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Microsoft could save 'Surface Andromeda' with an Insider Program for hardware

There's been a lot of news these last few weeks around Microsoft's rumored foldable "Surface Andromeda" project – which is as much a software effort as a hardware one. It's unsurprising that as we get closer to its launch window, more information leaks out. But the latest bits have turned to the negative: delays, rethinking, and even talks of cancellation.

But what are the expectations for Microsoft regarding Andromeda, and how could the company "save" the project? Look no further than Microsoft' HoloLens launch and the Windows Insider Program .

Go big, or go small, but just go

Surface Pen

Surface Pen (Image credit: Windows Central)

It's unclear how Microsoft would position Andromeda, and that is part of the problem. The "it's not a phone, but it makes calls, so it's kinda a phone" model is going to be a tough sell, especially with the memory of Windows 10 Mobile still lingering, more importantly, snarky media who have all but declared the whole thing a failure.

Assuming Microsoft goes big on its launch with Andromeda, it will need millions of dollars for advertising, production, in-store launches, partnerships, and deals with developers. Those funds would be needed at a minimum to combat the Apple and Google duopoly on mobile.

The risk of going big is the genuine possibility of this foldable PC's spectacular failure. Could Microsoft withstand such a scenario in the hardware space? Yes, but it would sting. No one lets them forget Windows RT and Surface RT, and it's been four years already, not to mention its efforts in phones.

And this failure would all fall right on the shoulders of Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella, who, so far, has a mostly unblemished record and has done nothing but grow the company. It's not hard to blame him for being skittish about such a risk.

The other option is to cancel Andromeda, move on, and focus on the safe bets. Technically, that works – there is no Andromeda now, so it's hard to miss it. The company continues to move to cloud, focus on Windows in more traditional form-factors, and call it a day. The problem here is this move all but shuts the door on any mobile ambitions, at least in the "pocketable" sense.

There is a third option, too, though: go small.

HoloLens and the slow burn

In January 2015, Microsoft shocked the tech world. Not only was it getting into holographic computing, the company already had a working, wearable prototype that it planned to bring to market.

What Microsoft did not do – despite the high interest – is launch HoloLens into mass consumer markets immediately. Instead, it took around 14 months to soft-launch it for developers at $3,000 a pop in 2016, and that was in waves extending through the rest of that year.

By 2017, reports of Microsoft having only sold "thousands" of HoloLenses hit the web. And that number met its expectations.

This was the right approach. HoloLens is too expensive for consumers, and even if it weren't, the software, experience, games, and design would not make it a huge consumer hit.

I see little reason why Microsoft should not take a similar approach to ambitious hardware technology, even with the Surface line.

Tidal waves start with a ripple

Nextbit Robin was crowdfunded in 2015. Razer later used it as the basis for a phone.

Nextbit Robin was crowdfunded in 2015. Razer later used it as the basis for a phone.

Microsoft should hold a public press event, reveal Surface Studio 2 and any other advancements to Windows 10, and then close with Andromeda. The company should present it as a concept device that it wants to bring to market.

You should be able to preorder it right away, with shipments in early 2019. The product would be for those on the cutting edge, who want to help Microsoft build the next big thing.

The rest is straightforward:

  • Announce limited-edition devices.
  • Take preorders, maybe in waves.
  • Seed to Microsoft MVPs, developers, and influencers.

Once the device is in people's hands, and some hype is built, and you see what the developer and hacker community does with it, we'll if they like it or not. If it's a flop and everyone hates it, slowly ramp it down, learn from mistakes and iterate. Or Microsoft could move on from the project altogether.

By getting Andromeda – or any other experimental device – into the hands of its prized developers, the company could help drive interest and, yes, app development. If, however, people do like it and it starts building interest, the company could continue to ramp up production. It could create hype and leverage constrained production to create false scarcity. Sneaker companies like Nike do this all the time. So do first-time innovators.

Every week there are indie hardware outfits "launching" new products on Indiegogo or other crowdfunding sites. There, people hand over hundreds of dollars for products that they have never seen in person or even technically exist. Sometimes, a year later the hardware launches, and if the campaign is successful, they go on to the next thing. Companies do these micro-models for launching innovative hardware without sufficient capital. Microsoft can follow the same safe model and still leverage its capital, support, manufacturing prowess, and do it even better.

If Microsoft is serious about pushing boundaries of hardware, it doesn't always need to be mass market. Surface Studio proved that. But the company should also use all the tools at its disposal, and that includes smaller, niche launches where the community could help organically grow the product.

Windows Insider Program for hardware

Microsoft already openly tests and develops much of its software in the open. Any "leaks" about Windows 10 are always amusing because a few weeks later Insiders usually have them installed.

Why not take the same approach to new hardware?

I see little reason why a company like Microsoft that prides itself on innovation cannot run, support, and engage in public incubation projects around experimental hardware. Even if the company never makes those products en masse for consumers, it has stable hardware partners in HP, Dell, Lenovo, and others who can. The idea of reference designs is well known in the PC industry. This would be an extension of that.

Microsoft actually did something on a smaller scale in 2015 with the Lumia 950 and Display Dock, so the idea isn't crazy.

Not everything needs to be built in secret for five years and be a massive hit right out of the gate. Andromeda has too much interest in it – even if niche – to pretend it did not happen. Microsoft can go a third way with hardware that nicely matches its approach to software; it just needs to take the first step.

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.

