Microsoft reportedly teased dual-screen Surface 'Centaurus' for employees

Surface logo
Surface logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Employees from Microsoft's devices team reportedly got an early look at a dual-screen Surface prototype at an internal meeting recently.
  • The device, codenamed "Centaurus," is a laptop-tablet hybrid with two screens.
  • We first reported on Centaurus in December, noting at the time that it may run Microsoft's Windows Core OS.

Microsoft employees in the company's devices team reportedly got an early look at a dual-screen Surface device at a recent meeting. The Verge reports that the laptop-tablet hybrid, codenamed "Centaurus," was teased to the employees as part of a sizzler video for upcoming Surface devices, and "formed long lines to get a closer glimpse at this new Surface device."

Windows Central Senior Editor Zac Bowden first reported on Centaurus in December, describing it as "the first of what Microsoft calls a dual-screen 2-in-1, a new device form factor for Windows that utilizes two screens for productivity, inking, and more." As opposed to Microsoft's Andromeda device, which was a rumored small form-factor dual-screen device now believed to be on hold, Centaurus is reported to be a larger, similar to Microsoft's cancelled Courier concept from years ago.

Reporting indicates that Microsoft has been working on Centaurus for nearly two years and is aiming for a potential release this fall. The company is reportedly working close with Intel, which has unveiled its fair share of dual-screen laptop prototypes in recent years. Like Surface devices before it, Centaurus is expected to act as an example for other PC manufacturers to show what is possible for laptops with two screens.

Intel's "Twin River" dual-screen prototype laptop.

Intel's "Twin River" dual-screen prototype laptop.

Centaurus is expected to run a version of Windows Core OS (or Windows Lite), developed to work specifically with dual-screen devices. The OS is expected to support legacy Win32 apps, but only if they have been containerized for the Microsoft Store.

That Microsoft is showing off the Centaurus device internally hints that it could be building towards a release soon. However, plans can and often do change, so it's best not to read into things too much here. However, if Centaurus is close to launching, we'll likely see it this fall, which has become Microsoft's typical launch period for new Surface devices.

Our favorite Surface accessories from Microsoft

Every one of these valuable Surface accessories is Windows Central Approved and guaranteed to please.

Surface Precision Mouse ($77 at Amazon)

The Surface Precision Mouse is not only one of favorite Surface accessories, it's one of our favorite mice for any PC. It's packed with valuable features and customizable buttons. Its scrolling and tracking are seamless and spot-on. And it's rechargeable so you never have to buy new batteries for it.

Surface Pen (From $72 at Amazon)

Every Surface owner needs this Pen. Period. It supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support for shading density, and enjoys supremely low latency. When paired with a Surface PC, the potential is endless. And it comes in a bunch of cool colors.

Surface Dock ($136 at Amazon)

With two Mini DisplayPorts, four USB-A 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm audio jack, this dock gives you the ports you need to stay connected to all your favorite devices. Plus, it easily turns your Surface into a desktop power hub. We highly recommend it.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl