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When is Microsoft announcing Surface Andromeda? #AskDanWindows 50

On this week's episode of #AskDanWindows we're going to talk about everyone's favorite rumored device Andromeda, if Surface Studio 2 is still expected this fall, and should Microsoft charge for Windows upgrades again as to avoid advertising?

Grab your favorite PC, a cup of coffee and jump in!

Audience questions Episode 50

  • If the Andromeda device is real, when and where would Microsoft announce it? - @serpentbane
  • Should Microsoft add a yearly license fee to fund development of the Windows desktop? (Such as: less targeted advertising, better software QA testing, more innovation) - Luke B.
  • Are you still expecting Surface Studio 2 for the fall? (See Episode #38) - John P

Thanks to everyone for the questions!

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Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

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.

86 Comments
  • Microsoft, don't release Andromeda if it doesn't have phone features. It won't sell. I would like to see a 25" version of Surface Studio 2. I'm not an artist or designer, but I could use it as a premium all-in-one selling at around $2K.
  • I want a studio monitor. I have a full dell setup right now. I would probably switch to a surface pro / studio monitor setup. Best of everything setup. Light weight device when travelling, and full touch, pen supported monitor setup at home in the office! Yangstax, have a look at the dell xps all in one. That's pretty damn premium IMO.
  • I like Surface Studio design much better, especially if the Studio 2 would adopt the Swivel display design similar to the Surface Hub 2.
  • This, I would be all over a Studio monitor.
  • A news not long ago says you can make calls with Andromeda.
  • It is not clear how do you do that - either thru the app like Skype or via the cell/eSIM. Only the latter would work. It may not be called Surface Phone, but it better be a Surface phone. If it is not, I would check out the foldable phone offerings from Samsung, LG or Motorola.
  • Yes, only native call/text capabilities will suffice. I agree. If it's pocketable it better be full featured, and adaptable for any usage case. This device SHOULD NOT be limited to one type of user, or idea.
  • But the problem is how do you make it sell as an unique product? The moment you put telephony in it, the general notion will be, oh it's another windows phone/ surface phone. Just check the comments on the recent article by CNBC. People are saying, 'So, another iPhone?', 'That's what you call a smartphone', etc. Maybe they should have two versions of it - one with full telephony, and a cheaper one without any telephony. Kind of like the SP with and without LTE. The 'phone'-less version will be targeted for those who have already invested in an expensive Android/iPhone. But of course, this one will have to have good synergy with your existing phone (through Your Phone or something.) This way it is the same device line, but different models, and it will be harder to call it a Surface 'Phone'. Don't know if this makes sense from an economic perspective, it's just an idea I had. MS has a bad reputation wrt phones, and they will have to try really hard to differentiate this device from a phone for the general consumer.
  • This isn't a Samsung style folding phone. Theirs will have a folding screen. This will have two screens.
  • Sometimes, I see your comment and I hit dislike even without reading it.
  • The truth is tough.
  • My Andromeda render: https://imgur.com/a/hEPiGiZ I´m not sure it will have phone features. I think it´s more like a notebook (the old fashion version - Small notebook to take notes in)
  • I like that, but i would make it more symetrical (so sharper corners also on the outside).
  • 3 surface devices released at the same time 👀
  • It's happened before...
    Surface Pro
    Surface Pen
    Surface type cover 😛
  • You know that's not what they mean. That's one device and two accessories. I suppose the closest we've ever come to such a launch is the new Surface Pro and two Surface Book 2 models.
  • I know. But, it was funny😂😂😂
    Kinda😐
  • I thought it was funny.
  • 😆😁🤔 good one indeed
  • 😉😉
  • I'm skeptical...like I said before.. Microsoft is now run by master strategists and visionary leaders...
    that doesn't have the *will, desire or capability* to deliver any exciting new product...
    to the (non-enterprise) customers :) You can even see that in their future plan for XBox...
  • Agreed. MS has actually no idea about the world, and restricts itself to the USA. Until it takes its blinkers off and realises that India and China have a potential 2.7billion customers and acts accordingly, it will be in a downward spiral. All its announcements and WindowsCentral's guesses are just worthless until MS takes on board the reality of a WORLD market.