267 Comments
  • It would be such a waste for them to just give up and quit now.
  • First!!! Wait. Damn! I missed it again.
  • Yeah, they shouldn't give up. Giving up is for 🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈
    ........
    It's not like they haven't spent millions on HoloLens with negative return.
  • You're talking about Satya here!
  • I would've thought they'd go small anyways... I've always thought that version 1 of this device would be quite exclusive. That's a no brainer, and the best route to go. They need to do something in mobile. Doing nothing at all is a bad choice. Release Andromeda. You have my money, Microsoft
  • I still use my 950XL in Continuum mode and always feel impressed at how well it works for a version 1.0... and then a little sadness falls over me as I lament WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN if Microsoft continued support... SO if I could get a mobile device with a dual screen that offers Continuum 2.0 with split screen, or extended screen options, and runs the full Edge for PC's that allows you to run PWA's with notifications and extensions, PLUS allows you to run Win32 apps in emulation... oh man THIS IS A DEVICE THAT I WOULD WANT TO BUY!!! For 95% of what I do this device would allow me to ditch my current phone, ditch my tablet and ditch my PC, and allow me to travel with the one pocketable device that would be the dream for many to own (Plus you can't deny the COOL FACTOR!!!).
  • That's funny. I've never even attempted to use my 950 in continuum mode....
    .....
    I suppose if I had the right setup, dock, and all, and my phone was super powerful, like my laptop, I would come home, and plop it down. It's something you have to try at first, then get used to.
    I'm quite sure that's the future of computing, and that's why MS needs to come on wit it.
  • I adopted continuum into my workflow and used it as my daily desktop for about a year. I had to make a few adjustments to make it work, and occasionally had to revert to my laptop for more complex tasks, but it nailed about 90-95% of my daily productivity needs, particularly throughout 2016, when it was still receiving lots of support and development. It had/has just tons of potential. Done right, continuum absolutely can replace your desktop
  • And, almost 4 years later it definitely will be more powerful with chips like the SD1000
  • Microsoft execs aren't worried so much about getting the hardware right, but more about the software being not mature...so here is a radical and bold idea...
    * OPEN SOURCE ANDROMEDA SHELL...put it on GitHub....
    Benefits:
    1. Microsoft builds more cred with open source community and also a boost for GitHub
    2. Tinkerers help evolve the shell far faster than Microsoft alone could
    3. Leverage the crowd in designing future iterations - you'll start having cult following ... Good idea?
  • Does anyone know...whether windows 10 will evolve into WCOS or it'll be a separate product? ?? I think with WCOS...they should open source the shells...keeping just the core proprietary
  • Polaris... Future desktop W10 on top of WinCoreOS
  • Thanks. So this transition to from W10 to WCOS+Shells will happen with RedStone 5? RS6?...do you know when?
  • Worked for Android.
  • I think Microsoft is more willing to offer more extensive CShell SDK before eventual open sourcing.. Microsoft need a new platform for the developers to "Insider" the API for CShell into perfection...
  • Same here, except I am still using my 4 year old Icon. Can't wait to replace the past with the future. Microsoft, take my money!
  • How much money is too much?
  • I've had more than one occasion at work where they needed to take my laptop. Each time I've told them "no problem" and promptly plugged my monitor, keyboard, and mouse into my dock along with my Lumia 950 and go right on working. A couple of times I worked in that mode for several days straight. Many people who came to my office didn't even realize I didn't have my laptop. I was on SharePoint, in our email, using Excel and Word all day long. One time my boss even said "Oh good, they returned your PC". To which I simply responded "No they didn't".
  • :-) nice use case...
  • We need a central place to host continuum feedback and use case.... Continuum validity is being diluted the moment W10M is being abandoned... But the use case is valid And can continue as Continuum under Andromeda with longer battery life and powerful CPU/Gpu, hardware accelerated AI, and Gigabyte LTE
  • Spot on!
  • Launch Andromeda with Windows 10 and Android subsystem. MSFT should make sure most Android OEMs launch Andromeda phone devices along with dual screens. Microsoft has the firepower to dominate smartphone world and this is the only way I see.
  • He gave up what? WinPhone? The not-windows-OS-phone that is late to the game with 0 user base and 0 dev base from the start?
    Besides, bringing Win10 to ARM also benefits AR, MR, IOT, not just PC.
  • It's ok to be second!
  • Or 5th
  • Yes, it would be. Although it would also be a bigger waste if they put it out there and it ends up getting the Windows 10 Mobile treatment.
    If it goes the way of Surface Pro or HoloLens then it would be good.
    I feel that the real difference will be do the consumers see it as a phone/Tablet or something new. For W10M it had to be perfect on day one as you needed people to leave something that was already working for them. The Surface Pro and even HoloLens people are willing to wait as they see it as something new that will change and it is not being compared to a more developed substitute. If the answer is that Microsoft can have people look at it as something new then, I think they need to move to be first to market, get the mind share out there. I feel that the answer is yes People see this as new and a HoloLens like release is a good idea. I think they should do it.
  • Panos should release it not Satya. It should be part of the surface family
  • Exactly what I'm thinking. MS is currently in a position where they can't go back. I mean they can but it would be the obviously worst option. So much discussion about this, and I really can't see why, it's way too simple. Finish up the UI/UX and release it ASAP.
    The ecosystem kinda sucks (not for me, but for Snapchat kids), and that won't change no matter what, so that's not a good argument to delay it.
    The market does exist for it (bunch of MS fanboys, rich/trendy people, and also people who would actually use it for it's purpose), so once again, nothing will change by waiting.
    Also they've already spent all their money and time into researching it, so it's not like they're gonna get it back if they cancel it.
    Their only sane option is to fix up the last remaining OS problems with it, they should be able to do it in less than half a year if they're serious about it, package it up and go. If it flies - great, if it doesn't - who cares, not like it's the first MS product that failed. And as for the Hololens/Insider idea - why? Again it wouldn't change things. The only company that does such a task is Microsoft, and where did it get them? How many times did you hear Hololens mentioned anywhere in the world in the last year (except //build)? They made a great product and made everyone forget it even exists.
    And they had luck with Hololens, because nobody else's still in that market. However with Andromeda, if they don't hit it right now, in a few months tops Samsung will release their Crapdroid version and nobody in their sane mind will care about what MS is cooking up and what they MAY or MAY NOT release in the undefined future, even if Samsung's device is bad. I'm not really woried about this because I don't think I'll ever buy this device (if it ever launches) unless it turns out to be something trully wild, which is doubtful TBH. It'll probably also carry the usual Surface price which is too much even for the people in western countries, not to mention the rest of the world. However, I'm honestly amazed about how an almost 50 year old company, which made the modern world, can act stupider than a 1 day start-up. If they continue like this they'll be run over by way worse companies that don't make such stipid decisions. I had higher hopes for Nadella.
  • Pretty much agree all the way; best contribution to this discussion so far, including the article itself...
  • Agree, holo lens, surface studio or hubs creates conversations, excitements. People kept talking about Courier years after the concept. Ship it. please
  • I enjoy all the comments regarding apps. The ms fanbabies always bring up Snapchat. There are thousands of apps that are of use to the professional on iOS and Android That you cant do on windows. Please, fanbabies, get over it.
  • I have android (Samsung Note) and regularly us not more than a handful apps... Outlook, Google Now, whats app, Snapseed, Instagram, 500px, Timely Alarm Clock, YouTube and Samsung Notetaking app... I'm sure I'd be able to do all this on a surface intelligent device :) I have a desktop...and prefer doing my reading, banking, shopping, etc on it. I'm pretty sure there are enough people like that...app gap is an exaggerated problem.. World would be a better place if we quickly replace apps with PWA !
  • I mentioned Snapchat because it's just too funny. And it summs up most of the apps unavailable on Windows. Also, I mention it kinda sarcastically, but most of the complaints I got sick of back in the day were, believe it or not, for Snapchat.
    Yes, there are some useful missing apps missing, but hey if you really do need them that much then don't use Windows I guess. I'm fine with my old OG Windows Phone using only Shazam, Readit, and Twitter.
  • u have said it all...gud one there
  • Petition to bring us Andromeda on change.org.
    https://www.change.org/p/all-the-people-who-would-buy-the-phone-show-mic...
  • may be I should start a petition asking Andromeda shell to be open sourced :)
  • An insider program for andromeda hardware would be a great idea. They did it with the Invoke speaker (although it was after Invoke was announced). I became a proud owner of an invoke a year ago when I got the invite to the program months before they went on sale. I would definitely do it again for any other hardware.
  • I still can't buy an invoke in my region. If I could I probably would have done so, but Microsoft is still too America centered. Even other English speaking regions haven't received the invoke yet, and probably never will.
  • I didn't realize it was the Microsoft Invoke speaker.
  • You do you think made the software for that device? It is definitely a Microsoft product. Microsoft's software is locked down so anything running Windows or Microsoft services directly, is a Microsoft product.
  • Well yea, it's not. It's Harmon Kardon but you have to believe MS was looking over their shoulder (even though HK is owned by Samsung ;) )
  • I have it...apparently it runs linux ..not Windows
  • I really hope they consider everything you said in this video Dan. It's a great idea, and it would minimize the risk of mass producing and damaging consumer perceptions if it were to fail.
  • Better hope they see it first.
  • My sentiment exactly. Let the geeks, the fans, the influencers have their hands on it and collect feedback. Iterate and improve and make it great.
    There is no need to build the "perfect device" in secret.
    Let users and developers make it perfect.
  • I already can see multiple use case scenarios, I've listed some below in a comment. For me this device would be a dream come true in terms of multi tasking and efficiency. Sometimes when I'm bored I like to draw but since I'm crap at it I watch youtube videos
    and draw what they draw (attempt to) but for that I need to watch the video and draw at the same time. WIth this device I could draw in one note and have the video in the other screen. When I'm comuting I'll have an idea for a book I'm writing... and when I'm writing that I'll have another idea for another book. With two screens, I would be able to write both them down before losing my train of thought LOL.
  • Sounds like you need a Surface. I don't think you realize how small the screens are on this device.
  • The Surface is far too big for quick notes, I already have a graphics drawing tablet.
    I do not have a need for another and besides many of us don't have a grand to spend on a PC. I'd rather buy a cheap laptop, pay some bills and go on holiday.
  • This thing will likely be north of $1000, I would bet closer to $1500.
  • I doubt that.
  • 1500 for low end and north of 2000 for the upper model. It’s not a cheap consumer based device. Look elsewhere if you think that is expensive.
  • This all depends on what MSFT wants in terms of ROE. If you spend $100 million on engineering, tooling etc. And you expect to sell 10 million devices, pretty easy to add $10 to your manufacturing costs and break even. Then add in Software development. But what if the software has more to do with overall windows development? Then do you consider the incremental investment in andromeda's development sunk costs? How many other things in Windows have burned cash? How much money is in Sets and now delayed another 6 months? If you can build these for $500, why sell them for $1500? An iPhone costs $250 to make, put two together with a hinge and you are looking at $500 in costs. I might buy one and use it despite its rough edges. I have used every MSFT mobile software enable device. Why not use the Andromeda? I still use my 950.
  • If money is an object, I'd bet Andromeda isn't going to help you. This isn't the $400 Surface. Think two Samsung Notes duct tapped together.
  • Lol
