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Surface 'Centaurus' is another dual-screen Microsoft PC with Windows Core OS

Photo credit: The Verge

Microsoft is working closely with Intel on a new dual-screen Surface device powered by Windows Core OS that's similar to Intel's Copper Harbor prototype that was revealed earlier this year. Codenamed "Centaurus," this device is akin to Microsoft's canceled Courier project, which saw the company conceptualize the idea of a digital journal in 2010. Centaurus marks the second dual-screen device we believe Microsoft is currently working on internally, the first of which is codenamed "Andromeda."

What we know about Surface 'Centaurus'

According to my sources, Microsoft has been working on Centaurus for about a year now and is hoping to announce the device in the fall of 2019. It is supposed to be the first of what Microsoft calls a dual-screen 2-in-1, a new device form factor for Windows that utilizes two screens for productivity, inking, and more.

Like it did with the Surface Pro, Microsoft is building Centaurus to show hardware makers what can be done with this new form factor. These devices are adaptable and can transform into a tablet, laptop, digital book, a bigger tablet, or somewhere in between. Since Microsoft is working closely with Intel, it should come as no surprise to hear that an Intel processor powers Centaurus. This means Centaurus will be able to run x86 apps.

I'm told that Centaurus runs a flavor of Windows Core OS, Microsoft's new modern version of Windows 10. It runs an experience that has been designed from the ground up for dual-screen devices, and as such, provides a tailored experience that takes advantage of the dual-screen setup, that can also adapt the user experience to fit other orientations the device may be usable in.

Photo credit: PC World

While Windows Core OS can run legacy Win32 programs, it can only do so if they are containerized or are from the Store. As such, Microsoft has been focused on getting as many Win32 programs into the Microsoft Store as possible during the last couple of years. This means there will be a library of Win32 programs for users to take advantage of on Windows Core OS devices like Centaurus.

Since Windows Core OS is adaptable, the user experience can change on the fly. For example, if Centaurus is being used in a tablet orientation, you can fold it into a laptop position, and the OS will adjust to provide an experience akin to a laptop. This would make one screen a keyboard and trackpad and the other screen a familiar desktop with a taskbar along the bottom and windowed apps.

What does Surface 'Centaurus' mean for Andromeda?

Surface Andromeda is believed to be a pocketable dual-screen phone, and reports from earlier this year had suggested that Microsoft was scrapping the pocketable phone idea in favor of a larger tablet form factor. This larger version is Centaurus, but we hear that Andromeda hasn't been scrapped.

I'm told that Microsoft has put Andromeda on hold and is prioritizing the release of Centaurus instead. That's all in the name of ensuring that Andromeda has a successful launch when Microsoft finally decides to re-enter the mobile market. The problem with Andromeda is that when it's being used as a phone, it's too small to take any real advantage of Win32 programs, and there aren't enough Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) or Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps in the store for people to warrant buying one as a phone.

If Andromeda were to ship in the next year, the device would launch with no apps, just like Windows Phone did, and it would more or less be dead on arrival. Microsoft is pushing hard on PWAs to help solve this, but it's going to be a while before any of that takes hold. In the meantime, Microsoft will try to kickstart this new form factor by releasing a bigger version, one that isn't a phone and doesn't depend on UWP apps to be useful. And it will try to convince OEMs to do the same.

If this form factor proves to be popular, the idea of a pocketable version becomes much more appetizing. Microsoft's goal is to give the larger dual-screen 2-in-1 devices a little time to breathe, push developers to build UWP apps that take advantage of the dual-screen setup, and give PWAs more time to mature. Then perhaps in a couple of years, a device like Andromeda will make much more sense.

As far as I know, Microsoft doesn't have a release window for Andromeda right now. It's still being worked on internally, and Microsoft really does want to ship it eventually, but it's waiting to see how Centaurus is received first. I'm told Microsoft is also considering (but hasn't committed to) the use of Android apps on Andromeda as another way to fill the void of apps when being used as a phone, but that's something I'm still digging into at this time.

