Report: Microsoft's foldable Surface PC with Windows Core OS will run Android apps

Surface logo
Surface logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A new report has revealed new info regarding Centaurus.
  • The device may run Android apps.
  • And is coming in the first half of 2020.

A new report from Forbes is claiming that Microsoft's upcoming foldable Surface PC, which I revealed to be in the works late last year under the codename Centaurus, will be able to run Android apps. In addition, the report also provides a few specifications, including screen size and possible CPU.

According to Forbes, Microsoft's foldable Surface PC will sport two 9-inch displays with a 4:3 aspect ratio, along with a 10nm Lakefield Intel processor. I can confirm that Centaurus is indeed an Intel device, and does feature two separate displays, not a single foldable display like found on the recently announced Lenovo foldable PC.

I want to highlight the Android apps thing for a minute though, as this is something I've been hearing too. In fact, I've been hearing this for over a year, as it was first considered for Microsoft's foldable pocket PC, codenamed Andromeda. Since Andromeda and Centaurus both run Windows Core OS, it wouldn't be too difficult to get Android apps running on Centaurus if said capabilities had already been in development for Andromeda. Of course, whether Microsoft actually ships the ability to run those apps is the million dollar question.

Finally, Forbes notes that the device is expected to start shipping sometime in the first half of 2020, which I can also confirm to have heard from my own sources. The report doesn't mention when an announcement will take place, but I'm hearing whispers that Centaurus may make an appearance at an October hardware event later this year, possibly as a tease, or a full blown announcement alongside Windows Lite.

Centuaurs is on its way, and will be one of the first Windows Lite devices to start shipping. Windows Lite is a flavor of Windows Core OS, alongside other editions of Windows Core OS that run on HoloLens 2, Surface Hub 2X, and the next generation Xbox. Windows Core OS is a new, modern version of Windows with many legacy components gutted in favor of performance, fluidity, and new user experiences.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft's Centaurus device? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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.

  • Whoa. Big if true.
  • Are they going to re-allow adding Android apps to the Microsoft Store and then distributing that way, or are they saying that a separate Android app store (from Amazon or Google) will be available?
  • They never allowed Android apps in the store. You could only sideload them on one or two builds of W10M.
  • Consumers won't trust a side load, they will either have to create a store/section of part of the current store, or allow access to the playstore. As Microsoft and Google are not known for playing nice the prior seems likely. Before you bark that won't work remember this is just asking android developers to post apps not build no ones, an easy ask.
  • "Consumers won't trust a side load"
    That includes me. Also, all the trickery you have to go through to do that side loading. You will have to disable quite some safety features.
    But, if they do what Amazon did, like let developers design it for android, and publish as is to MS-Android store or something like that, that could work
  • Hopefully the former. I think if the news are true (doubt it but possible) will run Android apps in a container just like Anbox software for Linux or they do with Win32 apps so I could see those apps potentially being on the store. It just makes sense, more apps to the store. Of course, I don't know about how those API's related to ads are going to work though...
  • Also, many if not most apps require Google Play Services to work properly. I can definitely see issues here. Same thing happens with the Amazon Fire tablets. Some apps still won't work even if sideloaded, as they don't have Play Services.
  • True
    But, imagine if MSFT could do the app thing using ios Apps since it will be less in services crap.
  • MS Store should still be the primary method of obtaining apps. I'm okay also going out to Play for for the rare times I need a 3rd party app other than what's available via the MS Store. Mainly just 3 financial apps... Citibank, Mint, eTrade... and one communication app... Voxer.
  • Oh no, you might be able to use Android apps but that doesn't mean you will get those apps from the Play Store. Definitely they will make it run exactly like Win32 apps does under the UWP container. So you will get these apps from the Microsoft Store
  • Fascinating. Must be similar to Desktop Bridge (Centennial) Appx compiler for Win32? If that's the case, cool, but will be interesting to see if Android developers will even bother to re-compile for the MS Store. Sadly, nothing's ever easy in developer world, so it's probably going to require some measure of lift, a light lift hopefully, to get it to compile for Appx, but a lift nonetheless. BTW there's already a bridge from iOS to UWP... but I don't exactly see developers beating a path to do it.