  • Exactly! Right now, I write or do mind mapping during my subway commute on my Galaxy Note.
    It's much easier carry around your pocket-able device rather than a huge surface tablet with a carry case.
    Obviously, dual screen device would be lot better to write on than the Samsumg phone.
  • But isn't that the whole idea... a device that is pocketable that you can take with you anywhere and offers a mobile and PC experience... sure there might be some compromises, but taking a tablet or a laptop with you everywhere you travel is even less practical IMHO.
  • It's also tiresome, i have a 17 inch hp probook 4730s and for me it's pretty light but after a long day and commute, the ruck sack becomes unwieldy to carry. Especially during rush hour when you're squashed like a sardine in a tin can. With Andromeda, I won't have to i'd just remote desktop over a vpn to use Win32 applications over the office internet and leave my clunky laptop at home.
  • You could be doing that today. Galaxy S8 is very cheap now.
  • Win32 apps on a 6" screen. Yes, that would be perfect...Not
  • Pocketable full Windows - double the screen size On-demand, long lasting while traveling.. a petition worth fighting for...
  • Possibilities are endless with dual screen phones.
    Though there are two major challenges
    1) Thickness - it has to be less then 1cm. It is possible to do so.
    2) OS/apps UI UX- MS is struggling on this. Another mojar issue is specific to MS. The app gap.
  • If you are talking Win 10, what app gap? If you are talking Win 10 store apps that are viable on a small screen, yea.
  • Hope those users and “suckers” I mean insiders get paid for their time developing the product. I know I’m not a Guinea pig for any company. Nor will I be a shill for any one company since they do not pay me. I love fan baby shills for any product, free promotion for them, ha ha. Suckers.
  • LOL.... Mr Hit Refresh is structuring the next organizational shuffling instead of developing new hardware and software for it.
  • Lol.
  • I'm fine with going small if things aren't quite ready yet (especially on the software front). I do think they will have much more success if they position this day one as not only a productivity device but strong on gaming as well. Inevitability, Xbox will need a portable solution anyway.
  • It's almost like going the Band route with more awareness.
  • It's almost like going the Band route with more awareness.
  • Great article Daniel, it was a good read. Personally, I would class it as vision for the ultimate all in one presuming the following is possible:
    1) Emulation of Win32 applications whilst docked
    2) Can replace moderate computing through continuum If not say you want to get traditional computing into the pockets of the masses with extremely long battery life. As the form factor allows it to be used as a tablet and a phone. Here are some use cases that I can attest to from my previous work experiences: During a property appraisal, I could have used the device to draw the floor plan in one screen and take notes on the other screen as opposed to concentrating on the pda (to draw floor plans) and making voice notes. The fact it would have windows ink, I could have met the client at the property and got them to sign a digitally and with two screens you could potentitally have two people signing the same document at the same time, I left real estate just over 4 years ago and then not many were using digital signatures. I could have worked on two contracts in terms of amendments and annotations, one on each screen - that would have made me even more efficient. Or Allow me to copy and paste on one side I'd have the CRM and the other I'd have the draft contract, I could just tap and hold on the CRM fields + copy + paste in the other screen. Instead of jumping back from the CRM and the document on a single screen device. In terms of analytics you could easily compare two or multiple data sets at the same time allowing for better pattern recognition. Instead of looking at one data set, switching to another or analysing one data set a time or having to resort to print outs or larger screens just so you can compare the data sets. On the consumer side, you could have two kids watching the same video with the device in tent mode and in the middle of a table. So you avoid that tug of war scenario where they fight whose turn it is to use the "phone". Going further with two screens you could hypothetically have two movies playing at the sametime and the seperate audio channelled through bluetooth headphones. Or When you go camping and instead having to rely on seperate table as a map you just use Andromeda as the display is big enough. Plus you avoid having the issue of switching back forth between a map app and a compass app. Also not to mention the pinch to zoom issue when it starts to rain... so with andromeda you could have map with the compass overlayed. Sure you could do that on a tablet but that's another device to carry. If I'm trekking I'd want to carry minimal amount gadgets as possible. So yeah there are many use cases, people just don't think beyond their own bubble. Then again it's a given most people aren't taught to see from multiple avenues and from different prespectives.
  • Great ideas. Keep them coming.
  • Got plenty 😉.
  • A real PC that is super portable is gonna have very many usage scenarios. That's why MS needs to come on with it.
  • Here's another effectively you could go totally wireless with miracast, bluetooth and a smart tv. So you could have basically monitors with a QR code on the screen, you scan the QR code and that effectively pairs and authenticates. So hypothetically you go into a "internet cafe" pay for screen time (usually a £1 an hr), sit down and scan the QR code. Now effectively you a full PC and you can use the andromeda device as a keyboard and track pad. Or the monitor has a keyboard and mouse already plugged in. Which would enable you to keep the andromeda device in your pocket / bag etc. Once your done, simply just walk away as Miracast doesn't work after a certain distance it will auto disconnect. Internet connectivity can be handled by a ethernet port or the hdmi socket (although there aren't hardware that makes use of this functionality - in future the display could be powered through type-c as well as handling ethernet connectivity - reducing waste plastics and making cable management easier) This prevents the following issues 1) internet cafes using pirated versions of Windows
    2)using out dated version of windows (I know some still use XP!). 3) Issues with viruses / malware.
  • Already here. Gpd has one released right now.
  • "Andromeda has too much interest in it..." I believe the interest is due to the fact there is no current mobile solution by Microsoft. Some people do not want an Android or iOS device. So yes I could see why there is an interest for those who follow Microsoft. If Microsoft won't do a mass release I do like the idea for an insider type program. Even though my preference wouldn't be that. I've never been a fan of the Insider programs. I think it's a copout from Microsoft for not doing the hard work up front and showing they believe in their products.
  • Yup, I'm in the camp of not wanting either ios or android. The insider programme methodology maybe the only way we see this device under the current Microsoft. If that is the case I would buy it, I need an upgrade from my Lumia 930 and I can see so much potential with andromeda. All the other dual screen devices are clunky and run android.
  • I'm firmly in the I never want an Android or iPhone in my life camp. Could that camp be why Microsoft are so hesitant in releasing this device? They know it will not fill that hole and the resulting negativity would kill it off?
  • Count me in too in this camp.
  • There is always SailfishOS.
  • Or even Purism. I tried SailfishOS and could not get used to the gestures.
  • Wow, literally same here. Even a proud owner of L930.
  • I'm begrudgingly agreeing with you on this one. I don't think all that many people want "andromeda" for anything that it actually does, they want Windows phones and see this as the best way to get one. Some people probably could find a use for a folding tablet, but I think that they are outnumbered by the people who want this to be the successor to the phone that they were forced to give up.
  • Key addition to your suggestion Dan, they may choose to go small, but if they take their usual route of going US only as with Cortana, Zune, Icon etc. then this not-Phone will likely suffer the same fate. They need to remember where their mobile customers actually live this time and remember not to try to sell only where their mobile customers clearly do not live. If they snub what remains of their mobile fan base yet again I predict a bad outcome. It's hard to see how it could be otherwise.
  • It's a good point.
  • Great point, It cannot be US only and then blame lack of adoption to cancel it. As an avid prosumer living in the UK, I have been incredibly disappointed with Microsoft's US only attitude and i'm putting it politely.
  • If it doesn't catch on in the US, why would it be any different anywhere else? It doesn't make sense to expand a failure, you expand success.
  • Go and enjoy the sun Bleached :).
  • It is expensive to expand into new markets. If a product fails, it doesn't make sense to expand a product that has shown to be underperforming. You do not waste money expanding their reach, you put that money into further development. Once it is catching on, then you expand availability.
  • That's like saying because the iPhone is a success in the U.S. it will be a success also in a poor country.
    Each region is different, and lots of us are where carriers don't dictate what phone you can buy, for example. Who says something has to be a success in the U.S. to be a success in the rest of the world? GIANT phone makers are selling in China and they have no plans to release phones in the U.S. "If you don’t think there’s any reason to pay attention to Chinese phones, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention. The problem is that most of the best ones aren’t available in the US, meaning you’d have to deal with third-party importers and a lack of official support if you did want to buy one." The Verge
    https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/6/22/17491452/the-best-chin... I can't actually believe how absurd this is. Imagine if Nokia decided their feature phones have to be a success in Finland first, before they can release them in African countries lol.
  • Actually, that is exactly how Nokia started. The first GSM network and calls were made in Finland.
  • @Bleached. You're missing the sunshine! It'll do you some good :).
  • Because that's exactly what has happened several times, even though MS have pointedly chosen to ignore this fact...
  • When?
  • With Windows Phone. Great success in Europe, with in Italy about 20% marketshare. In France too, with WP about the same marketshare as iPhones... So yeah, it's not because US doesn't like something that all the world doesn't too.
  • This...
  • In 2014 there was a two digit percentage market share of W10M devices in smartphone market in EU countries and an increasing market share towards that level in Russia and south America, too.
    Microsoft's problem with W10M devices wasn't the user base, but it was the profitability.
    They've made losses of almost 20% per unit. And even worse, that wasn't something special at that time. Almost all smartphone manufacturer except Apple and Samsung made no profit then. Other mobile device manufacturer lost up to 1/3 on each unit. Some well known brand companies stopped their Android device activities already, before Microsoft pulled the plug.
    In contrast to Balmer, Microsoft's new CEO closed the mobile phone manufacturing because crafting consumer phones couldn't offer a perspective to become profitable at the given market situation. Almost all competitors did face almost the same situation for many years already, too. Most of them couldn't get higher market share till today, then Nokia/Microsoft already had some years ago. Meanwhile the worldwide smartphone market is already saturated and starts declining, so that there won't be a chance of growth from the market at all anymore.
    Microsoft should bring Andromeda devices to market as a new dual screen formfactor of pc alike devices, including Windows compatibility with touch and Ink features. Like already done with the Surface product line, they could target professional business users and maybe students who will pay a higher price for extended functionality compared to existing consumer oriented smartphones or tablets and higher mobility than notebook alike devices.
  • For a start, iOS has far less penetration.
  • Bleached, your comment makes no sense considering Windows Phone was bigger OUTSIDE of the US so if it isn't popular here, it could still be a hit everywhere else
  • It was only bigger as a percentage... The US market, despite it's 3% market share, was still more than 50% of all global Windows Phone sales.
  • You can look back at Windows Phone to see it had more and longer success outside of the US. A lot of that was the pricing of WP vs Apple and flagship Android.
  • Yep, even in Canada it was chugging along pretty good. Apps were coming, and the whole ecosystem was growing, then mr hit retrench happened.
  • UK, Europe and Asia were W10M biggest markets. I'm in the UK and have been using windows phone since win 7 on the Lumia 800 and still use my 950xl as my daily and only device, I just don't trust the security on android and how much bloatware that can't be removed without rooting, I cannot get on with ios interface. I would love to be a hardware insider, already am on windows, mobile and Xbox.
