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Not sold on a foldable Surface? That's OK — new tech takes time to catch on.

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

Microsoft is rumored to be releasing a foldable PC under its Surface brand later this year. Currently codenamed 'Andromeda' the Windows 10 device is set to usher in a new form factor to the market, but some are already saying say it can't succeed.

Here is why new technology always seems unnecessary when it's first released and why that does not matter.

What is Andromeda?

Andromeda is the codename for Microsoft's rumored new device that runs Windows Core OS.

Microsoft 'Andromeda:' Everything we know about the rumored foldable device

Many people are conflating Andromeda with "Surface Phone," but it is more apropos to call it Microsoft Courier 2018 – now with cell phone abilities (yes, it's rumored to make phone calls and do text messaging).

Microsoft patent that is likely related to Andromeda.

Microsoft patent that is likely related to Andromeda.

Is it a phone, a tablet, a PC? Which one is it supposed to replace? But what about apps? None of these questions are answerable as they are not relevant.

Image from Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision (2015) video.

Image from Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision (2015) video.

Andromeda is a new device category and for a lot of people that causes some minor cognitive dissonance when they try to imagine using it every day.

The focus is digital inking, notetaking, creativity on the go, 3D creations and manipulation of images, reading books, jotting down ideas, and more. It is the vision of the original Microsoft Courier but made with today's technology instead of eight years ago.

New tech? Don't need it.

I've told the story many times of when I first got a Treo 650 smartphone and how it blew me away. Being familiar with Pocket PCs like the Dell Axim for a few years the marriage of cellular abilities with an operating system, apps, and a full keyboard was mind-blowing. The same was true with the PPC-6800 (the sequel to the groundbreaking PPC-6700).

The thing is none of my friends or family agreed. Sure, by this time cell phones were becoming standard, but why check email, or have a keyboard on your phone? Just wait until you get home, problem solved. I was just being Dan – geeking-out over my new tech toys.

I can repeat these stories for pagers, laptops, PDAs, and just about every piece of cutting edge technology I have bought over the years. Regular people never see the value in them (or they're too expensive).

Therefore, when I hear people talk about Microsoft's Andromeda device – a foldable PC that fits in your pocket – and immediately dismissing it, I get déjà vu.

Image from Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision (2015) video.

Image from Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision (2015) video.

That's not to say Microsoft has a slam dunk on its hands with Andromeda. Very far from it. User experience, price, reliability, performance, feature set, all matter more than being different or new. One reason why the Apple iPhone is the standard bearer of smartphones and not Treos, BlackBerrys, or Pocket PCs, is due to one company figuring out the winning formula.

Back in 2006, you were the oddball if you have a Treo mounted on your belt – the nerd, the info geek. In 2018, you are the weirdo if you don't have a smartphone. Times change and people learn to adjust.

Look how ordinary it is now to know how many footsteps you take a day.

Think outside of the box

Microsoft's canceled Courier device concept from 2010.

Microsoft's canceled Courier device concept from 2010.

Will I make use of a foldable device that lets me take notes, jot down ideas, send sketches to people over LTE and then flip to be a phone?

I don't know. And that's exciting. The reason I don't know is no one has ever given me a digital inking device that fits in my pocket and asked me to make use of it. I have no frame of reference - just similar experiences that are kind of like it, but not really.

If I gave you a foldable PC that can do 3D scans of objects in real time would you use it? You probably don't know either, because, again, no one has ever given you one to use.

That is what Microsoft is attempting to do here: give people a new tool to see what they do with it.

Image from Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision (2015) video.

Image from Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision (2015) video.

I didn't need a pager. I never needed a PDA. I didn't need a laptop back when there was no internet, Wi-Fi, or a wide array of commercial software. But I wanted them. I even eventually figured how to do cool stuff with them (Wardriving, anyone?).

Later, all that early adopter eagerness made me a semi-expert on the topic, which leads me to this job. Fifteen years later, I'm in a world where everything is mobile, and 5G networks are on the horizon. People's phones talk to satellites in space for GPS, and no one even thinks it's special anymore.

It's a crazy time that we live in, arguably the most exciting time for technology. Maybe Microsoft and the Surface team won't get Andromeda right, but all new product categories are slow burners to get started. Don't forget people laughed of a Windows-based tablet with a floppy keyboard before. Now? They're normal. (I also remember people dismissing touchscreen laptops, ahem).

Think hard about some technology that you bought into early that later became standard. Let me know in comments what you think the challenges are for creating new computing categories and whether a digital journal PC is something that people will be ready for. I'm not sure I am, but I can't wait to try.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