  • The big news is Amazon will jump ship on their forked version of Android for a highly customizable version of Microsoft’s “Modern OS.” Look for Amazon’s inexpensive “Prime Phone” in 2020.
  • Hmmm 🤔, I could totally see them do this but I don't think Microsoft would just let them use their telephony related API's in a phone device before they do.
  • You mean the telefony stuff that got removed in recent insider build?
  • It did? Ay lmao
  • Is this a joke?
  • Stop spreading juicy thinking, I hate getting hooked this easy
  • Looks like they are listening.
    This would help a smaller device come to market
  • It helps their platform become completely irrelevent. Emulating competitors apps never has worked. Always the last gasp of a dying platform. Just ask Blackberry. You don't get the good Android apps. You will only get the crappy ones that don't require Google Play Services. No way this sees the light of day.
  • Bleached, that's just silly. Sure, the leading company has no incentive to provide support for the competitor's software (same reason PS4 has little reason to support cross-play with Xbox users), and arguments could be made against this approach for the loss of UI consistency and other reasons, but smaller players have frequently used compatibility with a competitor's system to success. Apple incorporated support for Windows applications through Parallels and, to a lesser extent, dual boot. That definitely helped Apple gain market share. Opera shifted from their own browser to Chromium for better compatibility and flipped from losing share to gaining slightly (not a lot, but the change in momentum was distinct). Toshiba dropped their own HD-DVD standard in favor of Sony's competing BluRay and saw an increase in sales of its HD-capable DVD players, because they became compatible with the content people could use. Palm started offering Treos with MS Mobile on them, because the Palm OS wasn't getting as much interest from developers as Microsoft's mobile OS at the time, seeing the Treo 750w and 800w ('w' being for Windows) be some of their strongest sellers. You could also say that the whole reason both Microsoft with DOS/Windows and now Google with Android were successful, was because of the wide range of hardware and other options while also filling the checkbox for a customer, "Able to run the vast majority of apps". And for many (not claiming for everyone) that's all it is: a checkbox. If this allows Windows to satisfy that requirement and its other features are attractive, it will drive sales to those customers. Period. What we don't know is what % of the market is that -- 1% or 60%? I suspect MS has done some market research on that.
  • In every case you referenced, the platform was dead and they were forced to switch. I am not familiar with Apple computers, but I have never heard of them running Windows apps, just dual booting with poor drivers designed to make Windows look bad. Opera is still irrelevent. HD-DVD is still dead. Palm is long dead. If Microsoft is not capable of building a platform that can stand on its own, then they shouldn't bother. It will just be a waste of time and resources that could be making Windows better or inventing the best big thing.
  • Your response shows one thing, you are not interested in reasoning.
    When you said
    "Opera is still irrelevant.
    HD-DVD is still dead.
    Palm is long dead."
    It shows that you get it, but DELIBERATELY DON'T want to GET IT. Consider this in your exploration of superiority; explore other people's comment as knowledge sharing, ok for constructive rebuttal, enhance those comment if you can, give it kudos if you learnt something from it rather that I know more than you, I am better than you, my statement is far superior.
  • His point that adopting competitors platforms helps your own, is not shown by his examples. Sure, Toshiba did fine with Blu-ray, but it didn't help HD-DVD. I see his point, Microsoft will be fine, but their platform will suffer.
  • As you know, the landscape of tech and devices are constantly changing, these said platforms ruled during their time and to get some market share from dominant ones it is not so bad a move to make.
    MSFT has now opted to use Google's chromium engine in their next Edge browser, I don't expect it to overnight just kill Google's browser, but it stops the bleeding where using chrome browser over current edge browser is not because chrome browser is superior, but because almost all the developers are there and not to mention Google services knack of sabotaging competing browsers not using chromium engine. This way, MSFT can add their unique awesome features and not worry about developers coding just for the most popular browser or being blatantly sabotaged. So,
    Joining the Chromium engine fort, MSFT's true browser failure should now be by MSFT's own doing and not anyone else. "Microsoft will be fine, but their platform will suffer." Your point is a very good possibility, but in this case scenario and with iPadOs in the horizon for light mobile computing, it will be sad if MSFT does not explore this possibility to combat the dreaded all too often app-gaps issue as to why this particular platform failed.