  • No, the US was the biggest W10M market, by overall sales. They did better in terms of market share in the UK, EU, but the US market really is that much bigger than Europe. Their Asia numbers were not great for Lumia devices.
  • Todays smartphone unit count in Germany, GB, France, Italy and Spain only is similar to US. But, there are 23 other countries in EU. In addition, the smartphone user base is much bigger.
    That's no surprise. The number of citizens in EU is much bigger than in US (511M vs. 323M) while standard of living is more or less equal. ;)
  • I suppose you may be referring to Windowsphone that had 10% share in the UK when they cancelled it because of the less than 1% share in the USA. Maybe the Windowsphones that were 13% in Germany, sold better than iPhones in emerging markets etc. Of course the range of cheaper Windowsphones helped. The US market was not front and centre of Windowsphone popularity but did receive all the new stuff first. In the case of Windowsphone a US last policy may have helped. Incidently the Cortana speaker - US only. Cortana itself only fully functional in the USA.
  • The US is not a great model for the rest of the world, Bleached. Often countries are radically different, let alone continents. You should take a look sometime.
  • The only issue with that is a lot of windows phone users are like Andy calling. Don’t have a pot to piss in, so this device will not sell in those places anyways.
  • ??? Strange you seem to think I'm destitute and yet I'm on here regularly discussing the crazy amounts of expensive gadgetry I like to buy. I can assure you I don't intend to piss in any of them (until someone brings out an internet connected lavatory). You do know Europe has an economy of equivalent size to the US, right? We just don't like Apple devices so much because we don't tend to buy gadgets as fashion accessories here and generally choose quality over empty style. It's a shame the US has such poor internet speeds and low passport uptake. Perhaps there'd be a bit more awareness of the rest of the world if you looked a little further than the next town occasionally.
  • You are the one who keeps complaining about devices being expensive, and being attacked by owning one. Sounds like you are in a place rolling in it buddy.
  • Sign me up right away. I'd go with a prototype just to have one. I've been wanting one since I first heard of Andromeda. That's Windows Phone as it should have been, real desktop Windows when docked (and hopefully x86 emulation) and then a cool phone/tablet when undocked.
  • Same here, it has sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much potential.
  • Andromeda isn't full Windows. No legacy program support.
  • @Bleached, again, you really are just kinda shooting from the hip here. There is supposed to be Win32 emulation and Centennial apps. There is also the issue if it runs Intel or ARM, as some reporting has said they are testing both. How about you leave the "What Andromeda can and can't do" stuff to us.
  • Thing is Centennial and store wont cut it. There need to be native Win32 like on all the other Windows on ARM devices like the HP Envy X2. What is the point of compiling all the Win32 apps to native ARM64 to not work on Andromeda? Which brings me to the point: No-one is asking Microsoft to develop a stripped down version of Windows on ARM - why not give it the same capabilities as any other Windows on ARM device?
  • @Cruncher04. You contradicted yourself there. Where else are people going to get apps from, if not from the store? Sure, they can download the applications from the web but most win32 applications aren't touch UX friendly. It will have ARM emulation, rumours have it there are both intel and arm version in the works. With the intel variant you sacrifice battery life for Win32 applications, with WOA you get the best of both worlds. Admittedly emulation is not there yet in terms of Win32 application performance but that can come later with software improvements.
  • I don't agree. Legacy apps really don't lend themselves to the size and UI you would expect on an Andromeda device, if you believe pocketable. I had a 9" Windows tablet, an HP Slate 500, when all that was available for it was Windows 7 and Win XP/7 era apps Those were legacy apps and were painful to use on the device. Those apps still would be. Full Office, Visio, Project, full Adobe Acrobat, AutoCAD, just don't work with fingers. They were designed assuming a keyboard and mouse. That's iPad's strength. Developers could never, until recently, expect their customers to have anything but fingers to interact with the apps. They had to consider that first, not as an afterthought. Andromeda will not survive if the value added is that it runs legacy windows apps. Even if it only does that when 'docked', that's nothing new. I can do that today with a tablets and micro PCs the size of a big deck of cards. Hell, I could have gotten pretty close with my Windows Phone and its dock. PWAs might have supported that, had they arrived in time.
  • Going off MJF'S article, that was one of the reasons they "went back to the drawing board". That has also been a prevalent rumor for a while now. It wouldn't have legacy app support at launch at least. You have different information?
  • Daniel, simply a shame that Intel could never build a competitive smartphone SOC. I fully believe INtel's failure to build an x86 chip is what stymied MSFT push into a smartphone. My guess is MSFT, Qualcomm, and Intel are still trying to bring Windows into the 2.5 watt chip world with little success.
  • Bleached, I didn't know you were on the Andromeda engineering team...maybe you could sneak us some pictures/specs
  • That is going off the MJF article.
  • Tom Warren has now confirmed MJF's article. Microsoft is evaluating the device because it doesn't have an ecosystem. Would that be the case if it ran x86 software?
  • Well hololens was truly disruptive, there was nothing like that so the strategy worked, however andromeda is not going to like tht. It wilk die a quiet death if it takes a similar approach.
  • It depends on a few factors, one - it cannot be US only, two - it cannot be locked to specific carriers, three - it has to be completely sim-unlocked. Even in limited quantities, people will still buy it as it has hell of alot of scope and potential. People are slowly starting to mult-task on small screens, which is why Picture in picture is catching on. As more people demand more from their smartphones and small screen devices. Andromeda can address all their needs. From being a note taking device, to a sketch book, to a multimedia device and a portable computer that can actually run windows applications, either work alongside your laptop, your pc or may be replace them. That is a game changer. If it wasn't Intel wouldn't have been working on a concept device, For me I have could use Andromeda, I would VPN into my PC and run windows applications on it through remote desktop if I needed them. Right now, no device does what I need. I have to carry a laptop, a tablet and phone. Andromeda will be the only device I need to carry.
  • The only thing you know about what Andromeda does/how it works is what we've told you, which isn't much. You really are that confident that you know everything about this device to make such a claim? Even I'm not so bold and I know way more about this than you. And was HoloLens disruptive? What was disrupted? What has changed since 2015 in business about how we do work? It has potential to disrupt, but I think it's strong, unsupported claim to suggest it already has. Simply stating it does something new is not disruptive.
  • Was that to me or techiez? lol Edit: Nvm, I shouldn't have skimmed through the screen that quickly. I just re-read lol.
  • Agreed. HoloLens didn't get to the market to be really disruptive, as Jason always used to point out Consumers are the key players. If Andromeda were to meet its purpose, it will disrupt the market place of iOS at least.
  • So if hololens didn't bring any change to businesses n how we work what makes u think Andromeda will. U actually prove my point. N ofcourse u guys know more than us but stop being dismissive of users, do I need to remind u how off the chart were u guys abt the consumer interests, U guys caused the poor Greg to have high hopes only to see them failed. #whartonbrooks
  • And u also made similar predictions abt bots when I kept saying that u guys were overestimating bots, n we all know where r bots now
  • They were kinda right about bots, just it isn't Microsoft's that is popular. Amazon and Google own that space. Google's bot is even going to be making phone calls for you!
  • https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/22/17379508/microsoft-xiaoice-chat-bot-p...
  • I think it's been fairly disruptive in the narrow verticals that've been adopting it. Like elevator repair or automotive design. So, yeah, I think you can make the claim. But it's a really narrow claim right now.
  • Isn't that kinda what happened with the Band?
  • (1) Kinda, but it did go on sale at Best Buy, other places (2) Even if it was similar, then it worked. Band's issues was ultimately about costs of making the device vs. profit. The extremely high failure rate did not help. Band though was ultimately a small inside project not by the Surface team. I think it has a lot of good points about it, but some ideas could have been fleshed out better.
  • I agree, I had to have my band 2 swapped out almost every 4 months and they all had the same issue and even then when I fell and shattered the screen on my last one I almost died I loved that thing and have yet to find a tracker that does everything it did. I think Andromeda will be interesting but it should be done smaller so as to avoid the overstock issues caused by RT. the band 1 was good at slowly generating supporters at one point when I was in the Army about half my office had the band due to what it could provide. we would routinely download our PT sessions to it.
  • I've always wondered why don't MSFT push all their side (hardware) projects on to the Surface division.
  • Having a hardware insider program could make this a bug free device that's easy to use and which has many great features ... but who is Microsoft targeting these features at? It's going to be too bulky to be easily used as a phone (Just listen to all of the apple fans cheering about the extra mm shaved off of the latest models or wailing when they are added on) and too small to easily be used as a tablet, and the wrong form factor to be used as a laptop. Don't get me wrong, I really like the idea, it looks like a neat little gadget, but it won't replace anything that I already own. I don't think that it would even replace my phone because it's going to be in the iPhone X price range, if not in the range of a full sized laptop, which is more than most "average consumers" are willing to spend. I've seen lots of science fiction movies where people tap away at a data pad of some kind and it does look awesome ... but has anybody actually tried doing that in real life for anything more complicated than hailing an Uber?
  • "No one lets them forget Windows RT and Surface RT, and it's been four years already, not to mention its efforts in phones" Problem is, RT wasn't a big launch, and Windows Phone wasn't an effort at all...
  • Surface RT was a big launch. They literally created NEW hardware under the new Surface name to promote and sell it. I lined up for in NYC with hundreds of others for its launch. There were ads, commercials, and other companies started to make RT tablets before it fizzled.
    "and Windows Phone wasn't an effort at all..."
    That's pretty hilarious. Yes, the could have done more, but to suggest "no effort"? FFS. Have you ever even talked to people who make phones for a living? You should try it.
  • Daniel, you should try moving outside of the US. Just for a few years, to see how the other 95 % experience things...
    RT was never a big launch - most of the world's population couldn't give you an answer at all if you asked them what Windows RT is.
    Windows Phone wasn't promoted in a way that would EVER give it a fighting chance. Heck, Microsoft's own apps were given more attention on other OS'es... I'm sure they threw a lot of money at WP; they should have thrown TWICE that amount plus some enthusiasm, and MAYBE it wouldn't have been a complete loss!
  • They put plenty of effort into phones. The strategy was the issue. They had no plan to compete with Android's openness.
  • Nokia put effort into phones; MS was a headless chicken, running around aimlessly.
    With neither focus nor enthusiasm, the concept was doomed...
  • Regurgitating same falsehoods over and over I see.
  • Hindsight is 20/20. We know what happened. Manufacturers took open Android and ran with it while ignoring locked down Windows. It only makes sense. If you were running a manufacturer, would you want your own "free" platform and brand where you make 90% of the decisions or would you want to pay to be locked to Microsoft's choices, only getting to choose what apps you can add? Even then, the user could just delete them? Microsoft even heavily dictates what hardware you can use!
  • It ONLY makes sense that the platform had no famous apps and THAT. IS. IT. We have had this argument time and time again, and I've given you examples of how OEMs don't give a tiny rat's behind about "customization" on desktop Windows.
    They make the hardware only because people are comfortable using Windows.