  • Something you don't bring up on the charging for Windows question is that upgrade licenses have never been a significant source of revenue, so there's no reason to think anything would actually change with or without it. The free installed games and apps and the ads are, I think, more about trying to get people to at least look at the Store (or in Candy Crush's case, likely necessary to get King to bother porting it) not, directly, about driving extra revenue to MS. Another example was preinstalling Drawboard PDF on Surfaces back when they were trying to convince people that the Surface Pen was worth using. So most of that stuff has been strategic. And they're not exactly resource starved, Windows doesn't really need to make more money, or rather, making more money isn't likely to change any of their existing teams' budgets.
  • Windows as a service is antithetical to charging for upgrades. Charging would have a chilling effect on prompt adoption of new feature updates.
  • The main source of windows revenue has always been the OEM and enterprise licenses. Windows revenue is largely made only indirectly, that is from the manufacturers rather than the actual consumers. Upgrades are also some additional revenue, but that has been steadily declining for quite some time since the majority of consumers don't even know what version of windows they are using, let alone want to pay for an upgrade. I have seen people still on windows 7 and 8 and are perfectly fine so far it launches Office and can do email and browse the web. They just can't be bothered about anything beyond that. OS details are for fans like those of us on Windows Central :-). Most folks on the street have no attachments whatsoever to their PC OS - they don't know and don't care so far it provides some minimal functionality. Selling upgrade licenses is no longer a viable model if widespread adoption is the goal.
  • Microsoft, take you time to launch Andromeda, please.
    Don't rush anything on that awesome project.
  • Three damnn years isn't enough?
  • Judging by how much consistent Windows 10 has become in three years from its release, I'd say three years are not enough for Microsoft.
  • LOL good one
  • Surface Scribe
  • stfu you noob
  • Oh, you must be worried I'm on the Surface team in charge of naming devices.🤔???
  • Surface Journal pls ;)
  • Surface Courier?
    Surface Nano?
  • Surface journal or surface pocket
  • In Australia we'd call it Touchy McTouchFace.
  • Surface delete...beacuase that’s what ole Nad’s just did to it.
  • Surface Cancelled, cause that is what just happened. Mary Jo says they might release it next year, but bigger and no longer pocketable and likely without phone features. Then it wouldn't be just another Windows phone.
  • Is this for real? If it is then Nadella really is nutty! Cancelling an Andromeda device, which simply MUST have telephony to be relevant, would be the nuttiest thing Nadella has done since …. last week?
  • Any hints as to if we might see an andromeda render leak in the near future (aka before October)? It's been so silly seeing the latest spate of "leaks" (the email that The Verge obtained) considering you all have been reporting that info for months. Seems like most of the leaks are just Microsoft creating the narrative of "new device category" so as to avoid the phone comparisons. Would love to see something more substantial.
  • I've seen a nice render going around, but it's nothing official. A fan with some skills taking the recent patents and rumors and creating a render based off how they saw it in their head. Microsoft is historically great at preventing leaks and keeping their projects under wraps. We didn't even know the Surface Book was happening until we saw it on stage. We all thought it was going to be a 14-inch Surface Pro. Boy were we wrong.
  • I have been doing some renders of the patents. They have done a lot of work regarding the hinge.
    See link: https://imgur.com/a/hEPiGiZ
  • I tried to do some Andromeda renders: https://imgur.com/a/PrsuF7H https://imgur.com/a/DHwF7r2
  • So if this great device comes, what apps will it have? None. Because Nadella.
  • It'll have access to all of the apps in the Windows Store, along with (likely) full win32 emulation using WoA (Windows on ARM). That's plenty of apps. And, despite what everyone wants to think, the Windows Store is growing. It certainly isn't Android or iOS yet, but that's because many of those apps are mobile focused (and we all know what happened with Windows 10 Mobile).
  • Something tells me the Surface Phone will have a Core-M inside. The Surface-Line seems to prefer Performance / Capability over all other things. The first Surface Pro was the biggest example of this. Many compared the original Surface Pro with the current tablets on the market at that time; and people questioned it because: "It's too thick to be a tablet, not good enough battery life to be a tablet, too heavy to be a tablet, not enough "Touch Friendly" apps in the Windows Store to be a tablet"; yet there it was. Because it wasn't made to compete with the tablets that were already on the market; it was made to be a new kind of device. A device that allowed one to make use of everything Windows had to offer. I think the Surface Phone will strive to be that new kind of device like the original Surface Pro was. Windows on ARM, while amazing, still has limitations that will keep the Surface Phone from allowing one to make use of everything Windows has to offer.