184 Comments
  • The iPhone caught on immediately. It changed the market overnight.
  • Wasn't quite that fast. Remember, it also didn't have apps because "the web" was going to do it all. Pretty major course correction. That was also pre-Android and Android later overtook Apple by a wide margin. Market share is now about 80/20 in favor of Android, which demonstrates not only can you come from behind, but different ideas can win out.
  • The irony is that everything is moving full-circle. With the push across the board for PWAs, "the web" is going to do it all (well, mostly... If everything goes well). I can't freaking wait for that to be the case. I really like Edge, but I also like some of Google's services. For example, Google Play Music is great, but Google won't make a Windows app, and using the browser limits the abilities to interact via the OS, like with media buttons, etc. 
  • Yeah, the PWA vs web apps from Steve Jobs is pretty hilarious. He may have been right, after all, just 11 years early.
  • Seeing that a new Andromeda SDK https://www.neowin.net/news/microsofts-rumored-andromeda-device-gets-lis... is possibly in the works, I wonder when Microsoft intends to preview it?  Build18 I assume would be too soon.. How does or will it bring new life to UWP/WinRT apps and how does the web or PWA participate? 
  • Microsoft, Nokia and Blackberry would agree with you. Google wouldn't. That is why Google won.
  • Microsoft won the desktop decades ago as much as Google won mobile. So Nokia and Blackberry failed, and Apple has been overtaken twice! What's your point again?
  • That iPhone changed the market overnight and Google was the only one that realized it. Microsoft needs to do the same. They aren't going to be able to slow grow it without an ecosystem. It will be too easy for competitors to swoop in and take over whatever tech they debut.
  • Savage 👍
  • I still don't understand how Crapdroid could beat genious BlackberryOS, iOS or even WindowsMobile 6.
  • Dory, we found you!
  • Finding the rud of all evil!
  • No, it did not. The iPOD caught on, with the kids, which then moved to the adults and the rest is history.
  • iPod, who's talking about that? The iPhone changed everything the minute it was introduced and even made the iPod obsolete. Every smartphone before looked ancient in comparison. It took Microsoft 4 years to release a competitor, that was how far advanced the iPhone was.
  • let the foldable surface come, i'm buying it :D
  • Like in the Westworld!☺
  • I'm waiting for it's second season. 😊
  • I'm buying the Microsoft Courier. I don't know what you're supposed device you're waiting for,
  • My kids, (5&8yo) had been building cardboard phones and they've been designing them with multiple screens AND foldable lol I didn't them anything I swear lol
  • Moto Razr ftw
  • As someone who dislikes and never bought into foldable tech back in the days, I 100% agree with Daniel that this will take some time for me to catch on. Will just sit back and watch how it all unfolds before I buy into it. I like the idea Microsoft is trying to put up but foldable just isn't my thing.
  • "watch how it all unfolds before I buy into it" - see what you did there
  • If it folds backwards, so that it can be used like a regular phone for shorter interactions, like sending messages or reading a quick email, I'd be all for it. If it's just a useless phone-shaped square until you unfold it, then I completely agree... Not for me.
  • It's supposed to fold both ways from what we hear and the patents seem to show.
  • While that is really cool and definitely the ideal operation of the hinge, you would need to either keep the displays exposed while in your pocket or unfold it 360° after pulling it out. Hopefully the folding action is quick and smooth to minimize annoyance.
  • Um... Don't existing bluetooth accessories make that a moot point?
  • Yeah, you could use a Bluetooth headset for calls. It is nice paired with a smart watch to see who is calling and initiate calls. Cortana would would work for it too.
  • Um, yeah, if you wanna look like cyborg and it's 2012
  • Many people, myself included, have the screen of their phone exposed while it's in their pocket already, so there's no change there. It might be an issue for those who like a full cover though.
  • Yeah, the cover is my question/problem with it. I work in a rough environment, I guess i couldn't have it in my pocket if i didn't want to possibly break it.
  • Release 1: I would already be very happy with a device comparable to the form factor of the HP 28S calculator (have a look via Bing): 2 screens inside seamlesly with today's processing power. Release 2: = release 1 + 2 additional screens on the outside, so 4 screens in total - that would be my dream device.  
  • I'm just not sure if I want to buy when it comes out or wait for later color options and additions. 😐
  • When the price is acceptable (lets say 1000€) it's an instant buy for me.
  • Why are you so tanned?  It's February! :D
  • Vaaacation ;) In Mexico.
  • Were you in Cancun?
  • Close, Playa del Carmen.
  • Nice! I love the beach sand in eastern Mexico!
  • Awesome...Mexico is A great country.  Daniel,  how do you find the essential?  
  • Yep take all the summer essentials to a beach in Mexico and enjoy!
  • Im still rocking my day0 920L, so I will need to replace that anyway and have been putting that off for a few years. Since this will have cellular capability, I can probably afford to pay the early adopter tax on this one. Exciting times. I just hope it catches on and I dont look like one of those clowns that takes takes pictures in public with an iPad.
  • While I agree with everything Daniel has said...the one thing he is missing is this regime has shown it refuses to get behind anything that isn't an overnight sucess.
  • I haven't seen that with any device branded "Surface" though.
  • Surface RT.
  • I'd qualify your original assertion as follows: "this regime has shown it refuses to get behind anything that isn't an overnight success and doesn't have a clear place in MS's future grand unified OS". A simple observation that makes it obvious why Surface Pro gets continued commitment but Courier, RT, Band, Windows mobile etc ultmately didn't.
  • They just should have released one more Lumia generation between the 950 and the Andromeda devices. Nothing to fancy, just something to avoid us to to be stuck with Crapdroid.
  • I want this right now. And I don't consider myself an early adopter. But I know it will work for me. I'm gonna buy it so I hope it's not mega expensive.
  • Don't worry, it WILL be 🤔
  • First version of this device would be expensive rather than it's second version. I just hope they will shut the whole gadget market after launching this pocket pc.
  • I have no use for anything like this. Its still vapourware at the moment anyway
  • Vapourware is actually a product announced by a company with no ship date that goes on endlessly without resolve. These are leaks about future products that we're discussing. I get what you mean, but I also like to keep the vernacular consistent ;)
  • So WoA is vapourware and Surface Phone is rumored?
  • You've never seen true vapourware if you're calling WoA that. Google/Bing/whatever "Duke Nukem Forever" and "Half Life 3", then feel foolish for ever considering WoA vapourware.
  • Duke Nukem Forever isn't vapourware, it was released. It was just extremely delayed software.  I don't remember Half-Life 3 ever being announced but I may be mistaken. If it was announced and never came out, then it is vapourware; the essence of something, software, hardware, disappearing like water vapour and never being seen again.  
  • I know what HL3 is and it isn't vapourware as it has never been announced. I don't think it has ever been rumored either.
  • "Duke Nukem Forever isn't vapourware, it was released. It was just extremely delayed software." But for the longest time - 15 years to be precise - it was THE software everyone thought of when naming vapourware products. 'I don't remember Half-Life 3 ever being announced but I may be mistaken. If it was announced and never came out, then it is vapourware; the essence of something, software, hardware, disappearing like water vapour and never being seen again." "I know what HL3 is and it isn't vapourware as it has never been announced. I don't think it has ever been rumored either." No, but Half-Life 2 Episode 3 HAD been announced and IS vapourware, people just shortened to Half-Life 3 over time because they foolishly believed it had to have evolved into a full game for taking so long to be released. 
  • The main problem isn't the fact that its new tech, or people don't understand it. I don't see it catching on simply because it's got such a niche appeal, and that is Microsoft fans; so called "inking and creativity on the go" can be accomplished today with an iPad and pencil. How well is that doing and how will a Microsoft offering be any better? The only really"new" thing will be the form factor, (and thats already been done with the ZTE) and when you get away from that you are basically left with a Windows pc. Nothing too exciting about that.
  • Try to put an iPad Pro into your pocket.
  • If this fits in your pocket, it won't compete with iPad Pro. It will be way too small, even when unfolded it will still be two 6" screens not one 7" screen.
  • "I don't see it catching on simply because it's got such a niche appeal"
    That's exactly my point. Laptops, cell phones, pagers, smartphones, fitness wearables were all "niche appeal" at first.