    If people were comfortable using their apps on Windows Phone, even if Microsoft dictated they had to put the picture of a butt on their hardware, they would have built the hardware. It's so clear and so simple and I don't know why you don't get it: If people want something, OEMs will build it. It's not about how "hard" it is for them to build or how they don't feel flowery about it. It's your own prejudice: you want "free" platform, so you project that onto OEMs. TO that I have to say keep using Android. No one has forced you to stay on Windows.
  • Yeah, I wouldn't call losing $8 or $10 billion a lack of effort.
  • I would precisely call it a lack of effort, particularly when it was obvious to all that more concern was given to their own software on competing platforms...! Spending a lot of money foolishly does NOT equate effort!
  • They didn't bring their software to the other platforms until the last couple years when it was all over. Microsoft put quite a bit of effort into WP. It just wasn't a good strategy or even platform to begin with and they didn't learn anything from the failure of WP7. As if the kernel was the issue! WP7 ran great, it was just too rigid and Microsoft didn't fix that issue with WP8 and repeated it with W10M.
  • WP7 wasn't too rigid if it had been released alongside iOS and Android.
    You just can't come out with an OS that doesn't support USSD properly and is struggling to get apps 4 years later and expect people to buy it. Microsoft never gave Windows Phone its 100%. THey never took it seriously, and let the exciting spark of its award-winning design die a premature death.
    The only reason WP didn't succeed is Microsoft's management and not the idea of the product itself. And here we are again, with stupid people at the helm, oblivious to what made them fail: being late and not assigning resources to priorities properly.
  • Android only had, what 1.5 years head start? In a time when only about 20-30% user were on smartphones. MS had time, but I think you are both correct in that the strategy wasn't very good (on multiple fronts), it wasn't executed well, and there was a lack of effort and enthusiasm within MS. They did burn a lot of money though.
  • I'm not a developer, a programmer or an IT professional...and I still want this device, and would happily part with serious money to have one. But I have to say, I'd be in two minds on which way to go if MS soft-launched Andromeda AND made Hololens 2/3 available to a wider market at the same time. Actually, that's not true. I'd sell a kidney and buy both
  • Why on earth would a programmer want one? I mean the concept art looks cool and all, but none that I've heard of it would appeal to programmers specifically. Perhaps just as a new device to tinker with and throw ideas around about.
  • Exactly. But hey wc knows more but somehow keep missing the dart board by a mile always
  • I'm a programmer and I want one!! I won't be developing using VS on this thing but it would be a platform I'd like to target. I'd love to one day replace my laptop with this device if it ever matured into a full desktop replacement at some point in the future.
  • @Bloobed. Because any progammer worth their salt wants a new challenge and a new device category offers that - this is what drives code efficiency and improvements to APIs, software and hardware. Otherwise technology would have stagnated years ago.
  • Sure, and I accounted for that, but it's hardly the only new challenge available (and most programmers have enough challenge producing clean code), and even the challenge-part usually involves something like "As a consumer, I would like to do XXX and YYY on a two-screen device.", and programmers have skills to make that happen, but that pitch for an idea is a consumer-pitch, and can come from anywhere, not a programmer one. A programmer isn't going to do any coding or testing, or anything of the sort on these devices.
  • Clean code is not difficult but it's a practise many don't subscribe to - hence why it's difficult. Software is malleable, it's only constraint is hardware. "A programmer isn't going to do any coding or testing, or anything of the sort on these devices" You do realise that is
    blanket statement? Because by that statememt, you presume I wouldn't be coding or testing using these devices 🤣. Or anyone would start coding and using these devices as a test bed. Do you happen to have a crystal ball that allows you to see in the future? Best thing to do, is go outside and enjoy the fresh air. It will do you some good :)
  • The comparison with Hololens is skewed, as there is a business case to be made for Hololens. This can't be said about Andromeda. We already have a screen in our pocket. Which bring me again to the core question that needs to be asked; what is the reason for the existence of this device? Nobody, can answer that question. And just to launch a device to have a play in Mobile, with an unproven form factor? No, no business case can be made for this device. It simply makes no financial sense. Or common sense for that matter....
  • It's a phone, a tablet and PC. The business case: Instead of equipping employees with 2 or 3 devices, you give them one that does it all. That brings down costs, limits risk of multiple device damage, is more secure and just easier to manage. The consumer case: Every smartphone user wants more screen. Oh, and it's cool
  • "The comparison with Hololens is skewed, as there is a business case to be made for Hololens. "
    That came later. HoloLens was originally intended/conceived to be a consumer/gaming device. It was Nadella who slowed their roll and went the business route and created that case for it. It's why HoloLens had such a weird announcement. They created this cool thing and needed a use for it. Opposite for Windows Mixed Reality. Conceived as general purpose Windows computing, now skewing back to the safe zone of just gaming.
    "what is the reason for the existence of this device? Nobody, can answer that question. "
    Kind of hard to answer when the creators behind it are not allowed to pitch it to you, right? Not sure we should be doing it for them. Do you know it's specs, how it works, the software, the camera, inking and how it all interacts? How it feels to hold or use? Too early to answer that. Literally the only thing most of the public knows about this: (1) Surface (2) has two screen (3) Runs Windows...something or other. That's it. Some of the software they created specifically for this has never been shown publicly so it's hard to judge its use case. But Andromeda is what Courier was supposed to be: digital inking, drawing, reading e-Books, cellular, runs Windows 10 apps, works with your other devices, acts as a tablet or a phone. Is the Surface Pro's use-case justified? Many didn't think so until about six months after Surface Pro 3 hit the market. Before then? Everyone laughed it off. Floppy keyboard, not lappable, who was actually inking? Things change. Even the market around Surface Pro shifted from "the tablet that can replace your laptop" to "the most versatile laptop". What was once a tablet is now a laptop. OK.
  • You're jumping to conclusions without anything to bolster your claim. I evaluate listed buildings, and a digital notepad with a top notch camera that could fit in my pocket while maneuvering through tunnels and whatnot, would be an ideal device for my workday. I'm sure I could come up with a plethora of other use cases if I had to...
  • You can get a Galaxy Note today. Actually, you can get two Galaxy Note 8s for the price Andromeda would likely cost. A bit of duct tape and you have a dual screen device with independent processing and a backup stylus. With DeX and Linux, you can run Windows programs through WINE. That would be the ultimate mobile device.
  • I found a list price of $750. Two would be $1500. Probably could find a lower price if I searched carriers, Costco, etc. Why do you assume a Andromeda would cost $1500? Just because you provide 2 screens does not double the cost. One processor, one memory bank etc. If my Surface pro can run 3 screens, why can't a processor in the Andromeda run two screens? What is the end goal of Andromeda? provide a new endpoint for the Windows ecosystem. The question would be if the investment in software could be allocated to iOS and Android. Could these OS provide the utility to power an Andromeda device?
  • Easy, phones are lousy notebooks and diaries. I miss my Franklin Planner.
  • What's the purpose of this? Seriously? I've been wanting something like this for years, I even made my own hinged case (a removable stylus was the hinge so they could be separated) to use 2 phones at the same time for multitasking. Just because you're not imaginative enough, don't try & ruin it for everybody else.
  • I'm skeptical of Andromeda as a mass consumer device, but it isn't hard to come up with use cases. Pen input on a 5.7" device is iffy. It is too small for most pen-based applications. No one is going to do medial records, field reports, invoices, door-to-door surveys, etc. on it, You also have the software issue -- many enterprise applications won't run under mobile OSes, and web interfaces are pretty tiny on a phone screen. This means moving up to a tablet. 12" Surface-like devices might be ideal for input , but are likely too heavy and bulky for field work, may not have LTE, and probably can't make a phone call. A folding 5"/7" device might be ideal for such uses. Likewise the Continuum feature might be key for field work. You do collection an a small mobile device and can connect to a monitor/dock when you get home/office. It might also be a great option for mobile commuters -- who work at home, office, and travel. Lugging a Surface around every day isn't idea its going into a dock most of the time and a compute-stick device isn't ideal if you need to make notes or access your calendar on the road. Financial sense seems clear to me. If I have field workers collecting data -- its far less expensive than lugging around even a 10" tablet (assuming you find one with LTE and pen) and a company phone -- plus possibly a PC for them at the office needed to work with the information. Likewise for a mobile worker with a phone and a Surface (lower-end 2-in-1) plus home and work docking stations.
  • Patience is a virtue hopefully more time to perfect the software side
  • I'll pay whatever and be part of the Windows insider program. I just want a windows mobile/phone/note (call it what you will)… I had to let go of my 950XL and am using an Android; it works fine but every time I see my 950XL I get faclempt.
  • Just yesterday, I was sitting in a local pub using my 950XL, when a student from the local college asked me to show her the device. She wanted to know how I managed to get a replica of my W10 desktop on my Android.
    Clearly, I must be lacking something in my understanding of the software/hardware business, but I still do not understand why MS gave up on W10M and all but abandoned those of us who want to have a consistent system across all the devices we use.
    I see the Andromeda concept as having the promise of filling a very large hole in MS's line... I hope like hell they won't disappoint me again.
  • I suggested the exact thing Dan is referring to in the last article about Surface Andy!
  • And I suggested it in the comments of the article before that. I'll split advertising revenue from this article with you netmann :)
  • We both will be rich! LOL!
  • Hopefully rich enough to afford an Insider Surface Folio :)
  • Yes, please. Microsoft, where do we sign up?! If an Insider Hardware isn't possible, then at least share/license this tech with OEM partners (HP/Dell/ASUS/etc), or else you'll be looking back in ten years again at Apple and Samsung who took another one of your concepts and ran with it to their own benefit and your loss.
  • Lets go!
  • Thank you Daniel & Jez for these two excellent articles. This is really the website for MS fans, and it shows.
    We NEED this device, one way or another.
  • Another great article, Dan. While I like your suggestion about piloting the hardware, I feel Andromeda’s success is ultimately going to come down to how quickly and fully MS puts its full weight behind the product. Too many MS loyalists (which I consider myself) have been burned by jumping on MS’s new products too early (think: Band, Windows Phone, Cortana, Kinect, Groove, and on and on). While I’m willing to be patient as an early adopter, this time I’m going to sit out the first round or two until MS convinces me they’re in it to win in vis-a-vis the mobile space with real, demonstrative support for that ecosystem. And even if the device is great, I expect it will ultimately be for the corporate world, and in turn I fear will lead to unfavorable reviews because it’ll be evaluated as a consumer device.
  • I'm the opposite. I almost never buy early. My first Surface was a Pro 4 but Microsoft can't take my money fast enough with this device. This is v1.0 of the device I have always dreamed of and I want to get started on the future!
  • It's the Microsoft way. Halfass it and quit
  • I see your point, and had never thought of that. Actually that’s a great idea, except that I hope it’s not a whopping $3000 like HoloLens. But yeah why not develop this thing transparently, out in the open? That in itself would be revolutionary. Worthy of a device that could possibly change the way all future phones are made, like the way Surface changed the way tablets and laptops are made... to wit... a “3 in 1”.
  • The best thing about it: other companies could build normal, slab types of portable Windows based on the same OS.
  • Excellent idea.
    I want one, polished or not.
  • Change.org petition to release this!
    https://www.change.org/p/all-the-people-who-would-buy-the-phone-show-mic...
