these battles). Same with pagers. None of my friends/family saw the value in or even thought my Dell Axim was cool. or useful. As far as Andromeda "serving a purpose", we haven't even seen a single marketing campaign or the spiel behind it from Microsoft, yet you already decided? People said that about the iPhone back before when it was just rumors. C'mon, man. How are you this sure about something you know virtually nothing about?
    "Obviously Daniel is privy to something that we don't know, but nothing here excites me in the slightest yet."
    Yes, there are things, but this is why companies hate leaks! lol You have already formed an opinion on it without knowing all the details - full specs, capabilities, pricing, positioning, software, apps, battery life. My advice: don't form an opinion. I haven't. Read this, ponder the ideas. See what happens, wait for reviews, then decide. We know very little so far.
  • we haven't even seen a single marketing campaign or the spiel behind it from Microsoft, yet you already decided? People said that about the iPhone back before when it was just rumors. C'mon, man. How are you this sure about something you know virtually nothing about?
    Because the dual screen provides no added functionality and the reason we know that inherently is from the design and the benefits are not listed in any way. If they were people would be asking for it like they did with a full screen phone.
  • You have already formed an opinion on it without knowing all the details - full specs, capabilities, pricing, positioning, software, apps, battery life.
    Yeah well that's what we as humans do,  we take information and form opinions based on it.  If additional information comes out to change my opinions then so be it, but everything I've been seeing thus far points to an iPhoneX strategy.  Here's some new tech that a few people with disposable income might buy for the heck of it, but it won't have much appeal beyond that. When companies "made phones mobile" they added a capability that didn't exist before.  Making a screen foldable isn't a new capability it's a design element.   Unless that design element is incorporated into something someone is already using there's no inherent point to it. If all we're getting is yet another Surface RT tablet, that's foldable, then that isn't enough.   If Microsoft wants to create categories then they really need something more compelling.  The Surface Pro is a perfect example, they created something that made owning an extra tablet redundant.  Microsoft could easily take my money if this was a replacement to the Surface Pro or a replacement to my Windows Phone.  However if they're asking me to carry an exta device folds! That really isn't an answer to anything.
  • Who wants MS?? Really Daniel...Who on earth besides some fans would ever trust MS??? Haven't we been burned enough by their FAILED products and BAD behavior? When the iphone came out Apple did not had a BAD history like MS has now, and for sake, it is a huge history for MS of bad habbits. When pagers and first mobile phones came out, those companies did not had a bad history of playing around users like fools...Some of us form an opinion based on MS' proven BAD record of ditching stuff, bad quality, lies ETC. Sorry for not being excited about something that may come out from a company that has no clue about the current market trends.
  • Black|White All PCs at our home have W10. We have Office 365. I use Outlook & MS Launcher on Android. We had 2 Lumias and Cortana is not available where we live.
    For me it looks stupid to try to be The True Fan who goes all-in for some ecosystem or betrayed all-out ex because a service or a device that didn't bring in money was terminated...
  • Looks like you can handle English pretty well.  Why don't you go into Cortana and tell it you want English as your region?  Won't that work?
  • I'm a little surprised we haven't seen any testing off new tablet focused UI elements in Windows 10. I'm assuming there are going to be some significant UI changes for this device over what is currently present in W10. Going to be interesting to see what improvements they make.
  • There are no phone devices running Windows 10. Where would you see it?
  • wow, this why I think you are a kid.
  • Why? Because I asked where you would see phone interfaces on Windows 10?
  •  there is U.K.   company coming out with a Windows phone lol  
  • Probably because the OP didn't mention W10M at any point...
  • I just hope MS commits to whatever they are attempting....they are having a bit of a credibility issue.....
  • Maybe if Andromeda is a success and more apps become available Microsoft or OEM(s) will try their hand at Windows phones again...
  • I started looking into this andromde i came across patents for smartwatch and smartphone  foldable tablet.  I do believes  suffices teams work 3 devices.  1 foldable devices  2 smartphone  3 smartwatch Why are three devices so Microsoft can show what the new stuff can do.
  • In my opinion Android has won the current mobile battle and Microsoft is trying to find the next battlefield early.
  • This is because the world is full of cowards disguised as practical thinkers.
  • In my opinion, MS is leading with this andromeda because, I have not seen any heated debate or talk about Samsung new foldable or whatever the heck Google is planning on.  So I think, with andromeda, people are talking about it more than Samsung stuff.
  • MS fanboys are talking about one else. I haven't seen other websites having so many wet dreams about this device as much as WC does. No matter what MS calls it, you need MOBILE APPS for it, optimized for TOUCH with a TOUCH friendly OS, which Win10 is NOT.