For now, Centaurus looks like it's going to be Microsoft's first foldable PC to launch during the next year. It will be the first new Surface form-factor since the Surface Laptop of 2017 and the first new form factor device for Windows since the introduction of the 2-in-1 with the Surface Pro. It will also be one of Microsoft's first Windows Core OS-powered devices to ship publicly, as Surface Hub 2X isn't expected until the 2020 timeframe. Of course, all of these dates can and will change, as nothing is set-in-stone when things are still being developed.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • "I'm told Microsoft is also considering (but hasn't committed to) the use of Android apps on Andromeda as another way to fill the void of apps when being used as a phone, but that's something I'm still digging into at this time."
    Please, no. I don't want crappy hangdroid apps on Andromeda.
    I'd rather rely on 3rd party UWP apps.
  • I think you might be in the minority on this one. I too would prefer UWP only, but if Microsoft can nail a smooth emulated Android app experience, I don't see why we can't have that too. UWP on its own means Andromeda can't exist, unfortunately.
  • I agree with Zac here. UWP would be preferred. I prefer UWP over PWA. But when UWP isn't an option, it's nice to have PWA. As long as Microsoft can commit to UWP for their own apps, I can accept the option of developers simply loading their Android apps into the app store. I would also appreciate it if store listings show if it's an Android port, UWP, or PWA. That way if someone would "rather rely on 3rd party UWP apps" they can see it in the store and make their own decision.
  • For me, it depends on the App. I don't see a reason to have Whattsapp as a PWA. All Apps that rely mostly on a server backend, make sense as PWA. Everything that needs a more powerful client or works "independent", should be an UWP.
  • Agreed. If we had Android apps on Windows "phone", I would probably not be using an Android phone right now.
  • Exactly right.. the market and developers have spoken. You can run Android apps on Windows, or run Android apps on Android, or buy an iPhone. There is no other option for a small/mobile device.
  • I wouldn't mind Android apps as long as they are curated through the MS store. Say what you will about Apple, but the apps available through the AppStore are generally good quality and malicious apps are usually weeded out. A decent selection of popular Android apps would be welcome in an attempt to avoid the "app gap" that Windows Mobile suffered from.
  • I thought they might try and partner with Amazon getting either the Amazon app store on its own or better for Microsft integrate it invisibly into their own store. It will be difficult for Microsoft to get developers to submit their apps if they aren't interested in Windows so partnering with large app stores outside of google could work for them. Obviosuly Amazon need some way to make a profit from this though.
  • Before suggesting the Amazon app store, buy yourself a Kindle Fire and try using the app store from that. Stuff is either missing or out of date. Very disappointing.
  • The problem is. If Android apps run on the device, why develop native apps from a developer's point of view? Also if Android apps run emulated, it only means that they will do the same thing, (or less) but slower nd consuming more battery due to emulation. It will be just like Facebook and Messenger apps for WM10, where they are super-slow and super-huge due to having to run an iOS subsystem as an additional layer. The outcome is that they are eventually the same app as on iOS, only slower and eating up more RAM for the same stuff. Running Android apps on the device would mean nothing more to Microsoft IMHO than having an Android phone with Microsoft products on it. It can only mean less. Long story short, I don't see how a Surface device having to run Android apps is worse than a Surface device having to run Android. I could be wrong. But I don't yet see a point in this move.
  • Android apps don't necessarily run emulated, and might not be slower than on Android smartphones.
    Windows 10 has the Linux subsystem, which isn't emulation or virtualization, but a compatible subsystem side-by-side with Win32, on top of the NT kernel.
    It actually originated in the efforts to run Android apps on Windows Phone, as Android is running on a Linux foundation.
    Seeing Linux binaries can now run on LXSS (the Linux-compatible NT subsystem) as fast and even sometimes faster than on real Linux (technically, CPU-intensive are often faster, while filesystem access requires some extra steps to run over NTFS and gets slower), this means we could get an ARM version of LXSS that can run the Android system as fast as a native Android smartphone. The only real problem is we would probably get many of the bad habits of Android as well, such as a bunch of processes running in the background all the time. But a curated selection of apps through the Microsoft Store, as well as some by-design limitations, such as allowing background processes on an app-by-app basis, could make it perfectly fine. If done right, Windows 10 could end up being better at running Android apps than Android itself, with the added benefit of running UWP and Win32.
    As to getting developers to jump to UWP, Windows Phone showed a new pocketable platform that forces developers to provide UWP apps doesn't work. But they have two other solutions they can take advantage of to still make it happen.
    One is their development platform. Xamarin, Unity and other runtime layers can move developers to a more abstract platform than gets compiled to both Andoid and UWP, developers can then jump to the UWP platform with a simple new compilation target.
    Second is their focus on mixed reality. Since that is a new platform and new user experience paradigm, if Microsoft succeeds with their Windows Mixed Reality platform, which only supports UWP, Win32 and WebVR, they could make developers build apps that scale back to 2D UWP when running on other Windows devices.
    Basically apps built from the ground up to support both mixed reality and 2D could be UWP from the start.
  • The only problem is that Linux apps actually exist, while Android apps don't exist. What you have in reality are Google Play apps, so Android emulation brings almost 0 apps to start with. Of course it may make for developers easier to submit the app but the problem is that by now developers know that Microsoft rarely paid them enough to justify even the trouble of uploading the screenshots.
  • There is the Whole country of China that would disagree with you. There is no play store in China and they have plenty of apps. Europe is heading this way too. We are the only ones stuck with the play store.
  • Actually European ruling is entrenching Google Play - previously you had to bundle all Google services if you wanted Google Play, now you don't have to. So previously there was a remote chance that someone would launch a pure Android if he wanted to ship the phone with non-Google apps. Now only a mad man would launch a phone without Google Play.
  • Europe? Not that i would know of (I'm German). But personally i use a Android phone without google services, getting all my Apps via FDroid and APKPure.
  • @Philippe Majerus
    If Microsoft really embraced this multi-subsystem thing you're talking about and pushed that as a defining feature of Windows, that would probably make me more excited for the platform than I've been in many years. I could see it maybe working in concert with Hyper-V so every subsystem is virtualized separately.
  • I agree. Multi-subsystems is a great plus, not a negative at all. We should just be able to have the apps we need regardless of the tech beneath.
  • Rumors where that APKs ran better on Windows mobile than on Android. They also said that APKs ran better than UWP (Which is supposedly why they killed it). Either way, I don't see a negative here. Apps are what we need. Once you get enough users, native apps will come, assuming UWP gets better performance and integration.
  • You could test Android apps on some Insider builds and it was very bad. Microsoft demonstrated it live and it was buggy then too, so why rumors when there are facts?
  • 1. Who cares what the technology is behind an app, the only important parts is it available and does it work well. No one cares how the code is written. 2. It wasn't "Emulation" they used API redirects, similar to how x86 code works on x64 Windows. you don't really need Emulation unless you changing processors, Java is processor agnostic, like C#. Supposedly Android APKs worked better on Windows Mobile than they did on Android and supposedly better than UWPs too (which is supposedly why they killed it). 3. Facebook IS NOT written for iOS and then emulated elsewhere with an iOS subsystem, it is using ReactNative which is a JavaScript framework, then it hosted on node which is the Chrome Browser engine. Blame node for the slowness.
  • react native is not hosted on node. It uses the javascript engine that is on the OS.
  • It would be much better if Microsoft made it easy to port Android apps to UWP. They've worked hard to create XAML Islands for WPF and WinForms, I'd like to see a little bit of the old "embrace and extend" in regards to Android apps.