    Most apps developed for iOS have copies for android, why not make sure that is not an issue for this new platform.
  • I think you have to view this in light of the fact that Windows is no longer MS's main focus. It's just another 365 end point.
  • That actually is a good point. I never looked at it that way.
  • Please, can you expatiate a bit on this, just so that I don't make all the wrong assumptions? My initial thinking of your comment is that While the Os is windows, it is not the main focus, as such other competitors features and services can be brought over primarily the enhance the user experience and value.
  • This OS will be a hot mess architecture-wise. A nightmare monster. I really honestly hope these news are not true. Win32 + Java VM + Android apps + Intel CPU + registry + NT kernel = absolute f*cking abomination.
  • Shouldn't be that complicated. Might just be OneCore + CShell + Hyper-V. Any WinRT app will run natively, the rest of the subsystem will run in Hyper-V just like WSL2.
  • Wcos will not have Win32 and I am pretty sure those Android apps will run in a container to begin with, not natively. The question is will it run well on ARM?
  • I'd think so too about a android running in a container, but who knows.
  • Probably going to be in the cloud. Considering these are low powered devices, it would need a decent CPU to spin up multiple VMs/ containers. They can run it in Azure and you can access it from your browser.
  • I don't think so if those container are under the UWP, just like they do with Win32. If anything can develop the black magic related to that is Microsoft, like they literally did with Win32 on UWP.
    They had the best Android Emulator for Visual Studio for awhile before they abandoned that for some reason (Google Android emulated devices sucked ass), so I do trust them to somehow do this.
  • So what's the purpose of using an Intel Processor if it doesn't run Win32?
  • Intel Processor is still lightyears ahead of ARM when it comes to processing power so there's that.
  • What are you talking about? This is 2019 not 2008. It will be in an Android container, or in the cloud.
    It's not a new architecture.
  • Most Android development is not Java anymore...
  • Thanks Oracle for that! It's Kotlin's year baby!
  • You only wish. Most Android development is Java and will stay Java for the foreseeable future. Despite being accepted well in the dev comunity, Kotlin is just a fraction and I'm speaking as a software architect in one of the biggest corporations on the planet that deals with software partners from almost every country ever that produces mobile apps as well.
  • It's gonna be in a lightweight container running on a type 1 Hyper Visor from the looks of it. WLS 2 already does this for running Linux and it's pretty fast (startup time is around a second for me) and I'm pretty sure they're using that tech for WCOS. Windows NT already supported subsystems in the past (MS-DOS actually ran side by side with Windows in the past) so I'm pretty sure it'll be some sort of pluggable subsystem architecture which means it's very pluggable.
  • With that news, and if in fact it becomes a reality would that also mean that Microsoft might get back in the phone game and possibly use Android apps?
  • I would not understand the existence of a phone with Windows as operative system running Android apps. For that you get a pure Android. Another thing is a kind of pc able to run Android apps, but as a complement to all already existing desktop programs, that would (more or less) make some sense.
  • This will only use Android apps under a container so those Android developers could easily port their apps to Windows. It's not like it will literally run the APK
  • Project Astoria all over again?
  • Nah, I don't think so.
  • That's what I'm wondering as well. Project Astoria was cancelled for two reasons:
    - running ARM-native apps on x86-64 architecture was a total mess and caused apps to lag/crash
    - Astoria was only allowing older Android apps based on Java to run. From what we currently see, Google and their developers have moved away from that code-base so there would be no litigation from Sun Microsystems or Oracle.
  • What? Android apps are still mostly written either in java directly or with a language that runs in a JVM. There are the select few (most games or web browsers like Chrome or Firefox) that are written in C++ or C#.
  • Project Astoria was ARM apps running on ARM. Windows Phone didn't have x86 architecture. Do some research.