  • I think the main difference is laptop, smartphone, etc., caught geeks, which has large overlap with developers, and eventually create the ecosystem, They also help extend the circle to everyone because general would like to eventually use the same gadgets as them. However, this along with several recent Microsoft products try to catch creators, which may have big influence as well, they can't help the ecosystem as what geeks did, and general would not really care about the tools the creators use. No app because no ecosystem, no ecosystem because no dev, no dev because the devs don't use this product themselves, and the devs don't use because they are not the products' target user.
  • And for those successful products & devices there are countless others that went bust, flopped, flamed out or never saw wide release. I understand the point of your article, but I think the more likely scenario for this 'new category' is that Microsoft is putting out the modern Palm Treo. It'll be niche, sort of kludgey & not well executed. Someone else might come along and build a better mouse trap, ala Apple iPhone (which itself was kludgey & not well done, but had the cool factor). You could even argue Microsoft wouldnt mind scenario as long as they could put Windows on it, but that seems unlikely. As desktop/laptop usage decreases & the average life expectancy of those devices increases, MS has to find something to install their OS on or they risk eventual irrelevancy.
  • Niche appeal but eventual mass market use for all those previous things. This is the major difference I personally see, in that the foldable screen tech will be niche appeal but it'll also cater to and be adopted by a very small audience. It might be a stepping stone towards future tech trends but right now it's 5-10 years too early to be anything more than a shrug of the shoulders for me.
  • If it's going to catch on (and I hope it does), it's going to have to have apps / web connectivity that is relatively on par with ios / android. They are taking over and even Windows 10 for PC is being left in the dust right now.
  • the problem is not only is it unnecessary tech, but it will be $1500 unnecessary tech. even Apple realized there's a pocketable device price point which consumers are not willing to cross (iphone x)
  • You sound just like Steve Ballmer when he saw the iPhone 🤣
  • Much in the same vein as how this article dismisses apps as irrelevant when on a small form factor device its ALL about the apps. Lack of apps killed the Windows phone, that same deficiency is likely to do the same for this device.
  • "Much in the same vein as how this article dismisses apps as irrelevant"
    Not quite sure where I did that or said that. Apps are important, but the primary usage of this device e.g. note taking, 3d imaging, UWP apps, are already there. Apps like "Journal", which you have not seen yet, and others are already built for this experience. But this is not a smartphone, so saying it does not have smartphone apps is not a very good criticism imo. We also have reliable information saying that Win32 support - via emulation - is something that will happen too.
  • honestly, the more you make it sound niche, the less interested I am and it usually isn't that hard to convince me to invest in one of Microsoft's new ventures. I can't see a $1500 fancy notepad taking off and can't speak for anyone else, but all I really want is a new smartphone that isn't Android or iPhone
  • It will happen, but not at launch, right? RS6 or RS7 in 2019 is the rumor.
  • The same way that Amazon Echo was doomed to be a failure because of a lack of third party skills when it was first released?   Let's lay down two statements here that the internet can agree on so no-one ever has to argue about this in future: 1. A device can be successful without a large number of apps if its native capabilities are compelling enough 2. If developers see sufficient excitement and potential in a new device or platform, they will be desperate to get their apps onto it - preferably as first movers
  • " A device can be successful without a large number of apps if its native capabilities are compelling enough"
    This is a very important point. It's a big "if" with this device, but that is what Microsoft is banking on if I had to guess - that it allows you to do things you could not do on other hardware/phones/experiences.
  • What things can it do others cannot? I haven't heard anything yet.
  • You're trolling hard today. Nothing else to do in real life?
  • Yep,  He has both downriggers out today!
  • Bleached it's about what it can do as one device. Individually, yes, other devices can do the stuff we've so far heard about, but this would be the first device to do it all on its own and in this size / form factor.
  • Bluesky,  This device will NOT do everything all other devices can do.  That is his point (however he does not come across well since the...I don't know what...comes out in him).  The Andromeda device will not be able to do everything a true mobile phone will be able to do...but it can do "other things".   Just as it cannot do everything a notebook could but it can do "other things".   Hard to say what the end result will be since it's not released yet, and PWA will make it more interesting as well.  
  • "but some are already saying say it can't succeed."   Nice. "I didn't need a laptop back when there was no internet, Wi-Fi, or a wide array of commercial software."   Um, there was ALWAYS a wide range of software for DOS and Windows.    BTW, before the internet, we used phone modems and called up CompuServe, AOL and/or The Source.  Not to mention local and nationwide BBSes. I have a feeling you never used DOS, CompuServe or a phone modem.    
  • "I have a feeling you never used DOS, CompuServe or a phone modem. "
    False. Had a 2400 baud modem, went to 14.4 and 28.8. Had AOL, used BBS, Gopher, and Usenet. I'm 40. I remember "the web" being "invented" for consumers when Time declared it. Not sure how any of that undercuts my point. It's not like there were always landline jacks to plug into, or that it was even practical to do so e.g. a coffee shop.
  • What exactly IS your point?  That there was no use for laptops before the Internet?  That's preposterous.   That a new Windows tablet is going to capture everyone's imagination?   Also preposterous.  Let's face it, this thing IS a Windows tablet, since everyone is afraid to call it what it REALLY will be: a phone.  If it fits in pockets and has a phone number, its a phone.  Period.  The "folding screen" is a gimmick that really makes no difference.  We already have folding phones, and they have not taken the market by storm.  Strange that so many here think a new Windows tablet will succeed, while saying that the tablet market is dead.  Of course, the tablet market is not dead, but its a convenient excuse for the failure of Windows tablets.   It's iOS 64.5%, Android 35%, Windows 0.26%.   Since its running Windows, it will be a Windows phone.  I see nothing "revolutionay" or "game changing" in this.  Pocketable Windows is about as revolutionary in 2018 as a pocketable 2400 BPS modem in 2018.   BTW, you did NOT have a 2400 baud modem.  You had a 2,400 BPS modem, which was using 600 baud.    2,400 baud came along with 9,600 BPS (and faster) modems.   Only the original 300 baud modems were correctly called "300 baud".  For anything above 300, it is measured in Bits Per Second, not baud.  They are 2 different things.  
  • Wow, miss the point much? This is an article literally telling you that the anticipated device may seem unnecessary, may not be suited to you and may not be something you will want yet you respond with a comment suggesting that you don't want it / see the need for it.
  • lol you are fun tablets are dead. surface pro destroys the tablet market. Can everybody is trying to be like the surface. 
  • except for the fact it cannot do tablet'ey things.   The magazine and reading apps for the surface are either broken,  or terrible.  It's to big to be used for navigation in my off road rigs,  and it's much heavier to hold for long periods being used as a tablet.    The surface pro destroys NO tablet as a tablet.   Sorry.  Try again.  It does beat other tablets at being a true PC however,  because that is what the surface is,  a PC,  NOT a tablet. 
  •   that bring Back some memories of the early Internet.  I think that the surface team has some surprises for you. like, watch an actual surface phone.   
  • As an admitted Microsoft fan, I hope this Andromeda device is a hit. Unfortunately, incredible technology is not enough. A good name is crucial, and “Surface Courier 2018” is not it. What will this Andromeda device look like 10 years from now?
  • It's not the name, but the story it's going to be surrounded with - the narrative, if you prefer.
  • Agreed.  And if the story is you can do PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc. then it's DOA.  It better show you how one's photos can be transformed.  Have feature rich features.  If it's the same ole how you can do work on it then I believe it will be a dud.  I hope it's transformative, but time will tell.
  • Microsoft should call it "Xphone" with X logo of xbox on the back instead of Microsoft logo.
  • just tilt the Microsoft logo 45 degrees and you get both - the X and the MSFT logo :)
  • They should call it the trench.   For the obvious reason,  also,  when you keep it open half way it creates a trench in the middle.  Clever!
  • I thought you meant trench because that's where it will likely end up, jettisoned after a year by ms
