Microsoft's Andromeda device described as 'new and disruptive' in leaked internal email
Microsoft's Andromeda device is now at the final stretch, and a newly leaked email gives us our first hint at how Microsoft is thinking about its next mobile device.
Over the weekend, Microsoft's rumored 'Andromeda' device hit mainstream news when an internal email from Microsoft leaked describing its plans for a new "pocketable Surface device form factor." In the email, Microsoft describes its Andromeda device as a "new and disruptive" device category that "blurs the lines between mobile and stationary computing." This is the closest we're going to get to confirmation from Microsoft that Andromeda exists until its announced later this year.
The email also positions Andromeda as "bring[ing] together innovative new hardware and software experiences to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience." We first reported on Microsoft's Andromeda device back in October 2017, and the leaked email finally confirms a few things in our original article, including its pocketable nature and unique form-factor. Andromeda features two-screens in a chassis that can fold over, just like a journal. It also has pen support for inking and telephony capabilities for phone calls.
Andromeda is a big deal for more than just being a new device category however. It's the coming together of lots of projects that have been in the works internally at Microsoft for a long time, on both hardware and software sides. The software is very interesting, as it's Microsoft first port of call for its new Windows Core OS and CShell efforts, which attempt to bring Windows 10 into a more modern era by leaving behind legacy code and focusing on UWP as well as bringing new Windows experiences to device form factors that don't yet exist.
Windows Central understands that Andromeda runs a new version of Windows 10 built on Windows Core OS. It doesn't run full Windows 10, because that would be terrible. Microsoft refers to full Windows 10 as "Windows Classic OS" alongside its new "Windows Core OS." Windows Core OS is what Andromeda runs, with an Andromeda specific experience on top of it. The new Andromeda OS experience is yet to be seen by the public, but we'll hopefully have more to share on this front soon.
Andromeda also has a Continuum mode, which is alive and kicking and has improved two-fold since we last saw it on Windows 10 Mobile. The Continuum desktop is now almost exactly like the desktop you know today, including windowed apps, context menus, a system tray, and even the ability to pin icons to your desktop.
The leaked email is an interesting insight into how Microsoft is pitching this device. Many critics are unsure of why this device needs to exist, frequently asking who this device is going to be for. These are good questions, of which Microsoft are surely even asking themselves. But, this is par for the course for any new device form factor. Who needs something that doesn't exist yet? Andromeda's biggest uphill battle will be with ecosystem. For any mobile device to be successful, it needs apps.
Whether those apps are PWAs or native UWPs it doesn't matter. It just needs apps. Microsoft has already began combating this problem by automatically adding PWAs to the Microsoft Store, and hopefully the company is working secretly with major app makers to bring their apps to Andromeda too.
I first started learning about Andromeda back in 2016, and the project has come a long way since then. However, the project isn't safe from being canceled or delayed. The Surface Mini was killed just weeks before it was supposed to be announced. Mary Jo Foley is also hearing that a delay or even cancelation is possible for Andromeda, but this is pretty normal for any product in development. I worry the fallout of killing Andromeda would be bigger than just another canceled device.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.
but also getting other critical things right in the areas where Microsoft is weak...  Having a well though out PR strategy in addition to bold marketing promotion ...
* communicating clearly with the media, bloggers and fans...
* strategy to deal with trolls in the traditional media, tech "journalists" in the blogosphere and even the blog comments section
* having someone with a fun personality to handle the communications
 The product will be pricey...
* convince customers that it provides enough value to correspond with price
* come up with some kind of financial innovation to make it affordable I'm not sure they have the capability to do this!
Product like Courier, Zune Phone even Kin could have been "disruptive"...but they bungled it or retreated too quick....
Hope they can do better this time instead just taking the easy route of cancelling it :)
The only real way it would be a game changer is if it could reliably run any android app.
The issue with Windows Phone was its attempt at becoming an alternative to Android and iPhone. I believe Surface Phone will not be called Surface Phone at all, and will introduce itself as a productivity device alongside other Surface devices...just more portable that any of the current Surfaces. Add that to the fact that PWAs are growing, and you got a viable option.
So, apps built using it don't have to be mediocre it depends fully on the developer.
Now they are putting it down. Make up your pathetic minds.