    1,000 people have signed in the past hour.
  • In no universe would I buy it.
  • More stock for the rest of us to buy
  • I signed it. Have been checking in on it all day. Interesting to watch it grow. Thinking of even chipping in a buck or two two. Don't normally, but this is a worthy cause. c/net, digital trends, and a few smaller sites are running a blurb about it, so that could be helping.
  • Great job!!
  • It's almost 8k supporters at the moment as well. It's quite interesting and it shows that a lot really want a new windows device. Signed up myself to help out, in the end it may or may not reach the ears of MS but I'd say it's worth a shot. Might even chip in a bit if I feel like it too.
  • This device is the reason I'm still holding on to MS and supporting what I consider to be a very innovative and inspiring company. To hear of a possible pulling of the plug makes me furious, and will make it very difficult to continue this support. Who cares if they don't ship millions of them, that's what its like on the bleeding edge! And if it were me id much rather be a company about quality not quantity of products and users
  • Quantity is money !
  • How many people have Windows Phone!! Who's believe Microsoft anymore ! Who's buy device for 1000$ or more , and have support 2 years! They don't know what they want !
  • To solve the size issue, make it in three variants: Small, Medium & Large.
    If someone bought a medium but wanted a small, offer a generous trade in program & give the unwanted device to some school kid whos folks can't afford to buy them one.
    That's what I liked about the Lumia. There was a device for every budget.
  • Only one Size, in the beginning...
  • Finally, something I agree with. A hardware Insider Program. But I still maintain they need to push REALLY hard on making Windows itself fully scalable and adaptable to any hardware. This is how they can regain confidence in their ecosystem. Have a predictable way that their OS would look and function as it gets loaded onto different form factors--with much of it configurable by users, much like Tablet Mode can be turned on/off even on a tablet and specific aspects can be fine-tuned. This way, even apps that don't support a particular MODE on your favorite hardware could still work, as long as you can switch to a compatible mode.
  • Surface Andromeda' with an Insider Program for hardware very good idea for my Lumia 950XL replacement.
  • Release it. Seriously, that's it. Just get it out there. The headline sounds like it's been released and it's a flop. MS is the only reason this thing would fail or needs to be saved. I actually think this is the device that should be pitted against the iphone's of the world. Showing a Lumia that had the limited continuum that the general person didn't understand didn't work. But if you show this next to an iPhone making a call, sending a text and then opening up to become a tablet sitting next to an iPad while opening a Word doc, watching a movie, using iTunes and drawing blueprints. Then you show it with a wireless keyboard being used with a monitor next to a tower or thin client. I think it would literally wow everyone that sees that commercial and really show how archaic and obsolete a traditional iPhone or Android smartphone is. This is the device MS needs to market not only for mobile but for all computing combined. This thing with telephony capabilities is the future, it is the definition of a game changer. So screw going small, and don't even think of canceling it. Get this thing out, get 100% behind it and turn everything people thought they knew about mobile and computing on its head.
  • Good points Dan. Good stuff!
  • "Go Small" could have the risk of being like the Band, a product that was loved by its users, but flawed and eventually dropped, further angering some of the core fans. I would still buy it, though.
  • Most likely Band got disbanded is that they couldn't get Windows Core (or so) running on it properly. The band ran firmware not an actual o/s, I would love to see them try again though and I think they can get the stripped version of Windows iot (core) running on it as it can be pretty light weight. But the battery tech might not be there yet.
  • I'd buy a Project Scorpio version of the Andromeda. One because I love the form factor. Second because I would like to help develop Polaris.
  • It would be strange to cancel the product, they've been working on for several years.
  • My question is, why not just buy the gpd notebook? For pocket computing it’s really cool
  • Telephony stack missing from the OS right now... And the LTE hardware builtin if i'm not wrong. But yes, the GPD is darned good !
  • GPD is a cute little shrink down version of a laptop. Programming for GPD is not very different for a laptop or desktop except special care of font size or perhaps layout. Andromeda is a whole different class or category... How u flip the two panels inspire a whole new unprecedented - head turning-human computer interface.... Surely this COOL factor will work for the snapChat generation... Microsoft - - what the h#@#, release it and let us "Insider" it into perfection
  • George, the gpd is exactly the same class. A computer you can fit in your pocket. Running full windows. It is not for the snap chat generation since it runs windows and Snapchat is only available on iOS and Android. Good try tho. The gpd, has 8gb of ram, 128gb of storage an sd card slot, USB c, USB a, HDMI and full touch screen. So please, check the fanboy comments at the door buddy.
  • What and where are be the best way to promote Andromeda? Do not go Big, waste of money! Instead, work with TV shows and use the budget for big marketing into hiring developers to write custom apps for the TV shows or movies. Best channel for effective marketing, not only to Microsoft generation users But it will be so COOL that the snapchat generation wants to join the latest coolest Andromeda band wagon!!!!!! Do not sale them to the public! Developers need to sign agreements to buy them. They have to be bound by the contract to blog about it, coordinate apps development with other developers to prioritize how to fill the app gaps. Use the money saved for more competitions and hack fests to get more apps developed. Send me the Form to apply Now..... If it is expensive, pls provide installment options or the developers can pay by completing the apps agreed by Microsoft...
  • I'm still of the opinion Microsoft needs to make this device a priority. Not only do they need a presence in mobile, but "disruptive" is specifically what they need. They have already made converts of many artists with the surface line that were die hard apple fans not to mention success in its own right. If they absolutely must put off Andromeda, release something in mobile NOT RUNNING ANDROID. I'm still using my EX3 as my daily driver because I've been holding out for "Windows that'll make a phone call". I really don't want to go out and purchase an Android phone. Yes, Android is a far superior platform to apple, but the UI is still horribly cumbersome despite Microsoft's best efforts with their launcher. Bottom line is it sticks out like a sore thumb when looking at their portfolio. All the effort they are putting into giving users a Microsoft experience on Android... BAH! It's not the same. If its the app gap their worried about, they should run a campaign targeting developers. Most I've spoken to about UWP, for the longest time or at all, didn't even realize it meant cross device. They see something mentioned and dismiss it in the same breath because their too busy spending their Google/apple dollars. Now that we've entered PWA territory and a beautifully matured FDS, what better time to reach & educate the masses about the platform with a heavy campaign. It's just SO frustrating to see THE ONE ecosystem with the greatest potential be squandered. That isn't a poke at Satya either. I think he has done many great things for the company, buuuttt I do wonder sometimes if he/they, the MSFT Powers that be, are playing it a bit too safe and miss the boat they needed to board. ...off my soap box.. Would I purchase a limited release of Andromeda? Dependent on price, but most likely I would. ;)
  • I want to develop Xamarin UWP apps for Andromeda First! If I have extra time. I will port them to iOS and Android to monetize the effort I put in.
  • :))) So you are saying, against your own beliefs, that in order to get some ROI out of your apps, you need them on Android and IOS :))) Well, you have just re-iterated what devs have been saying all along about ****** UWP.
  • The petition is an excellent idea!! What we need next is to compile the list of apps to develop to fill the app gaps. We need to raise money for this website or we could just use someone blogs to compile the list and sort them by ranking or user scores...
  • Apparently there are also rumours that it had been dropped because of a poor app ecosystem. But I mean, didn't MSFT already know that when they started? I for one can see this as a reasonable excuse to cancel. The store is horrid outside the US. This doesn't mean MSFT can do anything about it though.
  • Tidal waves usually start with an earthquake.
  • They need to get it in the hands of MS partner channel people. Who actually push MS services for a living.
  • Since Microsoft doesn't know any better Dan should apply to be a volunteer (with pay of course) to become Surface Andy's marketing/production/developer man...
    Dan, Windows Central should publish articles about Surface Andy every day for Nine straight days until Microsoft gives up and announce the damn thing!
  • Thank you Dan for putting out what you are hearing about Andromeda. I was so excited when I saw Zac's article about the email leak, and then the next day there was stuff all over the internet about Andromeda cancelation. I was frustrated. Microsoft must release Andromeda and get it out there. Right now, I feel that Microsoft is the furthest along in converging the phone, tablet, and laptop/desktop form factors with a single operating system and application ecosystem. They have been working on this for so long (including the work they have done with Continuum and Windows 10 Mobile). They know it is the future of computing. Dan, Zac, and Jason know it is the future of computing. Unfortunately, most phone and computer users are already set in how they are doing things. Convergence is something that is going to take time for the general public to get. It will take a steady push for many years for Windows 10 to be perceived as something that can work on a small form factor. This also means a steady push of a growing collection of apps available as PWA and UWP. People are not going to jump on the Andromeda right out the gate because they will not get it and/or will not be willing to switch their ecosystem. I see scenarios like a college student needing a computer and phone for college. They are really strapped for money. They go to Best Buy and the sales person shows them Andromeda hooked up to a dock running in Continuum. The new college student is intrigued, thinking in the dorm, they can have the monitor, keyboard and mouse for a full workstation. In class, they can take notes with the pen. When in the library working on a project, they can hook up a foldable Bluetooth keyboard to bang out some work with the Andromeda opened to a tablet on a stand. The college student is thinking this set up with Andromeda would actually be cheaper than buying a flagship phone and laptop. The college student also thinks it might be simpler to have fewer computing devices. Then the college student starts to think about apps and what will run on Andromeda. Say this little purchase scenario takes place a few years from now. The college students laptop is really old and is ready to be replaced. PWA apps are available for many things. Even UWP apps too. The college student have even seen other people use the Andromeda, but never knew that it could do this Continuum thing. Then, there it is, with several years of Microsoft making a steady push with Andromeda and computing convergence, the college student says why not. I think this will work. And then buys the Andromeda. Microsoft has to put Andromeda out sooner than later. Microsoft needs to get it out there that Windows 10 is the operating system of the future that can handle the future needs of form factor convergence. This will not happen over night. But they have to get things out, stick with it, and be PATIENT!
  • I see your passion and conviction... Thx
  • People keep mentioning that this device could replace a laptop and would be great for a student. But how exactly? I cannot fathom any student (or anyone else for that matter) wanting to pull out a Bluetooth keyboard in the library and attempt to type anything of significance on two 6-inch screens. I understand maybe in a pinch, but not as a regular practice. A 2-in-1 laptop (preferably ultraportable) remains the far superior option. Put it in tablet mode for inking and laptop mode for typing. It's already been proven to be great at both of those tasks. They would obviously still need a phone, but sometimes product consolidation is not always the best answer if the sacrifices going from separate items is too great.