  • I submitted that Idea a long time ago. All they would need to do is create a Java interpreter for their Roslyn compiler then use API shims for native APIs. Shouldn't be to difficult for a good team of coders. EDIT. Looks like there is an open source library to compile Java to .Net. While this isn't APK to UWP, it definitely is a proof of concept.
  • While I don't like the idea of Android apps, I don't think there is an alternative. The reason I am using an iPhone and iPad is apps. I haven't bought a Surface because there just aren't any apps available. I don't there is any potential future where Microsoft Store is a viable 3rd alternative to Apple and Google.
  • There are a TON of apps for the Surface... they’re just legacy and not UWP apps. Having said that, few Windows apps are optimized for touch - most of them are simply desktop apps that can be used on a tablet. Also, tablet mode on the Surface is a joke - it’s really just ‘alternate launcher mode’. Curious to see how (if) CoreOS improves the situation.
  • I thought those bridges was the tools for developers to convert their projects to Windows...
  • That depends on which bridge, some are a compatibility layers at the tools level and API shims, while some are runtime environments. Basically Centennial (Win32) is about allowing full access to the Win32 API from apps distributed through the Store, hence the "access all your computer resources" (aka Full trust) autorisation they require to run, as there are no runtime access rights enforced on these APIs. The compiled files are exactly the same as for desktop apps, only their packaging and some runtime redirection (to isolate their filesystem and registry) differs. Islandwood (iOS) is about supporting the Objective-C language and iOS API compatibility shim so iOS code compiled against the bridge libraries end up calling into the Windows API, once compiled with the bridge toolset, they are effectively UWP apps, just using unusual libraries. Astoria (Android) is dead, but lives in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and could be brought back to life if needed, benefiting from the years of work on WSL.
    For both Astoria and WSL, the idea is to run binaries unmodified. To achieve this, a complete subsystem that supports the Linux kernel ABI (i.e. system calls) is added on top of the NT kernel, running next to the Win32 subsystem. This has already been done in the past to support UNIX and OS/2 subsystems on Windows NT.
    In this bridge, the complete Linux user-mode is running on top of the LXSS kernel, which is not a Linux emulation or virtualisation, but NT talking the same language as Linux, so user-mode code believes it is running on top of the Linux kernel.
    From there, Windows can run the user-mode environment from Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Kali, CentOS,... unmodified and even simultaneously side-by-side.
    Running Android apps is basically just a question of running the Android user-mode environment on top of LXSS instead of Linux.
    The only real problems with running Android this way are the way Android lets app run code in the background (bad apps would still behave badly on Windows), and legal rights to run Google binaries on top of LXSS.
  • IMHO, MS would be wise to bring APKs to the Desktop Windows Store, not just for mobile devices. This would start seeding the mobile environment and work out the kinks before a proper mobile platform launch. This would also play into their effort for app mirroring on Android phones on the desktop.
  • I really don't see the point, then. Why not just go all-in for Android at this point? I'm not seeing a benefit of a Frankenstein's monster device. I was never fan of the Andromeda device since it will use untried tech (that will likely NOT survive real use for very long) and be too large to conveniently fit in pockets REAL people have and just be too niche. Depending on the size of the Centaurus device, and the apparent design of being two separate screens instead of a folding one, this would be more convenient for the Dayrunner crowd. I'd still prefer a Surface Pro or Go, because for real work, the size and form factor are a more appropriate platform. I could see, though, the Dayrunner contingent would find a Centaurus form factor more advantageous.
  • Yea, I hear you, I just want a 6" slate device with pen support, a great camera, and Windows with a Mobile Optimized UI/UX. I don't need the folding gimmick.
  • They basically just reinvented the Courier that they stupidly scrapped 10 FREAKING YEARS AGO and they're now thinking that this is innovative in 2019? They would have had something if they released the Courier right before or right after the iPad, but now??? If they're worried about an App gap with Andromeda then why aren't they worried about the same thing with Centaurus? It makes ZERO sense. Who exactly is this for when we already have the Surface line of computers? You can already consume content, ink, and type on any surface device. You can even use two apps side by side and configure how much screen real-estate each app takes up without being constrained to a fixed size... Let's face facts.... The only reason why Microsoft is releasing Centaurus before Andromeda is because they are being LAZY and SAFE. It's easy to use plain windows 10 with a fixed side by side view to work with a Centaurus Intel device. However such a device is entirely useless. Andromeda on the other hand would be useful, people would want a phone with the ability to increase screen real estate or to multi-task, but they wouldn't want to carry around a handicapped laptop or a tablet with a big crease down the middle.... A phone that could be useful for gaming, video editing, photography, etc. would fit a real niche. If Microsoft thinks they can just stumble into a new device category by slapping windows on a tablet with hinges, they have some serious idiots working there these days. Surface was a well thought out device that fit a real need in the market. Windows Phone was a well thought out device that tried too hard to chase Apple when they should have focused mostly on business while that market was being under served. Then they just decided to give up after finally perfecting the mobile experience and hardware. Centaurus looks to be a poorly thought out device with absolutely no focus.... They are going to release Centaurus late (after Samsung releases their fold-able phones) and then after they realize that most people don't give a crap about it, they are going to scrap Andromeda.
  • Yeah, although I'm usually an early adopter, I just can't for the life of me see super value in any thick as a brick device in your pocket. Too heavy to really be considered "pocketable" and that weird crease in the middle is kinda well... ugly. Would much rather see Microsoft do everything in its power to keep our phones in our pockets as much as possible (at least when we're in reach of a laptop, 2 in 1, 10 inch tablet, Desktop, or Surface Studio) by Improving Your Phone to the point where it's a truly seamless, no thought required, pleasurable experience. Screw Apple on Your Phone... I'd drop those closed-system elitists altogether... and go all in on Android.
  • This is spot-on correct, Zac! I said back when too, that having Android apps would not destroy UWP development as was commonly assumed. In reality, it would have allowed the public to buy devices that they knew would work with their banking, airline and other mission-critical apps while showing developers that there were millions of people willing to invest in Microsoft mobile devices. Native apps would naturally follow, especially as tools like Visual Studio caught up and made universal development painless. This is still the only path forward for Microsoft and they should jump on it now!
  • Yea, they should have had a three pronged approach. 1 Allow apps from anywhere run on Windows Mobile (UWP, Android, iOS, Win32, Win64, Linux, etc...), this would have given Windows Mobile the largest library of apps. 2. Make UWP into UAP (Universal App Platform) truly universal so that UWP would run on all major platforms (iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, Windows Mobile, Web) with as little change as possible. This would have made UWP the go to platform to develop for. Platform UNO has made some great strides in this department but don't seem to be getting any support from MS. 3. Fleshed out their hardward and services ecosystems. They needed to get more international support, with both language and capabilities, especially with maps, search, and music. Then find the missing gaps in hardware, such as wearables, car, tv, etc...
  • What beats me is why did developers not support the OS in the first place? Normally, if you said to a dev, "hey I've got 120000000 potential customers", would he say, "nah, no point that's as good as nobody, no point making a product unless we have a billion potential customers...
  • Mostly it was poor timing and management. They were last of the big three and developers have to develop for three platforms already with web, iOS, and Android, so potential customers did not mean actual customers. Plus Management mishandled Windows Phone from the beginning with constant reboots that made development feel like a moving target. Fortunately, it feels like they have maintained a consistent direction for the past couple of years, but people are having trouble trusting them.