  • What is different about this compared to the iPhone? Folding? Great. I am sure Microsoft will have great hardware but the software will still be lacking. We already have folding Android phones. Not a game changer. Someone will take Microsoft hardware and put better software on it. 3D modeling? Does it get any more niche than that? Also, you can buy 3D modeling add-ons for iPhone and iPad. This isn't a differentiator, especially for the broad market. Pen. Again, easily available on iPad and Galaxy Note as well as Surface. Not new and also very niche. Microsoft stopped bundling the pen with Surface. Must not be a popular option. "Full Windows!" has proven to not be an asset for anything other than traditional PCs. Also, rumors that Win32 support will not arrive for a year after release are building. We have heard nothing compelling yet, especially for any sort of mass audience. Microsoft needs something big and immediate. A slow burn will easily be commandeered by competition with more mobile assets.
  • This device is trying to hit some sweet spot of pen and portability. As soon as anything complicated comes up at a meeting, call or conversation, someone will start drawing. I don't ever see anyone using their phone for this. White board and paper are hopeless for remote participants. Tablets and 2-in-1s are ok - but who wants to carry both tablet and phone all the time? Then there are the non-touchscreen laptop users who never look up the whole meeting while they focus on typing their notes and creating illegible touchpad drawings. So I see a potential gap in existing options. But I worry that the software isn't going to be good enough to make it effortless to use - for instance, you can draw using the whiteboard feature in desktop Skype for Business - but not the mobile version (!?!?!?!?)
  • You don't have to repeat yourself 100000000000 times. People here already knew that you won't buy it. No one can change you and that's ok. So, please leave the conversation.
  • Naw. I want Microsoft to make something new. Not another iPhone clone running some bastardized software called Windows. That has never worked and never will. This sounds like another Windows phone but with a stylus as if that is what we need. As if that isn't available today.
  • Sorry but Microsoft = Windows, they only make Windows, not lagdroid software which they don't own so they could accidentally support google or get forced into supporting google, so why don't you just move on to android and linux and stay there.. ? don't come into a Windows fan site to troll your pathetic nonsense, we don't have the darn time to deal with trolls like you, do you even have a life ?/
  • You are either an undercover Apple troll or masochistic, so why do you continue to stroll around on this forum? For you MS is evil, so stay away from this forum and let the MS followers / fans have a decent conversation. Stop wasiting our time.
  • I've told you a 1,000,000,000,000 times, stop exaggerating
  • ""Full Windows!" has proven to not be an asset for anything other than traditional PCs." Funny, I seem to remember that being the major strategic advantage of the Surface Pro over the Ipad.  How quickly they forget...
  • Surface Pro is a laptop. It requires the attached touchpad and keyboard to be used efficiently.
  • Bullcrap. I use my SP3 just as productive without keyboard as with keyboard. It all depends on the task you need to do. Wether it's creating a new website or drawing a mock-up with my pen, I can do it with 1 device. The arguments (if you want to call it arguments what you bring here) prove that the title of this post holds a lot of truth. When I got my first Nokia 5110, I found its SMS feature useless and look where that brought us now with the likes of WhatsApp, iMessage, telegram and what not. This stuff needs to grow in people but I'm sure this one will and eventually there will come one device to actually do EVERYTHING.
  • Yep, spot on..
  • Wether it's successful is ALL in the implementation.  MS are very poor at that from my decades of experience.  Even the Surface Products aren't stellar in that respect. MS  often "have a go" and then like a child finding a new toy, move on.  Even when they have a great idea their implementation is often poor.  They are however, not alone in this.
  • I'm still using my Icon on Verizon.  It still works and I have no desire to switch to iPhone or Android at this point.  I am buying this Andromeda device day one.  I'm intrigued with the possibility of having a device that has mutiple screen size configurations, runs regular Windows Store apps (not W10M), is pen focused AND happens to also make phone calls.  Bring it on.
  • Microsoft should put enthusiasm for this device, as Apple does with the iPhone and Samsung does with their Galaxy devices, and also behind the scenes they need to make business deals with carriers in US, Europe, China and Japan, if this will substitute your smartphone then it needs to have distribution channels and enough supply for all the people that want to have this device in their pockets
  • I've been one to embrace new tech when it made sense for me as a use case. Palm made little sense to me because it was proprietary, much like Mac. However, the moment the PocketPC came on the scene, I jumped at it.  Sadly, over time, so much customization was necessary to make it usable I just decided a regular flip phone would suffice.  iPhones made sense, but I hate the company and, again, they were more proprietary at the time, so I had zero reason to embrace them.  Windows Phones came out and, again, I jumped on it.  I remained a huge cheerleader for those AND for Windows 8 on PCs/tablets. Windows 10 STILL feels more like regression to me than progression, so I TOLERATE it, but I consider the lesser of three evils.  But I WANT there to be another phone that is Windows.  I WANT it to be a device that brings as much capability as I STILL enjoy with my Lumia 1020 and, to a lesser extent, my 950.  The FORM is as much factor of that as the interface.  I actually use my device as a phone in addition to the computing and media functions it's capable of.  I have never found the monster smartphones to be useful because they are simply TOO BIG.  I need to be able to use it with one hand and it needs to EASILY fit in a pocket. These 6" device simply don't work for me.  So, trying to sell me a device that gives me two screens that bring no real value to me just won't fly.  I don't believe any tech currently exists that would present a foldable device that is as thin as current smartphones that, once unfolded, is one completely perfectly seamless screen---and be a reliable piece of hardware.  I don't believe there is going to be a device that will be reliable, durable and attractive that folds but that is completely functional while in a folded state.  I've seen NOTHING to suggest such a device is possible or coming.  Do I think that some time in the future such a device will exist?  Absolutely.  Seeing some of the awesome ideas of science fiction movies that accomplish something like that, I have every expectation we'll see it.  But not for some time.  But there is a form/capability that, below which is not useful enough and above which is more clunky than useful.  Be honest, how many 8" tablets (w/LTE or not) do you see people carrying?  I've literally seen none.  I DO see, quite regularly, 10" and 12" tablets or convertibles, along with smartphones between 4.5" and 6".  Personally, I find 10" tablets BARELY useful, and smartphones over 5.5" to be annoying and cumbersome.  
  • You passed on the iPhone because it was too proprietary? Windows Phone was arguably more locked down than the iPhone! If you wanted something that wasn't proprietary, Android was your only choice. You didn't even need to have any Google apps if you didn't want them. Removing Play services was easy if you were so inclined. There were multiple app stores to replace it. Just say you are biased towards Microsoft products. Don't pretend they aren't proprietary!
  • Jail-broken iPhone = Windows phone
  • No product from Apple meets that, as far as I'm concerned.
  • @netmann Wrong..
  • No,I passed on the iPhone FIRST because it was Apple, second because I was always a PC guy and Apple/Mac devices were in their own niche. And I despise the chaos of Android.  Plus it's just flat out insecure.  One of the things that made me give up on the PocketPC-come-Windows Mobile back in the say was the fact that you had to load skins, etc. just to get it to a more usable state. I like clean approaches to UI, not the utter chaos that now seems to be what everyone wants. That's one huge reason WP7 and WP8 appealed to me.  I didn't need to do any significant customizing and certainly didn't need a bunch of apps.  So much was just baked in, which was perfect for me. As I said, I hate Apple.  I hate Google. If I could magically make both companies disappear forever, I would.  But more to the point of the article, I embrace new tech when it is actually the solution to a problem for me.  A folding device in no way answers any problem I have.  In fact, as I tried to explain, it's impossible for it to given the current technology.  Now, if some new tech allows a device that has precisely the form factor of what I prefer in a smartphone to then magically expand to that of a Surface Pro, color me interested.  Something in between those devices is 100% useless to me.
  • You should let go of some hate there scuba.   Apple is a fine company.  Just as MS.   
  • Folding device is good only if battery life is as good as WOA, able to maintain compatibility with win 32 application, continuum, pen inking.  If I can use continuum and run "almost" like a PC, then yeah, i want it.  
  • We don't know the battery life is WoA. It is still vapourware.