  • I see your point bj2386. The laptop form factor is the perfect balance of portability and productivity. Then imagine the college student instead of setting up a workstation in the dorm and having a foldable Bluetooth keyboard for on the go content creation, imagine the college student getting a lapdock to connect their Andromeda to. A lapdock is just like a laptop, but without the computer guts. The lapdock will be really light. A lapdock and Andromeda will probably be still cheaper than a flagship phone and laptop. It will take time, but slowly people will start to realize they are spending absurd amounts of money on phones and computers. Smartphones have peaked in their evolution. The thrill of smartphones is over. People will start of move to simplification and practicality. A lot of people see the Andromeda as cutting edge and revolutionary. It is that. But I see Andromeda as getting computing to a simpler place. To a more manageable place. To a more cost effective place.
  • But few saw a use case for the 2-in-1 either. I recall pundits saying "it's not a good laptop, it's not a good tablet, who would want this" But once in the market they took off.
  • Jeezy chreezy, it's not even out yet and we're already trying to bail water before it sinks? o.0
  • Unfortunately, MS no longer has the stomach or the heart to fight it out in the consumer market any longer.
  • I agree. They haven't had the STOMACH to fight for consumer space for a bit. They haven't had the HEART to keep what they already had in their fan base. I agree w/Jeffery L about it taking some time. Who cares if a Microsoft phone device is "last" in the market. They just need SOMETHING ORIGINAL to exist and let it marinate. They are a huge corporation that thinks in huge volume. So, let's take a perspective from Daniel and produce in small quantities and adjust with demand. Windows and/or WaaS is the best platform, for now. I fear their vision of services and/or "experiences" on other platforms is a recipe for failure. Don't get me wrong, options are great, and the lack of is partially the reason I've never owned a crapple product. ...WARNING: The following may seem a tad dark, but after 20 years of being one of the biggest advocates Microsoft has, I'm fresh outta cute metaphors at the moment... ...If your neighbors' family was starving and your own family was starving, then you came upon food, would you feed your neighbors first? If you answered yes, then I ask, was your choice based on what you felt was the "right" decision, or does suicide simply feel "safer"? My point is, there is an inherent necessity to, not only establish, but COMPLETE your own environment, BEFORE moving onto others.
  • The ideas in this article sound strangely familiar...
  • I'd like to think that the majority of people that visit this site regularly are fans of Microsoft and would like the opportunity to see Andromeda released. To that end, please sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/all-the-people-who-would-buy-the-phone-show-mic... Will it change anything? Will Microsoft even become aware of its existence? Who knows, but at least it feels like we're doing something. There's no harm in adding your vote, even if you're not a massive fan of Andromeda. Do it for your fellow Windows Central readers :)
  • Oh a change.org petition. SUCH a force for social change 😂😂 Let's lay some fact down. 1) No-one knows what this thing is - no really. Everyone is pretending. 2) A change.org petition DOES NOT bestow any obligation on MS to release anything. 3) No-one is owed anything by MS. Seriously. If they don't release whatever it is it will still be fine. Seriously, where does this entitlement from you people come from?
  • Lol this is ridiculous.
  • Why? The signatories are asking a business to support a product. Nothing more, nothing less. Feel free not to join in.
  • But the thing has already been made with Android. Install the Microsoft Launcher and you have it. Or if you prefer tiles then install Launcher 10 or Square2 and you have a Surface phone. Microsoft is sadly too late to the party.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpdR-bdV08c
  • Microsoft are you People out of your minds. those of us who want an Andromeda
    Tablet expected it's built in cell phone to just send and receive
    phone calls just like the plane jane cheap phones do because you KILLED the
    Windows smart phone OS. it was perfectly alright with us to use the Apps that are
    already in the Microsoft Windows 10 Store and use the Desktop PC Programs.
    Many Andromeda fans want Microsoft to make the Andromeda the size of the
    original "courier" with Intel core M3 CPU's running FULL WINDOWS 10 because
    ARMS CPU's use X86/Win32 emulation software that slows things down too much
    & may not run Desktop PC programs as well as Intel CPU's do. People do want a
    a well built full Windows 10 Mini Tablet single or folding 2 screen versions
  • Windows phone sadly died the day they went all in with Android and declared end of support for Windows 10 Mobile. If you love the tiles that Windows 10 Mobile has(which I do) then I have good news for you. Install the Launcher 10 and go pro then you will have what Window 10 Mobile offered and even with more advanced features plus access to all the Android apps and Google services as well and you will also be able to use all the Microsoft apps you were used to as they are now on Android as well. I am a die hard Windows 10 Mobile fan and love my Lumia 950 XL but that Launcher 10 does really make your phone feel like a Windows phone. If you also install a dark blue like theme on the Android phone it is getting real close. As a last ouch I just wanna say that the Microsoft Edge mobile browser works a lot better on Android Oreo 8.1 than it does on my Lumia 950 XL... yes I know that is sad but it is the truth.... Microsoft now loves Android and hence makes good apps for it(Outlook for Android is still bad though).
  • Mobile reboot 4 in 12 years. That's a reboot every 3 years. This is the starting problem. My personal viewpoint stems from the insider enthusiast perspective. The ecosystem is dead. The mobile apps store that is the Microsoft Store has some desktop wrapper apps and the first starting PWAs but it is really a desert in which a tumbleweed animation blowing across the front is symbolic. Desktop stores for PCs are secondary to most users of productivity tasks as enterprises distribute their own software. Home users keep mostly what comes with the PC including the junk. Gamers use Steam. Enthusiasts go to the web. I force myself to visit the store every so often but I think the Twitter app and Spotify are the only store apps I use daily or weekly. The ecosystem could have been kept going a little with a mobile device that needed UWP apps or PWA apps. Maybe a Lumia 960 released in late 2017 with a Windows 10 Mobile OS that was now reasonably robust, an updated camera and an 835 processor. An enthusiast limited edition version that justified developers still creating some apps or maintaining existing ones. Maybe a Lumia 960 that could even have run Windows Core OS or an updated Edge client for PWA. However, the message has been if you want Microsoft apps on your mobile device use an Android phone or IOS. The launch, stop, reboot, change app environment, restart process has been a pattern. It's not just hardware or software but also trust. Lumia 950 launched October 2015 with a buggy untried OS. Gets useful updates by the anniversary update. Dead by early 2017. Will Andromeda follow the pattern. Launched, 18 months to get software working well, cancelled. Microsoft have form in mobile. It's not good. Does a cross between a 1990s Filofax with a stylus and a depleted mobile ecosystem feel like the future? Not really. I suspect people who call this device Surface Phone rather than Surface Unicorn actually just want a Surface Phone not a Filofax notebook.
  • This would be a great way to introduce a device and get feedback to make it better.
    Would also give interest from others to prove the idea is true
    As long as the hardware insider program had a reasonable price.
  • Show Microsoft the demand for the Surface Phone or Andromeda! You can sign the petition to bring us Andromeda here: https://www.change.org/p/all-the-people-who-would-buy-the-phone-show-mic...
  • Great, we just pass 5000 supports
  • 🤣🤣🤣 Wow! Your desperation is beyond measure
  • Your lack of life purpose worth nothing...
  • Microsoft could also try a crowd sourced design approach like Eve did with the V. This way they would be building devices that people actually want.
  • I never agree with Dan...but I agree with Dan. Put the thing on Kickstarter. Make a few youtube videos. Throw out a little blurb to current insiders (like those 'bug bash' prompts). They don't need to advertise in the traditional sense. "We're experimenting. Here is what the device can currently do. Here are the current accessories. We have plans to add this list of features, but no guarantees. Here are some accessories we're thinking of building, but, again, no guarantees. If you're interested, come join us on kickstarter. Production starts the week after this kickstarter ends. You'll have it in your hands by the following month. We have a 1k units already produced. First 1k orders shipped immediately after the kickstarter ends. If we can't get 10k people interested, we go back to the drawing board." Now it's in the hands of 'the fans'. If they want it to happen, put up or shut up. I think they should start with 10k units for consumers. Price increased to offset production costs for lower volume runs. Include 5 years of Skype and Office365. If they hit 10k immediately, bump it up to 50k. Find some of their larger business partners and give them each 50 devices and ask for feedback in return. Integrate with AD. How well does continuum work? Use it as a remote to do presentations. They don't have to immediately go after iphone numbers or use that traditional release method. Follow Hololense, Google Glass, DK1, etc. If the feedback (and telemetry data) indicates it's ready for 'normal users', go on with full production. If people are begging for the opportunity to buy it, but users say it's not ready, put up another kickstarter. Maybe offer extra Bing Rewards points for those using the device. Contests for the best fan-made commercial. App idea contests where the winner gets a surface studio or something and MS builds the app. If 1k users love the device, it still might not be ready for 'normal users'. 10k? Same. 100k? Ehh...that's a lot of people. If you have 100k people buying it on kickstarter and generally giving a positive sentiment...it's ready.
  • Concrete way to go.... Thx
  • Why is it so hard for people to understand that there will not be a new mobile like phone from Microsoft in near future? Look Microsoft seems heavily invested in Android. Even their Microsoft Edge works better on Android. They have also made their own Microsoft Android Launcher as well. Yes it is ****** and not where near a Windows 10 Mobile in design but it works. If you really wants a Microsoft Surface phone with access to all the smart phone apps in the world and the Windows 10 tile system then just buy some high end spec Android phone from like Samsung and the install a dark blue Android them and then install the Launcher 10(I use that one and it works like a dream) or the Square2 Launcher. You will then have a very advanced tile UI that feels very much like Windows 10 Mobile and it is actually even more advanced in features since they get updated all the time. You then install all the many Microsoft Android apps. After you have done the above you will not really feel like you left Windows 10 Mobile when it comes to the UI unless you start to use the Google apps that is but... that is what many wanted in first place with their win 10 mobiles as they wrote everywhere that they wanted YouTube and apps like Snapchat. Forget about the Surface Mobile device and realize that the current CEO likes the Android better and that the many Microsoft apps are available on Android now. I am not try to be rude here but really the Andromeda stories are getting out of hand. Android does the job and Microsoft seems to think that as well since they even sell Android phones in their online stores with a Microsoft Launcher and the apps pre-installed. No release of a Surface/Andromeda/Windows 10 mobile/smartphone/fordable device? Fine! No problem! I'll have a bite of the Oreo cookies! Jolly good, very well and carry on!
  • Save? 🤣🤣🤣 There wouldn't be any saving needed if it weren't for that imbecile CEO obsessed with cloud and cost cutting
  • Still worth nothing....u are Pathetic bored and only know how to cite cliques....
  • A dual screen on a mobile would beautifully serve several of my business needs, especially for using Excel on the go, which I only use when truly needed on my phone now. So much productivity capacity if this thing is truly pocket-sized, but only if it runs Win 10 w full desktop Office Suite, not apps or emulation. I guess that's the rub.
  • Surface Phone Fans Urge Microsoft to Release the Rumoured Device With Change.org Petition
    https://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/microsoft-surface-phone-change-org...
  • Satya blundered in killing Lumia. Had he stayed the course of selling low and mid range hardware at a loss to bolster market share MS would be in a strong 3rd place today in much of the world. Not the U.S., but S. Amer, much of Europe, Russia, China, India and Africa. In some markets Lumia was in second place. In such an environment developers would increasingly be compelled to support the platform and the pump would be primed for a disruptive product like the Surface Phone and there would be little risk to releasing it. As it is now, they've lost years of market exposure, taken a multi-billion bath on Lumia and will spend hundreds of millions more gambling to get any new device into the same position the Lumia line previously achieved.