  • Yeah, pretty much so what Brian said... but adding a dev's perspective... devs don't want to have to write an app 3 friekin' times. 2 is already one times too many. Why? Because... a typical app has about 100K lines of code in it. One hundred thousand! And those are the "simple" apps. 100,000 lines of code is like writing War and Peace. It's hard, grueling, often thankless labor. No guarantees of success. Now writing it for 3 OS' is like writing War and Peace... three... times in... three... different languages. The notion of that just plain, well... sucks. Not to mention that you have to... maintain... these apps once they're in production. This is why devs stick with the least amount of work for the most amount of money. That said... Progressive Web Apps stand a remote chance because you're "promised" you will only need to write the app once and it will run on "every" device. However... all 3 companies openly lie to you often with how "simple" things will be if you only just believe in the their "new and improved" way of doing things. In reality different browsers treat that "one" codebase often very differently. And it takes hours and hours of time figuring out why something that works on one browser doesn't work on another. The truth is, web development is just plain harder than OS targeted development. In fact it's about 3 times as hard as OS targeted development. So a lot of devs will skip PWA because of the complication factor alone. All said... the only answer now is for MS to do exactly what they are doing... stay out of the "phone" business. Period. There's simply no way to gain back phone devs right now. It's way... too late for that. Any devs wanting to target MS devices and the Windows platform will be devs whose apps are best suited to a larger screen and a more powerful processor. While trying to build the next "killer app" is the popular thing to do today... there's still plenty of devs targeting larger screens out there. MS just needs to be content with that market.
  • Sure, I get the point. There are however millions of apps written for PC. Big and small. And this has not changed alot the last eight years. UWP development have several plus sides, in particular for the smaller developers. Also, there are lots of touch enabled PCs in the market. Why is developers avoiding UWP? I've talked to several, and I get a feeling it's just because they decided to. It's something there making them think this is bad on PC. True, I'm most likely oversimplifying a great deal here, but I find it a little strange. And even with many lines of code, if you can earn money you do it.
  • Supporting the use of Android apps on any new Surface mobile device is a bad idea for so many reasons, not least of which:
    * Third-party developer disengagement: why bother to write UWP apps for a platform on which your potential users are already using, and used to, Android apps that they could continue to use when they move over to the new Surface device?
    * Inconsistent user experience: Android is laissez-faire in terms of user experience compared with Windows so one of the benefits of Windows, its consistency that makes it easier for users to use, would no longer apply.
    * Stability and security: Google's Play Store has long had problems with malware, security, and other curation issues with the apps it publishes. If Microsoft allows the use of Android apps on its Windows devices, it'd effectively be ceding control over issues like security that could compromise its devices. If a user installs a dodgy Android app on their Surface device and something bad happens, who are they going to blame? Probably Microsoft.
    * Capability: Android apps are not going to be able to do everything that could be achieved with a UWP app. There isn't (that I'm aware of) any Android equivalent of Xamarin, so users of Android apps on a new Surface mobile device will not be able to take full advantage of everything the device will be capable of. From Microsoft's point-of-view, there are disadvantages also. By supporting the use of Android shovelware on their Windows device, they cede control of any revenue stream from those Android apps to Google. That, combined with the disincentive for third-party developers to create UWP apps because of the support for Android apps, would have to have an effect on the economics of such a device. Would it still make enough money in other ways to be worth the bother? For anyone currently using, and happy with, Android apps, why wouldn't you just keep using an Android device? What on Earth would be the point of buying a Windows device to run Android apps?
  • There are some people chasing the legendary, mythical “one device”. Personally, my preference is multiple devices that suit specific functions (especially given the battery issue - you just can’t build a battery that suits “one device” unless you just don’t use that device often). I understand the desire, but I would rather a device do a few things really well instead of everything mediocre.
  • I think you are mistaken One device with One consistent experience. I don't think anyone here is under the impression one device will address all their needs, but what they do want is an experience that morphs and adapts in a consistent way across a platform of devices. Apple is probably closest to this idea, but MS has the most potential. These morphing devices hit at a specific niche, that most likely won't be what most people need, but have very specific use cases and groups.
  • "What on Earth would be the point of buying a Windows device to run Android apps?" Because I need Android apps, but believe the Windows OS is better.
  • 1. With out Android there is no users because there will be a significant App Gap. 2. Users don't know or care that an app is developed for Android, they just know that it is either there or it isn't. 3. APKs does not mean that you are installing the Play store, so MS has the ability to curate the apps and make sure that malware doesn't get in. 4. The company that control over the platform holds most of the cards. App and services are second. Right now MS is fully reliant on Android and iOS for their mobile ecosystem. Bring APKs to Windows would be more advantageous to MS than Google, because now MS controls the Platform. 4. Because Windows with APKs would be more powerful than Android alone or Windows without APK. Because now you can run both Windows apps and Android apps.
  • Many users may not care how the apps they use come to exist, but it is nonetheless an important issue for the overall viability of a platform. For Microsoft to support the use of Android apps on a Windows device, they'd be severely damaging their efforts to encourage native Windows app development. As native apps go, only Windows apps can take full advantage of everything the Windows OS has to offer and provide the best experience possible on a Windows device. When a device ecosystem has to rely for its survival on native apps developed for a rival platform, surely you should be asking yourself: "What's the point?" Windows as a mobile platform will never achieve its full potential without Windows native apps. The way Microsoft curates Windows apps on its mobile platforms is by defaulting to requiring users to install apps through the Store. The Store submission process includes vetting that, in theory, gives Microsoft the opportunity to prevent dodgy apps from being published. If a new Windows device were to run Android APK files directly, they wouldn't be coming from the Google Play Store, nor the Microsoft Store, so they'd have to be side-loaded onto the device (a procedure, I'm sure, that would already be beyond the ability or comfort level of many current Android users that might otherwise consider a new mobile device from Microsoft). If an app is side-loaded on a Windows device, how and at what point would Microsoft have an opportunity to curate the app and prevent the installation or use of it if it is dodgy? End-users that side-load apps onto devices typically do so to get around controls put in place by platform vendors that would otherwise prevent them from doing exactly that. I agree that the present situation of Microsoft being reliant on the platforms of its rivals for its mobile strategy is undesirable, but I don't agree that the solution (in whole or in part) is for any new mobile platform from Microsoft to support the direct use of apps from rival platforms that will not have been designed for use on a Windows device. You can see how this doesn't work with many Android apps that are available today: designed to work on a phone form-factor and don't scale well or otherwise work as intended when used on Android tablets, laptops, etc. It would be one thing for Microsoft to revive the idea of Project Astoria for a new Windows mobile platform that, as with Project Islandwood, would allow for developers of existing Android apps to port them over to Windows and publish them as a UWP app (existing Android app with UWP "wrapper") in the Microsoft Store, but to have a new Windows mobile platform support the direct use of Android APK files (either side-loaded or from the Google Play Store somehow)? That'd be a terrible move for many reasons that have already been stated here and elsewhere. Dan covered some of these issues several years ago in an article on WinCentral:
  • 💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯Correct!! I agree 100%