  • Andromeda is a new OS to some degree. PWA is becoming mainstream. Don't judge a device or category before you know anything about it.
  • I don't know why I do not feel excited with this news. May be its because of statistics.
  • yes.  You think it's only one device when it's not. Andromeda is 3 Device fordable tablet I call the surface mini smartphone smartwatch. It launches are springtime.  there then everybody else will come out with their own devices at different price points.      
  • Come on, how do you define phone? Even laptops are coming up with cellular connectivity. What ever Microsoft makes, it will be in direct competition with whatever Google or Apple makes. The fight is not abt any particular device family; rather it is abt who manages to get more attention time of people.
  • I  do not think Google and apple have a folding tablet coming out anytime soon. But Costa second device that will be a smartphone will be competing with  iPhone and the pixel.
  • Never ever again will I buy a mobile device from Microsoft. The way Microsoft treated us Microsoft Phone enthusiasts is a shame. I have purchased 3 MS mobile devices, was an insider, developed apps on the platform. And what did it bring to me?  ZERO. Even more. The lack of communication, the rejection of the CEO to even provide a slightest indication on trying to understand the user base, the short term strategy mindset, the complete major fuckup of Microsoft in mobile. Yeah... "Now it is mobile for us", is just playing with words. Microsoft is doing it again. Playing with their users. There's today only one device that matters for retail users: mobile PHONES. Mobile devices are PHONES. Not half baked PCs. I don't need a fancy PC on the train. I need a handy small portable handset. I am writing this because I want the world to understand that users are not beta testers who Microsoft will let pay for half baked products as a try out and no commitment given. UWP is a joke. It was all a lie.   Sven
  • wow, thank you for your feedback. 
  • Count me in for the burnouts too: WP, WinRT, Win10mo...enough is enough. To much time lost being a guinea pig for them on my own cash.
  • thank you for your feedback. 
  • Hi, The last picture in the article has a caption that say's " A mobile world is here" What is right below that in the picture?
  • A phone, of course.   That IS what "mobile" is all about, after all.   
  • Yes, it always gets back to phones and why... According to Nadella it is because it was too late. I simply don't know. I think this is a good strategy up to a point for having an always connected computer. It would save me five minutes a day connecting to my iPhone but really...I don't know. Battery life is already quite adequate for most people. They spent too long in the wilderness. Maybe like Jesus they will return with an important message to the world. I think this is a good idea though and a significant update of technology that is probably overdue but I don't see it as worth losing their phone space over that is gone and a huge loss. I wonder if they got overexcited about future technology and forgot about the hard graft required in the present time on boring old phones.
  • I will state the obvious...I always have a connected computer, it's my cell phone.
  • wow lol, so what can you do with a Crappy Android phone.  
  • A whole heck of a lot more than you can with a Windows Phone.  Android phones are "smart phones", with apps.  You couldn't do much anything with a Windows Phone other that make calls, plus a few other things.  I know, I went through every version of Windows Mobile/phone since Windows Mobile 5.x.
  • Win on ARM is here and it's useless. $999 for an arm 2in1 :)))) lol. The foldable thing will be DOA because : NO APPS, No trust in MS and no proper TOUCH UI/UX on win10
  • PWA    
  • I believe this device from Microsoft will fail miserably.  Who in the world wants to carry around two devices? A smart phone and a foldable PC? No thank you,  I certainly don't.  Microsoft was headed in the right direction with Continuum before they abandoned Windows Phone.  The future is smart phones that are also PCs, not carrying around a smart phone and a foldable PCs.  That requires TWO plans from mobile carriers.  I beleive Samsung is going to be the big winner here with their Dex dock. One device, one plan.
  • if do not what foldable table buy a surface phone or the surface watch. 
  • I personally can't wait. The attractiveness of an always connected foldable device is that I will have on me a device capable of any computing task with a large display. I am concerned about having a couple of truly important communication applications such as whatsapp, but for the rest, I would be able to do through the web. When Samsung release the Note, lots of people were freaking out about the size, but it ended up selling a gazillion and sending the whole industry towards larger displays. As long as we use our eyes to consume media, a larger display will always be welcomed and a foldable device allows for a larger screen in a portable form factor. This is why I believe that this could be a slam dunk.
  • As said, when samsung introduced S9, this is not call/text era anymore. Hopefully will microsoft bring surfaces(all of them) - front and back camera centric, same or better in quality, functions as those from apple, samsung, sony, caterpillar, lg. Wearables, ms payments, other gatgets, AI in regional language, ms stores missing. Microsoft is far far away from most users now.
  • "A mobile world is here" Yes, it has been here since about 2013. That Microsoft - and Windows Central - have finally noticed this is sad, pathetic and funny.