  • Hahahahauauuaau but not the apps people want or need on a mobile device. Think of local apps etc. Nobody is gonna Photoshop on this small device. It won't even have enough juice.
  • The good news is that no one at Microsoft uses a Windows Phone; they all use Android or iPhones. Therefore I'm pretty sure they are well aware of the App Gap issue. Maybe they have a solution to this; like native APK support or something along those lines. We'll just have to wait and see. But your right, without those apps this will not become a mainstream device; not at this time.
  • I saw a tweet the other day from a PWA expert from Ionic who just got employed in Microsoft's devices team. The success of PWA is clearly vital for Andromeda.
  • How about the entire f*cking WEB via WEB browser?
  • Hush man! Don't tell them our win 10 mobile 📱 secret 😎
  • Yeah, Nadella hates apps and does everything he can to prevent them from supporting Windows. 🙄
  • Sarcasm
  • Millions.
  • Millions of apps designed in 2005 for 20" screens controlled with a keyboard and mouse.
  • Millions?
  • There aren't millions of Windows apps?
  • They gave W10 away for free & finally reached market share parity with W7(released 2009) a of couple months ago. Charging for it? brilliant.
  • Definitely want both Andromeda and the Surface Studio 2!
  • My Andromeda render: https://imgur.com/a/hEPiGiZ
  • Love this. I hope they can make the gap as small as you show it here. Also, the aspect ratios you used seem perfect. What are they exactly?
  • Microsoft, please step up your game and don't let us down. Count us in. My family will do our part and support it by buying and USING two of them. Keep thinking Windoes Mobile Surface Phone!
  • But.... Will this thi g be supported just like they did with Windows Phone and windows 10 mobile? Or even more importantly will Microsoft announce a stop of support date two years after releasing they did with the Lumia 950 flagships? Microsoft really gotta mean it this time. They could start by not closing the light completely on Win 10 mobile December 2019. On the other hand then this new machine should run win 10 and ending that seems unlikely though.
  • "Will this thi g be supported just like they did with Windows Phone and windows 10 mobile?"
    This is Surface, not Windows phone. "Will this thing be supported just like they did with Surface Pro, Surface Book, and Surface Laptop?" There, FTFY
  • Thanks 🐱‍👤
  • Remember when you said that about W10M.
  • Oust Nadella first or this will not succeed.
  • Why would they when he's making MS money hand over fist?' 🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
  • It will need to take incoming regular phone calls at any time while idle. So, if it used a core M3, it couldn't 'sleep', and standby battery life would be awful. Put a sd850 or sd1000 in it, much better battery life and not as hot.
  • News on "Use Cases" and Apps that will run on it would be nice. If it going to depend on UWP... All hope is lost. In Enterprise Windows 10 is mostly ran like Windows 7. The store apps (today) are NOT the driving force of the OS.
  • https://www.zdnet.com/article/dont-expect-microsofts-andromeda-this-year... So... not coming then?
  • Coming!
  • Nope, pulled because it's not ready for prime time.
  • Delayed!!!! There u go
  • Let's ask Windows Central to stop talking about Andromeda or anything related to it for a long while?
  • Now that it's on hold for at least another year it's likely that everyone will stop talking about it.
  • And then Nutty will say "no one is talking about this so let's cull it". Standard Nutty tactic.
  • It's what a lot of people want to talk about though. So just live with it.
  • Not hoping to happen, not on my watch!
  • Andromeda! Andromeda! Andromeda! Andromeda! Andromeda!
    :D
  • Way to go,!!!!!
  • Unfortunately Andromeda may now be cancelled, why is WC not reporting this? Apparently MS may even cancel the project. Shock!, said no MS fan, ever.
  • Fact: your opinion is ignored. There u go!!!!
  • Dan... Take this down. Embarrassing! You can post a new edition with correct news of the shelving... So, we can vent.
  • Fact: Andromeda discussion draws hundreds of comments.... Fact: who let the stupid dog out? (Man in black)
  • ITMedCEO, Did you expect anything more from MS? Really? They have a great track record of Shitcanning stuff before release, or after when ole Nad's sees fit. Windows 10 Mobile, band, surface mini, the replacement for the 1020 with "hover touch" etc. all awesome things (besides the band, that was just poor implementation from the get go), shitcanned!