  • I would prefer the choice of both. Along with legacy apps.
  • So emulated and not the bridge tool that MS killed?
  • I believe they can and will do it better than Google ever did. Before it was abandoned the best way to use Android emulators was using MS Visual Studio emulators package. I haven't seen better Android emulators than that. But it is still stuck on Android 6 last time I used it sadly.
  • Without a phone, I'm not really sure what this would be used for...
  • What are the dimensions? It looks about the size of two iPad Minis stacked side-by-side...
  • As if UWP apps are so well designed and so reliable, or they follow any sort of clear design principles. At the moment UWP apps are the crappiest apps on any ecosystem. With Android apps you at least get a shot at a semi successful platform.
  • I think you're thinking older Windows 8.x apps, which are still present in the Microsoft Store, are the same as UWP, which they're not. Your example of 6tag proves that (it's not UWP). Actual UWP apps are Edge, Stickies, OneNote, and third party apps like Kodi (it's not a Centennial app), VLC, Amazon Music, Sketchable, and Twitter.
  • I don't think Edge is UWP.
  • It actually is, also AdobeXD is another powerful UWP app. Having developed quite a few enterprise data grid apps for it, it's quite powerful. It's better API helps a lot compared to all the work I have to do on past WPF apps. The new XAML bindings is quite performant since it's now a compile time thing, though you can still use the runtime bind if needed. It's also quite easy to have pretty looking apps without too much effort especially on enterprise apps where people prioritize functionality. As a developer it's a better WPF sans some low level features that you don't have access directly due to it's stricter permission model (which is a good thing but can be limiting for some apps). It's just that most apps there were on the story was mobile focused due to the remnants of Windows Phones, though now it's slowly getting there at the very least in enterprise.
  • Older WP8.1 apps never crashed. Crashing is a thing practically introduced with W10M and UWP, and for reliable behavior you can check out W10 itself, say, Groove.
  • We experimented with 3rd party apps like 6tag instead of Instagram. All we got was a confusing UX with lacking features that eventually forced me to update my mom's 640XL to W10M so at least she can see stories, live videos and multi-picture posts on the official - but still crappy in comparison - Instagram. 3rd party apps are not solving any problems. Since that unique Windows Phone design is gone already, who cares whose apps we use as long as features are there.
  • IMHO, Android emulation would have single handedly saved Windows mobile. It was monumentally short sighted for them to resist doing this in order to "save" UWP. Windows Mobile dying has done more to harm native UWP than Android emulation ever would have done. I don't care where the app that I need comes from, just that works well and is available to me. I don't care if it Java based Android, Javascript, HTML, CSS, based PWA, Objective C based iOS, or C# based UWP, and guess what, NO ONE else does either. MS STILL isn't embracing openness as much as it should even today which is still hurting UWP. Platform UNO can take UWP apps and turn them into Android, iOS, and even WASM based Web pages, and yet, no mention from MS about Platform UNO, they are still pushing people toward Xamarin and Blazor. Taking UWP truely cross platform and allowing other platform's apps on Windows is the best way for MS to stay relevant especially on mobile.
  • No, it wouldn't have saved WM. Have you seen the performance of Astoria? Not a pretty sight. Also, WM had way more problems than just the inability to run Android apps. It was an unfinished product, sluggish, buggy, with never ending api reboots, and the only developers in charge seemed to have been part time interns. Even Mother Teresa couldn't have saved it.
  • These Android apps are working great on my Note 9.. At this point Andromeda would have to have two things to convince me to choose it over a foldable Android device... A much better camera than the "crappy" one on the Note 9, and Android apps, along with full blown Windows... That be the ultimate device. Microsoft is gonna have to put a top notch camera on ANDROMEDA, Whether they realize it, or not.
  • If Andromeda can run win32 apps it can run Blue Stacks. What's to stop MS from coming up with a more elegant emulation experience?
  • LTE pocket-sized Surface is dead and iOS is crap. ugh, Android it is...
    My windows phone could hang on for another decade right...?
  • I haven't heard anything about "Microsoft pushing PWA hard".
    All the pushing we get from Microsoft as developers and what gets talked about most is Azure (DevOps and CI/CD), ASP.NET Core and Xamarin.
    Microsoft certainly talks about pushing more modern apps, but from what I see it's all about iOS and Android.
  • Yep, if MS wants to talk about what they want to see happen in the market, they can start by leading the way and showing how its done.
  • Ya, what ever happened to Bing scouring the internet for PWA's an automatically adding them to the store?
  • The "Centaurus" device sounds interesting and there are people who will buy it but
    folks and Microsoft have to get away from the idea that a Tablet that has a built
    in Cell phone HAS TO HAVE APPS other than what is needed to receive and send
    a telephone call & do basic stuff a land line phone does at home or in a Business.
    A Centaurus device with a built in plane jane Cell phone & a blue tooth headset
    would be a more innovative and useful than a foldable 2 screen or foldable single
    PC tablet. People love and use a simple non smart phone Cell phone everyday &
    they cost less to buy and pay for services too
  • You think a premium tablet which has cell and LTE is going to be cheap?
  • Feature phones are only popular in developing countries, and that's because they can't afford smart phones. While it's true that the mobile market has stabilized, and it's really only a small amount of apps a device needs at this point, the future is going to be based on scalable interfaces, which is not tenable on a dumb phone.
  • I still will stick to my guns and think if the Centaurus foldable Tablet had a built in cell phone that does the
    same things your wall land line phone does it would sell more than just being a new form factor for a small
    Windows 10 Core Os Tablet.i think more people would buy a Centaurus with a built in Cell phone than one
    with out a Cell phone. The Apps crazy People might not want it but those who have a Centaurus with built in feature cell phone would like it. a new 2 in 1 device.
  • I read somewhere on this site that the Surface Headphones were planned to come out together with the Andromeda device demonstrate but for its delay.
  • Yeah, I remember when Dan said that. It doesn't really make sense to me. Surface headphones are great for sitting at your desk or in private. For being mobile and on the go, they are too large and obnoxious. Ear pods have that down, I would expect something similar from Microsoft. Not another pair of 1970 style cans.
  • didn't you hear, Obnoxious is in when it comes to wearing over the ear phones in public. Although we need candy colored head phones with their Logo in large type so everybody knows how much we paid for them. /s
  • So with devices beginning with both A and C, what's hidden under B...? Maybe the super large-screeneed home hub Surface Behemoth?
  • OK, Surface Behemoth is a joke, but with A(ndromeda) and C(entaurus), surely they've also been working on B-something?
  • Andromeda and Centaurus are both constellation names. The only one that begins with B is Boötes (the Herdsman). That looses something in translation.
  • Hehe. Nice interpretation. :) However my first thought was, Centaurus is in the center between the Surface Go and Andromeda.
  • I think the Surface Go was an interm device to serve as a placeholder for Centaurus. Once Centaurus comes out, the Surface Go will probably Go away.
  • Maybe Betelgeuse or something like that?
  • > Microsoft has put Andromeda on hold and is prioritizing the release of Centaurus instead. Yeah, because they're no longer anywhere near being first to market. So it would be a not-novel device with no apps. Starting instead with a PC-like version (size-wise) and letting the form factor "shrink" by launching Andromeda is a strategy that's much more likely to succeed, I think.
  • Naw. This Centarus device will not drive mobile app development. Just more of the same Windows experiences. It will only be useful in traditional laptop configuration and the keyboard will be frustrating at best. In a couple years Microsoft will even more behind with less chance for Andromeda to succeed. If Microsoft wants mobile, they need a release an absolutely amazing device as soon as possible. That is going to be infinitely hard.
  • Bluetooth, non-attached keyboard will work fine on a desk. When the device is in your hands it's going to be the on -screen keyboard (same for every tablet and smartphone to date).
  • Except every other tablet and smartphone is actually designed for as well as has a touch ecosystem. Windows has none. Microsoft has not been building it up the past few years. They have entrenched themselves into keyboard and mouse or nothing.