  • In ideal situation, having a 3rd place W10M to lunch Andromeda makes business sense... Investor confidence on Microsoft stays strong only IF the company stays competitive by restructuring with agility. We complain so much Microsoft lacks good marketing, effective communication, consumer focus.. Yet we are not tolerating the need for constant restructuring at Microsoft..., not just Redmond but world wide... Microsoft Windows Phone strategy fails because the management fails to see the rise of Smartphone.. No one ask how long it will NEED for Microsoft to get rid of this old generation management that fails to respond in time to change in technology.. This old play-safe generation management continuously caused the company to keep failing in consumer space because Microsoft by history is Enterprise focus. 2015 - most people doubt if Microsoft would survive.... The same way we doubt Intel NOW ... Old dianasour that could only react BUT not proactively respond to And and ARM.. Only in 2017, it becomes clear Microsoft can proactively compete in cloud space.. With one firm foot in cloud and enterprise... the focus remains consolidation of enterprise business... while purging the company the old management we ALL know are failing us in consumer space..
  • [claim: I simply reconstructing without any insider information...] Today, we have Andromeda crisis Again in my view due to this old play safe management, not just at Redmond, but world wide reporting back to try to keep thier jobs..pressurising to delay or even cancel Andromeda As Dan has said recently ... the existing Andromeda OS is not ready.... Again this old play safe management is not able to coordinate the simple effective communication... Every release of insider W10 RS5 reveal the next generation of SDK for Andromeda... At Computex, we were given the hint that Andromeda hardware is coming... The truth... there is struggle between software UI, hardware readiness.. the best timing to release.. NOW happening at Redmond The hardware team feedback from customer is that it will be disruptive... The UI team will bare the whole failure and start leaking information to manage expectation, asking for more time... =====>Action point:
    We the community should GUIDE Microsoft how to manage this communication more effectively... Windows Central so far play an effective middle man.. Not only we push for petition... We need to continously to come here to feedback to paint a realistic picture what really happening in real world... Not just US but the rest... how would consumer truly respond to Andromeda.... We need to do our part to compensate what we all know the weakness of Microsoft management in consumer space...
  • Perhaps Microsoft needs to spin off a consumer daughter company. We can not teach the old elephants [enterprise-focus] new tricks..
  • There is a critical flaw in that is that they wouldn't be able to subsidise loss making divisions with other profitable divisions. Sure, they could in the form of "loans" as an expenditure but that is not sustainable.
  • Amazon subsidies Kindle with profit from AWS...
  • My money is on Nadella cancelling. . He has form.
  • Ready to loose all... :-)
  • I cannot wait, now forced to use android, hating the closed environment of Apple. But, pls with enough horsepower, so I can supply my mobile employees with only one secure device with sufficient apps, say top 100. Tomorrow pls, now it's a mess on the marketplace without any real innovation.
  • Great solution and totally doable, as well as in line with the Surface "aspirational" branding.
  • Petition to bring us Andromeda: https://www.change.org/p/all-the-people-who-would-buy-the-phone-show-mic...
  • If Satya is too risk averse to try this it will be nothing less than victory of the accountants over the inventors. THAT calculus has spelled an end to such great companies as Pfizer, Zenith, (probably) Palm, (certainly) Apple... Innovate or die!
  • I hope the device gets released eventually, by 2020. But Microsoft needs to innovate seriously when it comes to displaying full desktop webpages, but reformatted for the smaller screen. This would likely require influencing how HTML6 develops and more, since curent websites would have to work on the device... For example.. the device would need to be able to run google web editing for docs , etc., which windows mobile was never able to do. The Youtube mobile experience sucks too, so being able to display the full desktop version but slightly reformatted for small screens is key. Perhaps the web app solution can help here, the new wrapper could contain the instructions to convert a site into a small-screen-friendly version (on-demand). But they have to get Google and others to play ball, so it has to be extremely simple to do on the third parties' part, meaning a robust pipeline needs to be made. Another thing I've vouched for since seeing McLaren prototypes is an evolution of that technology, kind of like Apple's 3D touch. I'll call it hover-touch where your finger acts like a stylus would when hovered over the creen making selections on miniaturized web pages and text simpler, as if with a stylus, but without the need for it. It could even spawn a little magnifying glass under a hovered finger to be able to pin-point exactly what needs selecting, which would help during the first generation of devices for interacting with more roughly miniaturized full-desktop sites. It should support multimedia messaging as well as phone calling with an integrated sim. Hands down. Battery life would be an issue. It should be allowed to be thick and heavy so more battery can be packed in. Another option would be long distance wireless charging which is being pushed to the tech industry now by the people who stole Tesla's patents a hundred years ago.. not sure how safe this wireless charging will be, as for 5G, but I'm sure it'll happen soon anyway.
  • Great article and perspective Dan! I believe that most people are stating that the "software" is NOT ready … yet … for primetime? The first gen of the WoA (Windows on ARM) devices - only released a few months ago - is/was based on the QC 835 and lacks the horsepower to effectively run in 32 bit X86 emulation mode. From what I have read and heard, Microsoft only recently released an a complier for 64 bit … so, in summary, EVERYTHING is taking a LOT longer to get to market. Remember, that the whole WoA "announcement" by Terry Myerson and Qualcomm executives only happened in December 2016 = 18 months ago. I realize that "current Andromeda rumors and patents" point to a "dual screen folding device", but "current LCD and AMOLED" devices are thick and heavy … and, 2X a Galaxy Note would be an abysmal FAILURE. What we ALL find disruptive and cool is the "unique hinge technology" but the reality is that even Samsung is finding it difficult technically to bring "foldable OLED" on plastic substrates to market. Check out this recent article - note in article #2 that even the leader in smartphone displays is ONLY reportedly considering a 100,000 first production run scaling to 1,000,000 in 2019 = DISPLAYS ARE NOT READY: 1) https://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-galaxy-x-the-story-of-samsungs-fo... 2) https://www.slashgear.com/samsung-foldable-phone-galaxy-x-design-product... And these are only "reports", you would think that Satya and his executive team have access to far more accurate, detailed, technical and quality pricing details than "reporters and random leaks". So, I humbly submit that Andromeda MAY simply need more time to evolve. I will buy one on Day 1 … but, since it will be $1,500 to $2,000 … I'd rather have the latest and greatest "hardware and software available" and NOT two Galaxy Notes "hinged together"! Just my 2 cents ...
  • Your view is certainly more than 2 cents.. Thx for sharing..
  • I think this is the right solution to a wrong problem. Their real problem here is that the market for this product as conceived or rumored is too small to make sense to a giant like Microsoft. Also the product actually diverts their attention from the Mobile strategy they began to have some limited success with by creating another low potential platform they have to manage. The problem they have now is very similar to what Apple had when Windows dominated the desktop. It's even worse because Apple at least had the option of carving out a high price, high end segment. In mobile even that high end is already occupied by Apple (and Samsung). They need to adopt a bit of the Apple solution to have some reasonable chance of success: the Andromeda must be able to run Android also. This will also allow them to bring all the work they have done on Android to it. If they don't want to or can't do this, then there is not enough market space for the product and it makes no sense to launch it, whether big or small splash. The other option is they demonstrate partial solution of their app gap through a reasonably robust set of PWAs in Microsoft Store. But that isn't the case now., these aren't available. They would have to have these for sure before launch, it's the must have start point that initializes any mobile product from Microsoft that cancels a potential chicken and egg, which in their case as a late comer cannot be allowed to be an issue because it is a sure sign of doom.
  • Here's an idea, Snapcraft is making containerized linux apps to be available on any Linux distribution regardless of the OS architecture/platform, if Canonical can do this, imagine what Microsoft + Google + Apple can do toghether for Mobile apps, the days of iOS walled garden apps and Windows walled garden apps are coming to an end.
  • Effectively beta testing hardware would create a VERY slippery precedent for downright appalling QA because "the consumer is testing the device".
  • I think you don't get it!
    Andromeda and/or Surface line will disappear in a couple of years if MS doesn't manage to run Android apps natively.
    If they can't, then MS should bring Androidmeda. It is the only way to save 'Surface Andromeda'.
    Android SUCKS (in capital), Windows Mobile 10 was way way way superior. But the lack of apps made it irrelevant and we have no option now. I wish to be using WM10 now, but unfortunately it is almost useless. And, next will be the Surface line. What a shame, really!
  • I used to think that Android sucks but then I installed a Launcher 10 and, which really shocked me, realized that Android could really look and feel like Windows 10 Mobile just with much more features and access to all Android apps and the Microsoft Apps. One can even install the Microsoft Launcher for Android and then you will have your Android phone linked to the Windows 10 PC you are using. Microsoft is now on Android and they seems to be stronger every single day as they update their apps. Even the Microsoft Edge for Android works better on my Samsung Galaxy S8 than on my dear beloved Lumia 950 XL which is not something I like to write but that is the truth. Android Oreo 8.x on a high end Android phone with a dark blue theme and a Launcher 10 will make you your phone feel and look like what the Surface phone should have been like.... sadly....
  • Great idea, I'm the first one to go for Andromeda Surface Phone, why? Recently, due to hardware failure of my 950, I switched to Android. It is top of the line Essential phone with the latest Oreo. One would say superior to Windows 10 phone, no way! A bit faster, more apps and 100gb of built in memory are definitely a plus, but system crashes, inferior camera, overly complicated design of Oreo, are a big nuisance in every day use. I miss my Windows Phone so much! Let's have this Andromeda with ability to make notes by real ePen, combine it with Band3 (whatever you name it) and go on with them slowly, but consistently. Without recurring childish drama that something will be shelved again! How much money does it take? As much as purchasing GitHub or LinkedIn or Nokia? These products, in the long run of things, are more important than new gaming console or hololens. They are indespensible in every day use, consoles and lenses are not, but somehow is phone and watch unprofitable? Can anyone explain why, knowing the price I paid for many of my past windows phones and my band 2.
  • Long time fan here. When Microsoft killed Lumia 950, Groove, and effectively cancelled Windows 10 Mobile I had to move somewhere. I chose iOS after a several month trial with Android. Thankfully, Microsoft had their apps waiting for me on the iPhone 8 and X which is what I switched my entire family to after all of this. I would love to "see" and possibly "adopt" new Microsoft hardware, as I'm lucky enough to be able to do such a thing. I am just not sure what I'd do with it with every mobile need covered, presently. I didn't give up on them. They gave up on us, as it were. I think many fans might be in the same boat. Microsoft needs to give us some good and solid news!
  • I am even starting to look at crowd source options for a mobile device. The GPD Pocket 2 has me one foot in. If only it could make phone calls, that would bemy "Surface Mobile"!
  • From Pocket PC, to Zune, to Phone, to Andromeda, and where are all these now? The question is, who's going to walk around with both a phone and a pocket pc, nada. The question is, what is andromeda going to need, that others cant and or dont? And how small can these things really be? I think a strong AR/VR/MR integration would be a good step. Honestly though that foldable concept dosnt really apeal to me, maybe more so in person but not so in pictures. And that mouse pad slap concept would be coo coo, i like the idea of a button less tablet style, no sensors other than wifi/bt and maybe gps, wireless charging, etc, should ms ditch andromeda, absolutely not, come on ms get ur fn head out of the fn box nd give me something new!!!