  • I suspect Google Services was the biggest issue... many apps link to it for Maps, Contacts, Games, IAP, etc. Amazon created their own services layer and require developers to rebuild apps against it for their store. Microsoft would likely have to follow a similar route to be legal. I'll believe it when I see it, but I'm not expecting to.
  • Not really legal but just not break things. I don't see them using Googleapis even if they could legally.
  • Microsoft has been building ties with Amazon's development team with Alexa... Following a similar route so that developers who are at least willing to port their apps for Kindle Fire also make a Windows version (perhaps with no add'l effort) would be a reasonable approach and maybe yield sufficient apps to be a win. Definitely a fair number of apps that are missing from Amazon's store though.
  • Nice if true.
    Having been burned before, I'll lean back and wait.
    If it does what I hope it will, is LTE and has stellar battery life, it might be my next hardware buy.
  • So no messaging app and an Intel processor for a mobile device? I don't think that will sell. Android apps? In what capacity? Windows Lite on a smartphone seems more appealing. It would be nice to see Microsoft and Google get along, since Apple is so far ahead of both of them.
  • Apple is not far ahead at all. Microsoft is still the king in computers for consumers and enterprise and Android is the most used OS in the world. Having said that Apple have more of a chance to have a good relationship with Microsoft than it will have with Google because Google is about conquering and extinguish just like Microsoft was back in the day.
  • "Microsoft is still the king of computers for consumers..." Apple is in some ways far ahead and still on the same level as Microsoft. But I do not think that Windows is getting the same benefits MacOS is because Apple is driving in innovation in the mobile space.
  • "Apple is driving in innovation in the mobile space." Apple steals and refines and presents it as something new.
  • When Windows 10 came out this is exactly what they did with several features. But now, with features like Neural TTS this is hardly the case.
  • name just 3 features where windows 10 copied features and passed them as their own novel invention. or just 1.
  • They meaning Apple.
  • In what way is Apple ahead on the enterprise and consumers aside from phones? MacOS has less than 10% of market share. Linux has a bigger share on enterprise than MacOS though.
  • '' apple is driving innovation '' are you kidding me? Of the big three apple is by far the least innovative. Hell their last innovation was what? Face ID? They basically just release the same device most years with few exceptions.
  • When will Apple create iOS "Core" to support IOT, AR, MR, Xbox, desktop, notebook, 2in1, Hub, x86, x64 any future form factors and HW architectures? How about Apple AI, ML, Azure and Edge computing equivalent?
    Even Android IOT is dead... and Apple... deals no OEM. iOS running in fridge, water meter, vending machine, drone, surveillance, kiosk, Starbucks's coffee machine, etc seem unrealistic. In order for a car talk to a kiosk, Apple has to create their own coffee machines and car and ask retails and car markers to adapt the tech. If you want to make something different... no luck. And there's no driver update or dashboard for devs to submit their drivers. You'd have to submit your HW to Apple, wait in line and ask Apple to create / burn you a custom ROM. What happens when your HW supplier's gone? Ask for a new ROM?
  • Never. And that's the point. There is 0 benefits for that solution for consumers. Actually in the real world implementation unified OS is always far behind customized OS in the consumer experience. It doesn't have to be, but in the real world it is imminent to happen, as making fully customized solution frequently offset cost savings of one platform. So this is the developer driven solution and that's why it doesn't work. Actually Apple is about to even more fragment the operating systems with addition of iPadOS.
  • You and dozens of other people would pay for such a device. It is too late for a non Android or iOS device to be successful.
  • Name a single phone company that actually has really innovated in the last five years and hasn't just churned out an incremental update, I'll wait. Then you go on to say that you want a rehash of an old phone, so you don't even want innovation anyway.
  • Google's new night site cameras, or whatever they call it, were quite a breakthrough. It is amazing the pictures they can take with minimal light.
  • This would be very convenient for me - and I suspect for most people. Because most people use Windows for productivity and Android for light computing (on their phones). Actually this could be a very interesting counter to whatever comes out of Apple's efforts towards more powerful light computing, which is necessarily centralized and top-down. A win for MS and Google (for Google, checking Apple's prospects in the ChromeOS space + getting more data from Windows users) and a much bigger win for consumers. Of course this is just a rumor - who knows if it's true.