  • I kind of agree, though I think Microsoft THINKS they have been working hard at touch and succeeding with a compermise between touch and keyboard/mouse (though there is a divide on what people outside Microsoft think..).
  • No apps = Scraps!
  • I'm not sold on the idea of Centaurus. The whole limiting factor is software and input focus. I don't see myself using a Centaurus device as a pc with a bigger virtual keyboard to type on with two hands. The focus of input and software will have to change to a touch a pencentric user interface search. Simply slapping on windows 10 in its current state will not be a good experience on this device. Microsoft would be smart to also focus more resources on finishing the current tablet experience, even if is was a running beta today. I would do more with file managment a icons with live tiles, do more with action center and less with the taskbar, actually support autorotate of multitasking mutliple apps in tablet mode correctly in landscape and portrait orientation (currently NOT supported in windows 10, amazing!!!) and vastly improve swype recognition of words (which today is still meh after 5 years of Swype and Wordflow and Shapewrite on windows; windows phone 8 was great though!).
  • It states in the article that this would be running core OS which is not just putting windows 10 as we know it on centaurus. Whether or not core OS will be a way better touch/pen interface is yet to be seen.
  • It doesn't matter anyways. Samsung is bringing their device out first and that's what's going to capture people's attention. I wish it wasn't this way. I wish that having the ecosystem sorted out and having a near flawless device would mean that it would be successful but I don't think this is going to be the case for Microsoft. Everyone is hungry for something new, something different, and a lot of people are going to jump on that wagon, the first one, as soon as it comes around. Even though there aren't any apps available for Andromeda, I think, if it was first, it would have a higher chance of getting the people's attention. This in turn would motivate developers to make some unique apps for it, and in turn, will lead to a successful return to the mobile space for Microsoft. >sigh< oh well.
  • I see your point but disagree, we've already seen many examples of how being first does not mean automatic success. I'd rather Microsoft do what it's doing now in terms of building up the ecosystem and what not than rushing to being the first.
  • Agreed. Oh and iPhone was not first, just the best of the bunch at first (and still is right up there)
  • iPhone was the first to really how great a multi-touch smartphone could be. It blew everything else out of the water.
  • Absolutely! It wasn’t, by far, the first smartphone, but it was the first smartphone that appealed to more than just the Tech crowd - and that’s what Apple does. From a UX perspective, they’re thinking more about ‘the average person’ than the computer loving tech person (though, from a price perspective, they’re thinking about the disposable income audience and not necessarily ‘the rest of us’).
  • How does building up a large screen laptop ecosystem help a small mobile device?
  • That's my thought too.
    The thing about the Samsung device is that, at the time of release, there will be a lot of apps available from the Android community and many more that will will get updated to support it once this device is out. (The ecosystem will be sufficiently ready) Even if it's not immediate, the work Google has done already to natively support dual screen devices will be enough to hold users over until the OS and apps get refined in later updates. During this time it will be out in the public and, in the public's consciousnesses, will become the de-facto device if you want a dual screen, phone-to-tablet, device. As for Microsoft's "efforts", I will try to hold on to my last bit of hope for them, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • As someone who owned the new Lenovo Yoga Book c930 I can honestly say that I do hope Centaurus works out well. The Yoga missed a couple of key things at launch and I hope MS learns from that and can deliver a more polished device I will that form factor. The Yoga was amazing and I really wanted to love it but the E Ink needs way more refining and features and then it would have rocked!
  • Microsoft is pushing hard on PWA's? Really? Because that seemed to start with a bang and end in a whimper months ago.
  • I'm not even sure which PWAs are even on the web? Maybe twitter? The web is an awful, slow, poorly designed, zero interface standards platform that prioritizes all the wrong things compared to a native app.
  • Yeah I haven't heard anything lately about PWA, especially on this site. The PWA I tried (I don't use Twitter) have crashed a lot (
  • I honestly forgot about PWAs... Ms needs to beg Google to co develop Windows with Android apps. That's really what we need.
  • We don't really need Windows anymore. ChromeOS is almost there. Soon, Windows will only be for the heaviest of uses.
  • This sounds like the end of Andromeda. I would buy Andromeda, I want a new phone (or pocketable device, whatever stupid moniker they need to try to hide from themselves). Centaurus seems like an absolutely terrible way to push Andromeda. I don't like it was a concept one bit. It's a foldable Surface Go, but even more hamstrung. Folding it won't make it pocketable, which means portability will be terrible. It still needs a hand to carry, or a bag, so it's insanely redundant with the Go... The selling point of Andromeda is being pocketable and portable. A "journal" is typically used on a table or folded back, meaning the dual-screen feature set is mostly non-existent. It looks completely unmanageable unfolded, if you're not at a resting position. Again, given this would probably be pricey, why would I take this over a Surface Go, or even a Pro (depending on price)? I see no real market for this. People have asked for Andromeda, something pocketable and functionally flexible. Who is asking for a foldable, unwieldy tablet? I don't get it, beyond seeing that MS (if claims of making this succeed before releasing Andromeda are true) has completely lost its mind. Their platform will continue to flail about in mediocrity with no mobile presence, and Centaurus will do nothing to help that. The Surface Touch Cover should be enough of an example of how the market feels about touch keyboards as it is. Andromeda is a potential market leader. Centaurus is a smaller copycat of the new Yoga, but without the functionality of full Windows.
  • I agree. Microsoft can make as many foldable devices as it likes. The only one I'm interested in will be the one that fits into my pocket.
  • Typing this on a surface go now. Get rid of the bezels and fold it in half; that's about the size (and aspect ratio) I want for a 'phone'. I would bee disappointed if andromeda ended up being the size of 2x950xl. Maybe they can do both. I'm more concerned with limiting this new thing to the store...but as long as it can take calls, I'm game.
  • Why would anyone buy the device if it is running android apps? by the time this is released, samsung will be on the second iteration of their foldable phone and probably the microsoft launcher will be updated to run on it. The benefits of the form factor itself mixed with windows pen and touch experiences should be enough attractive for costumers and developers without having to resort to android apps. It worked with every surface device so far. And honestly, how many more productivity apps does a device need to have on it's store before we stop crying about not having snapchat? They never said this devices were meant to replace the phone in your pocket so why worry so much trying to compete with them?
  • I'll pass on Centaurus. The hinge looks cool, but I'd rather go with a device that has one foldable screen or like Andromeda with the curved edges. Centaurus reminds me too much of a notebook with the spiral down the middle.
  • That's not a picture of Centaurus. Thats a picture of an Intel dual screen reference design device.
  • Whatever device it is, but if it is mobile like pocketable or mobile, then there must be fm radio hardware present, because no future update can enable it until hardware already present before public release. So there must fm radio hardware be present
  • Radio is dead.
  • Says who Limp Bizkit. /s
  • Coming
  • None of these will see the light of day as they are now. By the time they release these well all be buying computer space on severs from cloud providers and steaming to devices. Its what ******* wants.
  • Will it take my calls? You can make the thing 60inches for all I care, but it needs to take calls. Ignoring telephony has been (IMO) your biggest mistake, Microsoft. If you want people to stop thinking of cellphones as their all-in-one devices, make them less relevant by letting people take calls/mms on all form factors.
  • Everyone is carrying around their computes in their pocket. I can't carry Centaurus in my pocket. I've been waiting for Andromeda, but the story keeps changing. 2018, no 2019, no.. after Centaurus. It's a moving goal post and my badly cracked 950XL is a lethal weapon now. Launch Andromeda already. Have it be the only device that can run Win32, UWP, Courier, Win 10 Mobile, and Android apps. This is your game changer Microsoft! One ring to rule them all!