  • I'm with you Scuba.  I hate both Apple and Google.  I still prefer Windows 8 over any other version.  When it comes to phone I still prefer WP7.x.  As much as I prefer WP7.X and WP8.X all that goodness has been gone and most likely will never come back.  In many ways windows fans are getting what they deserve.  Especially sites like this.  They just went with the flow as Microsoft took away features.  Whatever criticism there was, it was really muted as if they didn't want to make waves.  No matter what Microsoft brings to market it will ultimately be the same.  They'll come out with something somewhat noteworthy then eventually start removing features.  That's what they do.  I'm not holding my breath that they'll be able to bring anything worthwhile to really be considered for the masses.  But because I enjoy new tech I might purchase whatever is released.  If it's 6 in or larger (when folded) then I'll have to most likely pass.  I'm not looking for anything that big.  And I simply don't want anything that big. 
  • What did you do to *iss off paragraphs so much?
  • I will use one if ever released.
  • I'll get one too if it has decent phone features.  If not, Galaxy X will be my backup choice.
  • Do you think the Andromeda device will take the camera tech/imaging to the next level? I'm not talking here about the best camera in market or taking the best low light photos. Maybe new ways to use the camera?
  • Watch the video at around the 3:20 mark. ;) Correct though, I don't see this as approaching or beating, say, Pixel 2. But different ways to use it.
  • I have seen zero indication that ANY OEM is making remarkable advances in camera tech.  I have yet to be impressed by any of it.  If someone actually gets serious enough to figure out how to bring the quality and capability of dedicated DSLR cameras into a smartphone, then I'll believe it's work looking at.  Current state of smartphone cameras is just lame as far as I'm concerned.
  • Check the development of the Red Hydrogen; it seems promising.
  • Great piece, Dan. Now that I've read this, I can't wait for it. 🤞🏼
  • If I am around, in a viable form factor, upon its release I will buy two . . . and one for my wife.
  • “Want. Not need. I don’t need anything, Ray. If there’s one thing you should know about me, Ray, it’s that I don’t need anything. I want. And I want that foldable tablet PC.” —Mr. C or Mr. Rubino? : )
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=JnZYX2VhuwY
  • There is a lot of speculations on what this device is, what it can do and what it will do with future updates. However there hasn't been any announcement from Microsoft yet....Once the announcement is made, we would know better the capability of this device which would help us assess it for our own needs. For marketing reasons, I think it would be very important for Microsoft what name to choose for this device. It should not be something verbal as it would corner its meaning to represent that specific verbal action. personally I would buy this device if it can do some stuff not seen before, or not seen before in such a small form factor....something like a Swiss Army Knife!
  • «User experience, price, reliability, performance, feature set, all matter more than being different or new.» 👈 Nailed it!
  • Bring it on MS! Just need a holographic camera/projector included plus quantum resonance processing unit for all my time traveling excursions!
  • I recall the days when you had to buy a separate GPS module to use nav on a PDA.
  • "That is what Microsoft is attempting to do here: give people a new tool to see what they do with it" I imagine they'll give it to Apple or google who'll do it properly and then MS will pull the plug on it in a couple of years... 😋. I still want one though!
  • Daniel, it's like some of these commenters didn't even read your article!
    As you said, there's some weird cognitive dissonance going on. I'm like you though, I love NEW tech; re-hashes of existing stuff, that is ho-hum (though can be done right, he says as he types on his SB2)... I like thinking about the trajectories of nascent technologies and trying them to see if they can enrich my life.
    I just don't understand how anyone who calls themselves a tech fan isn't like this.... to use a common expression, so many people just want the industry to skate to where the puck is, instead of skating to where it's going to be.
    I do NOT want just another mobile phone from Microsoft. Yawn. I want a new experience, and I'm looking forward to this device. Thanks for the article.
  • and then you have trolls.
  • Won't be a guinea pig again... MS forced me to go Android for everything in the consumer space. Windows will do for gaming and work... Good luck to all that buy this if it ever appears...
  • THAT is an excellent point.  Besides the fact that I'm unconvinced the tech will be anything other than clunky (every single example I've seen is exactly that), I'm equally unconvinced that Microsoft will back it for very long.  
  • For what I know or think, this device can run a full Windows 10 or something so it can be a mini pc that can make a call and text, why is it so hard to accept new technology to me its cool because even on android I use very few apps like really few mostly I do things on web browser.. Bring on MS
  • My problem with a "foldable Surface" has more to do with what Microsoft does after introducing new tech.  I've been burned more than once by investing in a piece of new Microsoft technology that was poorly marketed and quickly abandoned.  I don't want to be burned again.  
  • Microsoft's Surface brand is too important to discontinue this after a year or so I think. I have good faith that if Panos and the Surface team are behind it, they have great plans with it.
  • Remember Surface RT?
  • I still use and luv my RT. Mainly I suppose because 8.1's touch UI is so fkn good, miles better than W10. Slow as a wet week but it's UI is super sleek.
  • But ... What compelling functionality cannot be quickly implemented on a smartphone that people already have? And ... the foldable bit can be quickly replicated as well especially since various vendors already have. So ... I'm still wondering how there's anything really disruptive or game changing here. I haven't seen it but I'm not the least bit jazzed by what I've heard and would expect copying to be quick and effective.
  • That's actually a very good point. A Galaxy Note with foldable screens and a 3D depth camera would be highly competitive here.
  • I decided to take the leap and buy the Surface Book 2 even though it was way more expensive then what I needed and I thought I would never use most of the features. Was I ever wrong! I love every minute of using it and I believe it is the best device in the market bar-none. Looking forward to Andromeda as the Surface team really seems to be on a roll.
  • I recently held and used that foldable Android device at an ATT store. I thought it was amazing.  If something like that thing has Windows on it , and pen support, etc, and could make calls, I'll be all over that. PWA's will be the only thing to save this platform one would think though. Hopefully that is the futre. I hope it comes this year, sooner rather than later.
  • There's no point comparing this to the Samsungs and Pixels phones etc. MFST has missed the boat. This will just be a mobile pocket PC. Dan's point that you dont realise you need something until you get it is true. Which is the exact reason I'll never need this device unless I can use it as at the register for payments.
  • Daniel, I have two questions/concerns that prevent me from being as open to this device as you are: First, if the emphasis is on what you can do with a stylus -- journaling, inking, notes, etc. -- how do you contrast this with something like the Note series? What makes it compelling enough? Second, my primary concern with Microsoft trying to introduce a new "experience" is how they are going drive that experience. If I hand you a device that can do something new, you might just think "great..." But if I hand you a device that can do something new, and give you a vision of all its possibilities, and set you on your way to taking advantage of all those possibilities, only then am I driving a new experience and giving you a compelling reason to get invested in it. I've brought this up before, but I don't see Microsoft handling this like RED is handling the Hydrogen, for example. RED is pushing everything about that product and its capabilities to offer a complete, compelling reason to get invested. You can capture content in a new way, view it in that new way, share it in that new way, and they are even creating a new content distribution network for it. They're inviting early customers to learn how to use and produce with the new capabilities. I'm all for new experiences, but...that vision needs to have 100% of their effort behind it. It needs to strike a chord with the consumer. That's what I need. Maybe they are planning those efforts. I hope they are planning that.
  • Exacatly what I was thinking regarding the Samsung Note. It can do what the article is proposing amd more.
  • The flipside of companies driving the direction is that they then own it, and the user just follows along. That's basically Apple's model. Yes it's successful, but I don't want just another Apple. I want a canvas where I am in charge, but to each his/her own.
  • I agree with Dan that Microsoft's attempting to attract a very small subset of potential customers and banking on more customers catching on because they decide this device is something they never knew they needed. This device might have some immediate appeal for people who are locked into the Apple ecosystem through years of iTunes/App Store purchases or people who don't like Android, Google, Samsung, whatever. Additionally, for some customers the Note just isn't big enough to take notes and do digital inking. At minimum, I want something the size of a large Moleskine to take notes on and I *don't* want my primary phone to be that big.  That Microsoft isn't going to market this as a phone really is key IMO. Of all of its rumored capabilities, I think people who purchase this device won't be using it to replace their Android or iPhone. They'll be using it to replace their Moleskine. 
