This past year, Microsoft has filed several patents for what appears to be some kind of foldable device. Windows Central exclusively revealed back in October that Microsoft is indeed internally prototyping foldable hardware with a focus on pen and digital inking, that has telephony capabilities and runs a new version of Windows 10.
Today, yet another patent (via The Verge) for this rumored foldable device has appeared online, giving us a closer look at what how the hinge aspect might work and behave. The patent shows a device, with two screens adjoined by a small hinge that folds in either direction that gives the device several unique usable positions, including a tablet mode, tent mode, laptop mode, and a folded mode. The two screens can be used as one large one, or two separate ones depending on the position and orientation of the device.
Windows Central understands that these foldable devices will run a version of Windows 10 codenamed Andromeda OS, which is part of Microsoft's Windows Core OS effort. Sources tell us Microsoft is also building a dedicated notetaking app for the device, that spans across both screens mimicking a real notebook. The app will have OneNote and Windows Ink integration along with the ability to invite others into the same notebook for collaborative inking sessions, similar to the Microsoft Whiteboard app.
The Andromeda platform will also be the first to feature CShell, Microsoft's upcoming adaptable Windows Shell. CShell will allow Windows 10 to adapt and adjust experiences on the fly, so that when the user folds the device in any which way, Windows can offer the best experience that's tailored specifically for that mode. Of course, since this is Windows 10, it'll also be able to run Windows 10 apps as well.
The foldable device patents share similarities with Microsoft's canceled Courier project from 2010. Microsoft has been kicking around this idea for some time, and it appears the company is finally trying to bring that idea to market. Now of course, since this device hasn't been officially announced, it can be canceled at any time. For now however, it appears Microsoft is continuing to work on this idea, and hopefully we'll see it sooner rather than later.
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