  • Ugh. Much more interested in Andromeda, to be honest. I don't need another 'larger-than-a-phone' device. Guess I'll be seeing what Samsung does with their foldable phone. At least I know that if THAT runs android apps, it'll be because it's actually running Android and the chance of google somehow handicapping them will be small.
  • Google already handicapped it. They won't have Google Play Services so any apps that use those APIs will not function. You will be stuck with the crummiest of Android apps. Most of the good ones will not work.
  • Any chance they would be scrapiythe metro design in these upcomming OS? ‘Tailored’ experience built ground up, does it matter to me on the UI side, No. i am not interested in all the internal chages which makes their life easy. There has not been many changes to the way Windows UI looks, no tile updates. It’s like they just keep sending yearly updates and all i feel is, Nothing.
  • I thought andromeda was gonna be an extension to our phones.. I heard again and again that it was never meant to replace our phones but was supposed to be a new category. Ok whatever happened to that.. Microsoft is worried about apps all of a sudden.. Man good luck you all. I have zero hopes (and I guess thats a good thing). I dont like Centaurus/yoga book kinda device. Lenovo also worked very close with Intel on that device.
  • That was not Microsoft's idea, just Jason Ward's theory.
  • Hmm, I guess I could see what they are trying to do with this device, but it really seems like the old chicken and egg problem still. As mentioned in the article, UWP apps and PWA apps are not really catching on, which means most apps require the mouse-centric legacy applications. I suspect that this new Centaurus device is meant to be held like you would hold a book, or flat on the table. This means a user would not use a keyboard and mouse, but touch and pen. As legacy applications are not really touch-friendly, this *may* push developers to transition to UWP or PWA. If that's the intention it's a nice thought, but who knows if it will work. Oh well, I guess I'll just continue to be naive and optimistic that Microsoft can pull it through.
  • So we can finally get some more in-depth Amazon cross-over such as a solid Kindle and Prime Video app if there's more Android interoperability. Wonder if that'll be coming up in conjunction with these hardware developments since we've seen Alexa and Cortana playing nice and Amazon Music making its way to Windows and Xbox!
  • Sorry, I have zero interest in Centaurus. Give me a nudge when Microsoft shrinks it, makes it pocketable and gives it telephony. Barring that, its basically the same as my bulky HP Spectre which I can also flip over and takes notes on. It is of my opinion that Nadella is overly cautions/tentative on Andromeda. However, market leaders and those that innovate are not usually attributed with the trait of being tentative.
  • The Centaurus device will have an audience at launch. Might be a bit niche but it will happen. I think of the Andromeda device as a complementary device to users with existing Surface hardware. Kind of like a quick-view device for docs with Timeline and Cortana enabling you to do quick responses and create drafts before picking up on larger Surface (or other) hardware. It can be sort of a "universal remote" or hub for all the other signed-in devices and services that you can use to keep track of what's happening on those devices (through a timeline kind of notification/quick action feature) so you would, for example, see updates on your ongoing Xbox downloads and other notifications natively (not needing separate apps), then pause, restart, stop, or other quick action that will be related back to the larger source device. I don't think they should sell it (Andromeda) as a phone but rather as something like a "wearable", like the Headphones (or, at least, pocket-able). A productivity accessory/ action hub. It just happens to have the ability to be used for limited creation/ productivity tasks and to initiate/continue communication (including calls). (So imagine, Your Phone's phone-call -routing feature being available across Windows OS (Core, etc.) and thus on Andromeda, Centaurus... Hmmm as an aside, what if the Headphones had eSIM built-in already and you could initiate phone calls through Cortana (with call logs, etc, synced across all signed-in devices)?
  • Centaurus looks interesting, but I am already bringing two phones with me most days (work & personal) -- I just don't see myself also bringing along a dual screen 7 inch tablet on a daily basis.
  • Wow, this new form is more digestible and in my honest opinion, looks phenomenal. Looking forward to it!
  • What's the point of a foldable device that doesn't fit in my pocket? If I can't put it in my pocket, I might as well keep carrying my Surface Pro.
  • The Lumia 950 & 950 XL were announced together. They should do the same with Centaurus & Andromeda and let the consumers pick what fits their needs.
  • It’s time to move on from chasing this pipe dream. It’s a distraction. Every minute wasted on it is a minute they’re not working on something of high value to the company and its shareholders. Have read all the arguments... PWA is the answer... is not the answer... UWP is the best mate... no wait it sucks... Android apps (say what!)... emulation layers a plenty... native Win32... WoA... but wait Intel is still in the mix... Microsoft needs to just keep focusing on what it does best... laptops... and 2 in 1s. And leave small form factor to Google, and it’s army of OEMs.
  • Perhaps writing and reading about is a distraction. MS will do whatever they want, experiment and make prototypes. If it is ready and can succeed, they will release it. If not, like surface mini, they will not release it. The got burned enough times with RT and lumia that they learned their lesson. Surface Go was a good product, although at initial launch I was like wth is that for. Now I am enjoying it. Same with surface headphones. I will wait and see what they release for 2019 but certainly not holding out for andromeda. The rumors are just rumors. Even if true, doesn't matter until they do release a product. MS is making plenty of money without it.
  • If Microsoft won't do Andromeda, I hope another vendor will.
  • Without Microsoft creating and supporting the software, why would they bother?
  • Looks like another fail... Android for phone (Blackberry Keyone) and consumer uses (Huawei M5)... Windows 10 (Surface Pro 4) for work and gaming... Works for me...
  • Like the Lenovo Yoga Book 930 ? I LOVE the idea of the 930 Book as my tablet/netbook/carry everywhere and then get a 15" powerhouse to replace my desktop and Surface Pro 3. The 930 just needs to have better functionality on the e-ink screen eg EPUB support and Onenote integration would be great. I have no intention to going Surface Pro, no TB3 and no USB C is ... welcome to 2016, hell, I was annoyed the SP4 didn't have USB-C :)
  • I think you're wrong lol
  • Oh good grief. Other players beat MS to the andromeda punch so, to hide his failure, Nadella says "quick, look over here at centaur". MS is such a bad joke now and i have to ask what will inevitably follow centaur? Unicorn?
  • I guess if you call it anything resembling a constellation or start cluster it just... sounds cool!
  • Those are some pretty big jumps you made there
  • Once again Microsoft has chosen to stumble into the wood chipper. Is not Microsoft a company of thousands? Devote the time, money, resources, and serious commitment to getting this job done right. Throwing out this Intel concept muddies the waters, and anyone who has been the victim of Microsoft's past abandoned projects (Zune, Groove, Windows Phone, Band) would believe that Windows on Arm is already dead, again. Microsoft will never see developer supported Andromeda or other Arm based hardware because they're once more unwilling to stick with a plan.
  • Ms refuses to act right.
  • Look, even if arm is the future you can't just all of a sudden drop Intel, it's going to be gradual whichever way it goes. AND if anything competition is good for us consumers.
  • Of course you can't, but Microsoft has a well developed pattern of behavior. I can see that Intel is scrambling to remain relevant in a small form factor environment. The Arm barbarians are knocking at the gate; especially Qualcomm with their rumored Snapdragon 1000 processor. Intel already publicly abandoned their consumer RISC processor program. All they can do now is hope for better efficiencies with lower power, and a smaller die even though the performance is bordering on old Pentium processors. Everyone who bought into Windows RT Surface tablets certainly have a lesson to teach anyone who is buying into Windows on Arm. Microsoft and Intel have a long undiversified relationship together. The Centaurus concept is intruding into the small form factor realm which Intel already abandoned, and seems ill-suited to an x86 platform, but Microsoft and Intel play with the friends they know. That usually means the other technology gets ignored. Microsoft just doesn't have a good track record here, and all we've seen so far with unreleased Andromeda, Arm, and its associated technologies is complete ham handedness from such a large, financially and technically capable company.