  • If Andromeda is anything like the patents, it will not be for everyone, but some people will love it. Personally I got a Surface RT at launch, had mobile MS devices in my pocket since the Jornada 525, and will probably be in line for an Andromeda. What is more important is the underlying OneCore, CShell, Polaris work that Andromeda represents which will mean that OEM can tweak the design to fit other tastes.
  • Dan, do you ever read the comments here and just get sad?
  • My early forays into this stuff parallels yours Dan. I largely ignored computing tech until around the time that XP came out. Then I got my hands on a Dell Axim and it was a "mind blown" type scenario. Ever since then I've been hooked and was that very person you describe as being ridiculed by others. I even had one friend say "why would I need a pc in my pocket when I have one at home?" Around the time of said comment I had just picked up the Treo 700w, which had just come out. From that device I had hacked it to use an early implementation of Motorola bluetooth headphones and ditched my ipod, flip phone and eventually every other device I was carrying. That trend eventually continuued and now aside from a drawer full of old pocket pc's and Windows phones, I'm rocking the HP elite x3 and both docks. The andomeda device would finally be a realization of that dream. The only unfortunate part was that I didn't stick to my writing ways and slowly left the old ppc forums that I had previosly lived on. 
  • Its not the tech that would stop me from buying this device. Its the reputation of the company that is selling it. I guess at the moment only Apple products are the only ones guaranteeing long term support of their hw and sw. All others are flaky at best and pull support / updates / product support whenever its convenient to them.
  • I can say if it launch at a price of iPhone x, it is a big flop. I wish this kind of device should be made by government organizations or government funded universities. It will make this device, lot cheaper and make environment more eco friendly. If Microsoft launch this device, this will definitely come under " premium segments", which mean not at all useful for students. I mean to say instead of wasting money in this device, we can purchase the same thing in paper form, it will cost us half the price of this device. or simply purchase kindle paper white for reading. though now a days big companies always play wrong tricks, they can give funds to other small companies for" not to launch books in paper form". Just like Microsoft did with its photo application. If company has made new upgradation in its application and they had given the same to there customer, what is the meaning of rolling the updates back. Same thing now google is doing they are now trying to control free internet like "creating patents for high definition images". We cannot say anything because in democracy laws were framed and made as per the decision of big companies or for few people like we see in India. let see what Microsoft do for the success of this devices
  • I can say if it launch at a price of iPhone x, it is a big flop. I wish this kind of device should be made by government organizations or government funded universities. It will make this device, lot cheaper and make environment more eco friendly. If Microsoft launch this device, this will definitely come under " premium segments", which mean not at all useful for students. I mean to say instead of wasting money in this device, we can purchase the same thing in paper form, it will cost us half the price of this device. or simply purchase kindle paper white for reading. though now a days big companies always play wrong tricks, they can give funds to other small companies for" not to launch books in paper form". Just like Microsoft did with its photo application. If company has made new upgradation in its application and they had given the same to there customer, what is the meaning of rolling the updates back. Same thing now google is doing they are now trying to control free internet like "creating patents for high definition images". We cannot say anything because in democracy laws were framed and made as per the decision of big companies or for few people like we see in India. let see what Microsoft do for the success of this devices
  • It will certainly be more than the iPhone X. It is basically two iPhones with curved screens, a cool hinge and active stylus support. I bet it will be $1299 for the cheapest model.
  • From the patents we know that there will be gap or gutter between two screens so this device will emphasize on dule screen use like Microsoft courier.
    I don't think it will be convincing as a tablet till display makers succeed in developing true foldable display without gutter or gap.
    It will be interesting see what kind of designs mobile companies bring for rollable display technology.
  • If it fits in my pocket, allows me to place and receive calls/text, run all windows store apps, takes decent pictures, I will buy this product. And as for the rest of the features as Dan rightly points out, unless you get to experience new things you wouldn't even know if you wanted them.
  • It'll be another mega failure. Mark my word!! This new category or whatever...will be left behind, no one will care about it... At first few fans will buy it...then everyone will move to Android/iOS again....
  • Having experience as Microsoft „early bird” it must start selling very quick or they will just kill it, like Surface RT.
    And honestly I think people will wait with purchase since it is going to be so new category and coming from Microsoft who doesn’t stand behind own product.
  • It is more important to me before being sold to a concept which may or may not show up in real life  for next 5 years is how the company treats its customers. for now Microsoft for me is IBM 2.0. I will wait for 3d or 4th generation of a product before i will consider it.  
  • My first computer was an Apple II. I remember getting excited about dual floppy drives and having more colors than shades of green. I've seen a lot of new technology happen in my life. Always there are people who have very logical, very practical reasons why something will not work. Because it is too "different" from the familiar. I have seen people declare word processing, video games, cell phones, the internet, Amazon, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the Surface as "impractical" or "expensive" or "ridiculous" or worse. People tend to have great difficulty imagining something completely new. Much of the discussion on this article and on this device has a similar feel to it. I'm watching Andromeda closely for a couple of reasons. I really want a Windows phone is one of those reasons but more importantly something genuinely new and different is actually quite rare, even in tech. Most things are just refined copies of what went before. This is clearly not that. For that reason alone, I will probably buy one.
  • Preach it! I'm with you mate, I'd rather have fun with technology, take gambles, and enjoy new categories, than forever be wanting more of the same, living with a mindset unable to try new things.
  • As consumer, I'd like to embrace it. As app developer, that's depend on whether Microsoft can provide multiplatform crash analytics and maybe backend backend service like Firebase. Because we often need to rolls a small online services dedicated for some small organizations where rolling out our backend server is not viable (the client deny the overhead cost). Up to this time, supporting any Windows type app (win32, either desktop or WPF, UWP) are pain in the a**.
  • I am excited about this new tech.
    I switched from WP to Android and while I now have more apps than I can imagine, I still only use 10 at the most.
    I also don't see the foldable PC as a phone, and even if it is, who cares?
    I do so many things on my phone that work, let's say, reasonably well, but by far miss the "perfect" mark.
    Guess what I hardly do on my phone?
    Making phone calls.
    I got to a point where I don't even take my phone with me anymore at times.
    My Gear S3 paired to a BT headset handles phone calls.
    If this foldable device let's me pair my Gear to it for texting, I really don't need a phone.
    I also don't need a ton of apps.
    What I need is this device to run Office really well, have a great OneNote implementation for note taking with a pen, a great calendar, email and to-do list, and a full function implementation of Skype for Business. Throw in some messaging apps like whatsapp, some social apps like Facebook and Twitter and decent GPS navigation and I am set.
    Give me that, and I will ditch my phone completely.
    For me it's all about productivity and if this device makes me more productive, I'll buy it.
  • As a marketer, I'm curious to see how the communications/positioning strategy for this works. They need to avoid the perception that this is a phone despite the fact that it makes phone calls. Curious to see how they manage that.
  • Pen driven? So you can't one hand it?!?
  • It will be touch so of course you will be able to one hand it.  The pen focus is referring to the way this device will be also optimized to be navigated via pen and be superior at note taking then what is currently out there.