This time in 2020 we'll all be saying, remember the old days when people used to carry mobile phones everywhere? Before not-Phones got invented? Crazy days...
Doesn't read as if she's planning to use Project Andromeda as her phone in a few months.
Consumers didn't buy them, and the lack of good apps got the blame for it. I used Windows Phone and mobile since the lumia 900. My last was the lumia 950. The phones had many good qualities, like good cameras and before Windows 10 mobile, a stable and usable operating system. But then there was the lack of apps and a poor web browser. In addition to these problems, even Microsofts own apps got worse as the nokia legacy was left behind. Especially maps and camera apps. And then we can talk about the store. This is mostly filled with third party apps and web wrappers. I have been testing out some of the apps on my surface.
Still no good. "attempt to bring Windows 10 into a more modern era by leaving behind legacy code and focusing on UWP" This means that the device will be stuck with the bad apps from the store. It is truly amazing, as even Microsoft must know about the situation in their own store. So in conclusion, if the Andromeda device doesn't run win32 apps, it is more or less a glorified, dual screen flopped Lumia 950, as it will appear to the consumer that it is just another iteration of windows 10 mobile. What lies underneath does not matter if the apps are lacking.
Are you sure you are feeling well?
hope WhatsApp/Viber are there when it is launched
best to get the software right before releasing it
It will not be as fast as in iPhone devices, but it will be the device can run all the major OSes app out there. This is will be truly the disruptive device.
I'm not sure which Windows desktop you use today, but the system tray has been cancelled during the early Windows Chicago (later to become Windows 95) days and replaced with the taskbar most of us use since 23 years.
Outside of Windows 95 beta testers, no one ever used the system tray and jumped directly from the Program Manager to the Taskbar. (see https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20030910-00/?p=42583/)
* eTrade, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments
* Southwest, Alaska, Delta, United, Jet Blue, American Airlines, Expedia
* Voxer, IMDB, Pinterest, Yelp, Starbucks, Food Network, StubHub
* Twitch, Mixer, Monument Valley, Sky Guide, ESPN
* Google Photos, Google Maps, YouTube Microsoft should beg... cajole... bribe... pay... discount Azure/Office 365 subs... basically do whatever it takes to convince these companies to go PWA and even better to specifically "package" the PWAs in a UWP store wrapper. It would be in these companies best interest to standardize on a device-agnositic platform like PWA anyway, since they could cut development and maintenance costs by not having to write their apps 2 or 3 times for every platform. MS needs to evangelize PWA... and zealously!
...just hopefully I can afford it, haha.
The pull out of the phone market will be remembered as its stupidest mistake.
And it didn't have to. MS should have kept W10M alive until it could have replaced it with something better.
I guess a flip phone won't be too bad after all.
I installed MS Launcher on my droid.
It looked really nice.
But there's no way I'll sign into it using a droid.
Watching all the efforts Google is making to play nice with MS is really a joke.
A really sad joke.
But more importantly, it's the universe of products that work good enough for me on W10 M. Word, Power Point, etc.
I think Nadella is a brilliant and humble person/would love to meet him.
I just think he's wrong to abandon phones. Unlike some, I don't think Microsoft phones were a failure. Sure, marketing was.
one of the reasons Andromeda devices are in hold is Microsoft's execs have no
imagination. they cannot see why building an Andromeda device. here a few reasons
Andromeda devices are needed 1= some People want to use a good 7 to 9 inch
Windows 10 Mini Tablet there are too few for sale these days. 2= some People who use Windows 10 have already seen the advantage of using a 2 touch screen device and
want one. 3= Some People want a Windows 10 Mini Tablet with a built in Cell phone so
they do not have carry around 2 devices. Since Andromeda can work on Intel CPU's
devices they would have a lot of desktop PC Programs as well as the Apps in the
current Windows 10 store. This is a big plus because the programs and apps People
use are already available for an Intel CPU Andromeda device Owner to use.
The Andromeda does not have to be a device you can put in your pants pocket
a folding 2-7 inch screen device like th original Courier device was is best.
Microsoft's CEO Nadella said Microsoft would make phone but they wont look like
any out there today. Andromeda devices were to do that it looks like Microsoft
CEO Nadella can't keep his word
I am out.