  • Bingo, unfortunately. (And this stinks because all the items you mentioned were good ideas at the time.)
  • Blah, blah, nothing will be released blah. If anything is released, it will go the way of WM, Band, Kinect or anything else MS killed. Cloud, cloud, cloud, cloud...….MS, the new IBM.
  • Just give us an updated L950. 😇
  • 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂Nobody needs that... Well, except for the camera. The camera on the 950 is bad a$$
  • The hardware is awesome, software... eh not so much. I was talking to a friend about the zeiss lens who is switching from (Neuroscience to ophthalmology - just some bg on the relevance on the point I'm making about the hardware) and he was gobsmacked when I showed him all the flag ship lumia models had Zeiss lens. Zeiss lens are the creme de la creme of lenses. Nokia brought so much to the table... it's a pity most people in the US don't realise why Nokia was so big everywhere else.
  • I think one should avoid viewing this potential upcoming device from either a PC/2in1/laptop or smartphone angle. I think this device will be intended in the way it was outlined in the initial MS Courier showcase video: a digital replacement of a Moleskin / paper notebook to jot down ideas, sketch rough drawings of upcoming (art)works, short write musical annotations for creative people, prosumers, artists, designers, writers, scientists, academics etc. etc. for that device to attract attention, you would not need that many "apps" Paint 3D, Scrivener, OneNote, Office365, Finale, Sketchbook etc. would suffice.
  • Yeah, but limited capability is what would keep consumers away. The other devices can already note take.. Although it would be better at note taking because of a larger screen, people will still weigh out their options. It needs apps.
  • If this potential device could run Autodesk Sketchbook I would not call that "limited capability" that would be Workstation league with capital "W". In addition I do not think this device will be intended for consumers rather prosumers, artists, designers, scientists etc.
  • Andromeda is dead. This Centaurus is going to probably be like other MS hardware projects except XBox and Surface, DOA. Yes, I know I am not being detailed in my opinion but, my experiences with Band and Phone from them have caused me to doubt anything that comes from them, even if it ever gets released. (Oh, and do not forget Cortana and Kinect 2.)
  • Looks like it's time, in six months, to retire the 950XL and move over to iPhone camp. This dream of a device that could replace phone, tablet and laptop is too far away in the future - and if it happens, it will not be delivered by Microsoft. There is no way I would carry a phone, a foldable device (and a laptop) with me for work trips. I am managing well with Surface Pro, so why would I change at this stage. Package the phone, great camera and Surface-level computing into one pocketable device and I am sold. Otherwise this all makes no sense to me.
  • Who said that this device would intend to replace phone, laptop and tablet?
  • Andromeda would hopefully and ideally be able to replace them all by offering phone connectivity, tablet form factor when unfolded and real computing experience. But the more we hear about it, it is either never coming or it is going to be yet another piece of hardware that does NOT reduce the number of devices you carry with you but either increases the number or at best just replaces one.
  • This article is NOT about Andromeda but about Centaurus! Al my comments in this article pertain to Centaurus NOT Andromeda. If MS sticks to the initial MS Courier idea then Centaurus will NOT replace your smartphone. It could but thas would not be the intention. Same as with a paper Moleskin notebook, it will not replace your phone as the purpose is completely different. I suspect they will market it (if they bring it to market) as a precious, very powerful, "digital notebook". The target audience are the ones that now jot down ideas in a exclusive paper notebook with a Mont Blanc pen. So this device would be by no means in competition with a blingbling 1600$ smartphone that everyone nowadays can afford due to the payment plans of the providers.
  • We who do that, i.e. are on the move, use Moleskin and Mont Blanc (or Montegrappa in my case), would well love to have one single (expensive) exclusive thing that they carry around. Because next to that Moleskin we also carry a phone, a laptop/2in1 whenever we are out and about. So this Centaurus project is not solving anything to me. The paper as format is so much more dependable that I would not spend a dime in a piece of expensive tech that does not replace either phone or laptop or ideally both.
  • Looks like Andromeda is totally dead, but Win10 mobile still in coma!
  • WM10 actually lives on in the code of the Windows o/s lol... the Surface Hub uses the app list from the phone o/s. Well it was - when the demoed at Build a while back.
  • If you are going to do "foldable" PC's it would make sense to do different sizes. it's like the difference between a pocket notebook and a sketchpad.
  • 1) Sweeet! Sign me up! I do have concerns about the battery life though given how long the Surface Go LTE lasts (it really needed WoA imo). 2) I feel like banging my head on a brick wall lol!
    I've been saying Microsoft needs to invest in UWP for ages now... and I'm not the only one. As everything rests on UWP and I hope Microsoft makes significant investments in UWP as they can't continue like as they are and expect to have the app situation automagically resolved. 3) Apple is rumoured targetting 2020 also for a foldable device. 4) Resorting back to android apps would be the most moronic back step ever as it undermines everything else.
  • Well it looks like no Andromeda for 2019. That is a major disappointment. I currently use a Lumia 950 that is three years old. I will start looking into Android devices now with sadness and disappointment. I honestly don't understand the obsession with apps and why Microsoft would hold off Andromeda because it doesn't have apps. It would have the same stuff as W10M, and I'm satisfied with what is on that. When home I do nearly all my computing on my laptop. I consider my phone too small and arduous to use compared to the laptop. And when I use my laptop, I spend most of the time in the browser. Why do you really need a banking app? Just go to their web site and use that. Andromeda will probably be big enough to use web sites. Apps really are just single purpose programs optimized for tiny rectangle screens. If you have a big enough screen, then use your browser like you would on a laptop. I don't get the dead on arrival if no apps. There are enough apps on W10M. Microsoft; get Andromeda out there and stop over thinking this.
  • If you do not drop it your 950 can easily be used for 10 years. Just buy a pair of replacement batteries and you will be fine. Think environmental footprint and our children's children's future....
  • Is that screen on the right side an e-ink screen? I really hope it is.
  • Why do I think another company will put something out ahead of the this device, but better and dominate?
  • I'm just an average user, don't know anything about coding. I just bought a new phone to replace my lumia 950 today, and I'm really not looking forward to making the transition but my phone is getting buggier and buggier with no signs of improving so I figured it's time to bite the bullet. Learning about these devices, if they ever release I seriously hope they at least have the option to be used as a phone somehow. I could do everything I need to do from a full version of windows in a phone-ish format. Just give us the ability to zoom in and out on everything, at anytime, so scaling is something we can just manage ourselves. Personally I think Microsoft needs to go bolder with windows phones, the same way they did with the Surface tablets and the Xbox 1X. They need to release a phone that isn't just tryin to be there just for the sake of not being left out but rather let the hardware speak for itself. My dream phone would basically just be a Surface with an x86 version of windows that fits in my pocket and can accept calls. I'd get an Xbox one controller and pair it via blue tooth, and start playing some older PC games on it on the go. It would be amazing. Screw apps, just give me a tiny PC in my pocket. I still want that "Pocket PC" Bill! Microsoft doesnt think out of the box much. Imagine if they said screw the low end expectations, released a device that was the most beefed up 6ish inch device they could make, put full windows on it and still have it work as a phone, then release it with a bundled xbox one controller and time it with the next halo release or something. All the sudden they would be competing with phones, tablets, and nintendo switch all with one kick ass device. I'd pay a lot for a device like that, and I would imeadiately forget that apple and andorid even make phones.
  • So what would "considering (but hasn't committed to) the use of Android apps on Andromeda as another way to fill the void of apps when being used as a phone" entail for CoreOS/Andromeda? Wonder if Centaurus would pilot any of this?
  • Centaurus? Yeh, sure! My pigs are fuelled and ready for takeoff.
  • If it can't replace my phone, ie pocketable and makes calls, I dont want it. It seems like I have been waiting for Andromeda for years.