  • This should make people think "smartphones are dead, long live true SMARTphones". If this doesn't replace the existing smartphone-camera and laptop/productive tablet combination, it's not worth it. I want to replace both my 950xl and YogaPro laptop with one single device, but without a world class camera and good phone capabilities it will not get my money..
  • It's already been made and not many people bought it... That was then and this is now so good luck MS. Libretto W100-106
  • The thing is Daniel, it's foresight and many don't understandably don't see several elements ahead. Let alone envisage the potential prospects of future devices. Which is why Sci-Fi as a genre is key for innovation and growth. As it allows people to see tangible use case scenarios for prospective or potential devices. Personally I can't wait for a foldable surface device, as it would finally be a device that is pushing the envelope. Sure, there are other foldable devices out there but none have the weight of the productivity ecosystem behind them whereas Windows does. I am extremely harsh on Microsoft for that reason (along with many others) and do not want to see that ecosystem eroded. As out of Apple and Google, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives many people not so well off. Which why it infuriates me when projects like Emma's watch are not in the forefront, the fellowship programme in Africa currently in a vague state. You see by chasing short term profits, to reduce cost many life changing projects will not get the funding and resources that they deserve. Emma's watch should have been touted left and centre along with Microsoft health. It's rather exhausting to spell every possible growth and revenue point out letter by letter. The people at Microsoft are not stupid they are much more capable than most people. However their actions often leaves me doubting that. I am hoping with Andromeda we will see a massive renewed focus on UWP. As a foldable device will benefit greatly from it.
  • Microsoft did say that Emma's Watch will take "many years" to be commercialised. What was shown was only a very early stage one prototype. Give them some credit, they did amazing work on that, and they've still got a long way to go.
  • I do give them credit, generally after a successful testing phase it goes on to another limited testing phase where select people from various demographics volunteer or are approached to test the watch but there hasn't been much movement on that front. The only reason it will take many years to commercialise is due to allocation of resources and priorities, nothing more. The thing is you don't take a corporations word as gospel. You hammer them to stay on track and stay on message. Microsoft has now sadly a track record of not keeping to either for the past few years. So naturally people are going to either cynical or hyper critical. I'm the latter, I want Microsoft to succeed changing many peoples lives for the better and can do so hence why am very much critical of them. However there actions speak louder than words and so far it's been a mixed bag, primarily due to the fallacy of short term growth. The main reason why it's called short term, because you hit a wall an inflection point where you must transition to the long term play or you will lose revenue if you continue to engage in the same practise or attempt to forcefully create a pay wall (s mode for pro users requires payment to be disabled on devices that it comes available on). Instead of taking the slow down on the chin and leveraging current foundations for long term growth. There is no to ways about it. But Microsoft has chosen to isolate consumers in favour of enterprise users hence why the Surface divisions has somewhat flat lined. Enterprise users don't buy expensive laptops YoY, consumers do. In addition by foregoing the factories acquired during the Nokia D & S acquisition. Microsoft gave up a major logistical advantage along with many advertising advantaged and selling advantages. Let me explain, they could have made the lives of these factory workers much better as result these workers would have told their families of how Microsoft is helping them. Which would open school connections where they could have given free or discounted education services and OEM laptops etc. This would have opened up new markets and enabled people to get on the Technology ladder. Which would have placed strain on the current infrastructure and as result would have been improved as most politicians don't want to give up their seat of power. Therefore if they don't improve the infrastructure then they would be at the mercy of people. So deals would be made to better the infrastructure and depending on said deals it may or may not improve the situation (as there are many factors in play). Generally it's the former, so now these people have better access to tech and this enables them to proceed up the tech upgrade chain. Allowing sales of many more tech devices and so on. If Microsoft thought it through they could have also taken on manufacturing contracts from Local OEMs. This would enable cost reduction and allow people to purchase more devices or better devices. As well as reducing lead time for their own devices and getting far better direct hardware integration with their software. It's a simple, formative and logistical pathway with a lot of revenue and profits to be made. Whilst bettering the lives of many people. Win-Win situation all around. But Microsoft went for the quick and easy route.
  • I'm sold on anything Surface in general but if Andromeda doesn't succeed in replacing Windows 10 mobile as a smartphone alternative, I'm concern that this device will be a dead end silmilar to everything that's related to mobile where Microsoft is involved. I hardly use any apps on PCs and prefer full versions of website services over mobile sites and there hasn't been any compelling PWA sites worth talking about that I've seen that adds to my concerns. Tablet mode still feels like an afterthough compared to windows 8.1 let alone Windows 10 mobile, not convinced that Cshell will improve the UI in folded mode on Andromeda.  To sum it up, the need to want this device is not as high as it was when the courier demo was leaked but this will change as long as the phone part of Andromeda makes me forget the death of Windows Phone.
  • I can be easily sold on something like this. The problem is that I'm not sold on Microsoft anymore. This wasn't the case not so long ago. I used to be the type of person that if you told that something Microsoft was going to be hitting the stores, so long as i had the money I'd buy it. But groove music, Kinect, band 2 and windows phone have given me pause. I haven't even gone out to buy a new surface pro because i genuinely don't know if I'd be buying something that'll be dead not to soon after i throw away the receipt. Killing the Kinect means that the xbox can't control the TV or Cablebox. the Xbox can't be used like a echo. not that you can because Cortana is so different from device to device bexause Microsoft hasn't really unified her functions. Notice that i didn't at a yet to the end of that. Band got killed off with grace. walk in with a broken band 2. Walk out with a Fitbit. It would've been nice if they tried to get in on the ground floor of submitting apps so i can have Cortana, outlook, onenote, translator & skype on my Ionic. Groove was a mess. it's like they didn't check with the dept in charge of Cortana before yanking it. Windows 10 Mobile got killed in a couple of 140 character tweets. that last one REALLY hurt. As a W10M owner, as one of the fans and enthusiast that Nadella said W10M is for and that he said he values. I would've happily been a beta tester for what ever Microsoft was willing to throw at me in preparation for andromeda. but that's not what happened. Windows phone was left to rot on the vine along with its user base. I can't even say that i have that much faith in Windows 10 at the moment. Tablet mode has LANGUISHED. Windows 10 Mobiles start screen could use the tile groups but otherwise, it looks way better than the windows start menu. Which still has folders that seem like an afterthought as they aren't live and don't have labels. The on screen keyboard DESPERATELY needs the virtual joystick. No matter how many times people ask for custom notification sounds, they don't seem like they'll happen. More work has gone into the Microsoft launcher for android than tablet mode which could use bits of the launchers functions & features. like app layout backup. better frequent apps list. And then there's the APP EXODUS. Not the App Gap. Apps that were already in the store for windows and windows phone are leaving. i was hoping to see apps for w10m on my surfaceand xb1. But devs are fleeing. Uber being the latest. other apps have not been updated since they launched years ago. Under Ballmer, apps came into the store and Microsoft got them to update them. With Nokia, Microsoft did more to engage developers. Nadella bought Xamarin and did nothing with it. there's even better tools for porting apps from iOS & Android but Xamarin is behind them. The promise of UWP is about as genuine as Dolly Partons... Microsoft doesn't even support windows really. How many apps has Microsoft put on iOS and Android now? That pix app with photosynth would be nice on my lumia 950 xl. As would the selfie app. I like the skype app on Android & iOS. except for sending my messages to my Surface like it does with windows phone, it has all those nice add ins like paypal i want. The Windows version is just sad by comparison. edge on iOS and android is better than on windows phone. I love Edge on Windows 10 but there's no send to mobile button. Probably never will be. Outlook for iOS and android is awesome. why doesn't that exist on windows instead of the mail app? Same with yammer app, who's in, mixer, what dog, health vault, flow, staffhub, sprinkles, sprightly, news pro, bookings, study portal, outings, etc. Microsoft makes more apps for non-windows OSs' than they do for windows. If Microsoft can't even support their own platform, why should ANY other developer? So Nadella or as I've come to call him, the Carver has done nothing to retain consumers & sucks at developer retention want's to release a folding tablet. Knowing that corporate goon, he'll pitch it at enterprise which is all about BYOD. Most of those employees bringing in iOS or Android devices using mostly google or amazon services. I can be sold on a folding tablet that doubles as a phone. I don't know if Microsoft and the Carver (Nadella) can be the salesman.
  • IF the foldable surface takes time to catch on.... then Microsoft will tire of it and abandon the early adopters. Kinect, Windows Media, Zune, I'm sorry, I can't go on . They've got to get this thing correct out of the gate... or everyone else will do it right immediate after and steal the thunder.
  • I would really like to be confident in getting a 'foldable' Surface doing all that I want to get from it, I've sadly been stung a few times by MS dabbling in something, some great ideas but because of their reluctance, or slow pickup of changes they were quickly overrun by competition and whitewashed, having to drop their idea as a good one for the competition but 'we won't compete in that area any more' mentality. I used to be an early adopter but this time I'm sitting back, till I see the product first, all these great assumptions to what this product is is great but now i need tangible. It may very well be I pick up a Galaxy Note as that does all I want and it is still relatively compact. My trust just needs recovering I guess from the flipant way MS decided to treat its "consumers" even though they are enterprise decision makers also. Where's that fence, so I can sit on it?
  • Thank you Daniel for invoking people to think about how we first are suspicious of new tech; maybe even resistent. It is inevitable that a powerful enough computer will fit in your pocket. Microsoft is forward thinking in evolving Windows 10 to adapt to other form factors dynamically. I have a Lumia 950 and I have to say that I have rarely used the Continuum feature. I just use my laptop. For this pocket PC to work, the availability of periperals is crucial. A lapdoc cannot cost just a much as a laptop and weight just as much. People will just get the laptop. I have been really looking forward to this pocket PC. I hate having so many devices to configure and maintain. I also want the same experience across all form factors. This will be a beautiful thing. I do not care about the app gap for this device. The currently available UWP apps is fine for me with the exception of Kindle. I've given serious thought about when mobile computing actually provides information that allows decision making that can change your actions while on the go. When mobile computing does this, then it is useful for being on the go. The browser, Mail and Calendar, People, Alarms and Timers, gps, and OneNote (for things like shopping list) are apps that can do this. These apps can deliver information, that can change a decision, to change an action while on the go. Most of what mobile computing has become though is information stimulation (e.g. social networking, video, etc.). I don't really care about information stimulation when on th go, though most people do. There is a new type of category for mobile computing beyond basic on the go information decision making and stimulation. This would be mobile content creation. Phones currently are too small for effective content creation. This foldable form factor will be awesome; practicle for content creation when on the go. You cannot predict when creativity will strike. When it happens when on the go, having a device to allow you to continue working, and I mean really work, will be super cool. I can see putting an entire music making studio on this thing and while working on a song, you could get an idea, and then just continue to work. Of course , when home you would just hook up to larger monitor to get more screen realestate, but while on the go, the foldable device could allow you to continue to work on your project when creativity strikes. Having a good journally device could be really cool to start an idea when it strikes on the go, and then just hook up to periperals to continue the idea when you get home. There are people who are always thinking and creativity is not predictable. A journaling device to provide a stop gap creative/production outlet while on the go will be revolutionary. It is important the the experience from mobile to home be continuous and uninterrupted for creative people (creative people understand how tech impedence can stomp your creativity). That is where this thing is also your main PC will be super cool. It will be a continuous experience from mobile to home.
  • Bravo Daniel . Liked your video . If this new Microsoft device really can do 3D acquisition / modeling of objects let alone faces , a lot of professionals, including myself will be very interested , and hopefully the general public will follow . I believe that It has to do more then a current PC or smartphone .
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  • In my experience it was my first gen surface pro that really turned heads and made people view and aspire to a mobile pc device for the future. That now seems more common than ever 5 years later. Another game changer was the first 8 mpix smartphone and compact camera. Arguably the sweetspot of resolution as it closely resembles the resolution of the human eye. For me this was the HTC x310e. More midrange camera's and phone surpass this today as ubiquitous making sharp and detailed photo's from a mobile device that fits in your pocket a commonplace. Basically anyone can make amazing pcitures now. Writing with a digital stylus on a touchscreen tablet device was an experience for the few only 10-15 years ago. Now taking digital notes, signatures and ink-to-text conversions as a common as your postman asking for your digital signature on a mobile check out device and almost any tablet or smartphone these days. I personally think the greatest challenge for creating new computing categories is the software and UI experience. Generally almost any hardware is fine, it's often the software that still misses the mark and regularly does not feel to be in sync on many levels. I think the world is ready for a digital journal pc-tablet device. Again, I think  it's the implementation of mainly the software and UI experience that will determine its fate. I do think microsoft already has the had the building blocks for the last 5-7 years. The only concern I have is if mcirosoft has the vision to let go of their legacy mindset and try something that fits the theme of modern digital journal that can replace a real journal and pen and add a smidget of technological sopthistication with the power of inking and smart ink-to-text conversion. I think that's the sweet spot of this device. Microsoft has got close with the surface line and windows, but is being held back in vision by remaining locked in the desktop experience thinking. The latter will not make a windows digital journal pc-tablet device a good experience, and will only be more of the same. The latter is not bad per se, but I do think microsoft will not have achieved their best in class digital journal pc-tablet device.    
  • How does Microsoft prevent the Asian manufacturers from copying whatever they create and putting Android on it?
  • There's certainly a lot of speculation around this device. How it will be used is the key one and we don't know how it will be used until we know more officially. But we can gain some insight. If the device has two 6" displays side-by-side, how big of a display is that? Knowing that would help us understand if it could replace a tablet. Using rusty trig skills, a decent amount of rounding, and an assumption that those displays have a 16:9 aspect ratio, I calculated that it would be around a 9.15" display. Someone with better math skills could check me on that. The aspect ratio would be a goofy one (8:9) and how the UI works within that will play into things, but that would be a larger screen than a number of tablets out there. For comparison, the Surface 3 has a 10.8" screen and that's been a solid tablet for me. I doubted the device's ability to serve as a tablet until I did that math. Now I think it's a possibility.
    And that gets to a lot of the discussion around this device. We don't know. We have a general concept of how this device will work, but we don't know any details. And once we have those, we'll need to figure out how this tool can be a benefit to us users. Understanding day in the life scenarios is tough until a device is in hand let alone before we have any concrete info. At the point where users have a device in hand, the early adopters will be going through a lot of what Daniel talked about in this column. People will need to see and then they'll think "Oh! It can do this and that makes things so much better!"
  • as long as the device isn't to thick. This still has to fit in our pocket. Otherwise its just a foldable tablet.
  • Thanks for the info on the Andromeda device I will Purchase it for the following reasons
    1=it's a Pocket PC that you can hook up to a larger monitor if you have to. 2=it has
    a larger viewing screen that a regular smart phone has. 3=it has a built in Cell phone.
    4= it is better bang for the buck device to buy because I have a PC tablet and a
    Cell phone too.