  • Apple is doing a similar thing with this. Developers can will be able to sell iPad apps on Macs with the next Catalina update
  • Except for that "Android is nice...on phones." You won't be able to put this in your pocket. So, why not just carry a full-blown Surface if I can't put it into my pocket?
  • For the same reason I want to be able to SMS on my computer. When I'm at my desk, I don't want to have to take out my phone. Also, there are many apps that are Android/iOS only that don't even work in a browser (that is, they don't bother maintaining a website that has the same services). At least one of the TaskRabbit clones I've used is like that. Also, some of those Android apps are great on a tablet screen. I also happen to own an old Android tablet and use it all the time, but not having to take out another device is a bonus. So yeah, I'd just use my Surface Pro more, and keep my phone in my pocked more.
  • So let me get this straight... Forbes which is basically a blog site in 2019 broke this story and not this place, Thurott, Brad Sams or Foley with their insider sources..... I'm not buying it.
  • Well it's possible that WC didn't want to say anything yet, but another source hearing something similar would make what they hear more concrete.
  • yeah exactly. At the bare minimum I would expect Anandtech or ZDnet (Mary Jo Foley) to give us a sneak preview or some inside knowledge.
  • Check the bio of the writer and then try again.
  • I think Zac gets a lot of information from internal sources at MS "on background," which would mean that to protect his pipeline of information, he's agreed not to publish or reveal any of that. However, if another reporter already releases it, he can comment if he's heard similar information or not. That fits with what he's done here.
  • Oh good point, didn't think about that. Plus they got in trouble for reporting something too really recently didn't they?
  • “Centaurus... indeed... does feature two separate displays, not a single foldable display” Better be a ******* good use case for those screens
  • Two 9 Inch 4:3 screens? Yeah, it won't sell.
  • And it will cost more than two iPads and some duct tape!
  • Exactly right. Continuous folding screen (a la Lenovo) is what would get this going properly. It seems almost that M$ does this in agreement (signed or not) with their OEM partner. Not sure sure why they have to though.. They need to move a little more in apple's "software/hardware" model's direction.
  • Folding screens still have durability problems so you would be pretty dumb to buy one now unless you have lots of money to burn.
  • When you unfold such a device, it is just another tablet. Microsoft needs to start with a traditional tablet and build an ecosystem unless they are happy with it just being another laptop variation like all the Surface devices before it. It doesn't sound like this is the plan though. It sounds like this is supposed to be a new, simpler platform based on touch interfaces. In that case, they need a very cheap (less than $200, iPad starts at $329) to build an ecosystem. The problem though, it is way too late for that. Releasing a single device with an astronomical price will do nothing for the platform. There is no way forward at this point. Continue to improve Windows proper and make laptops better. Hope you can be on the forefront of what comes after small touch based devices.
  • But that's exactly what they are doing with Windows Core. They can just continue making desktop/laptop better and work on other kind of devices like Tablets and become that 2nd tablet on consumer minds aside from the iPad. They do have an ecosystem for this already albeit small.
  • I think a foldable tablet is a useless device as well.
  • Another example of Daniel's UWP dream being dumped!
  • Actually UWP still gets updated regularly and seems far from being dead.
  • It is only dead if you look at developer support, consumer useage, and Microsoft's rhetoric. Otherwise it is booming.
  • And your constant unnecessary comments about it. You just say the same thing everywhere. That being said I've sometimes seen something new and once in a blue moon I'll even agree with you lol.
  • If people repeat false info, I will repeat the truth. We both are repeating, just one is not accurate.
  • Dude, you are super manic today. Play some music and Xanax your worries away. Leave the angry "truth"-telling to Bernie Sanders zealots.
  • We rejoice with this move in a consumer perspective, and a more inclusive Microsoft, but isn't this another tactics to thrive in another platform dominated by Google? So far we've heard of Windows Lite to be more drawn towards light computing. In other words, an entry to the tablet market flooded with Android and iOS.
    Both Google and Apple are way ahead when we talk about these leisure devices, while Windows is yet to get a decent Tablet UI.
    If the rumours are true and Centaurus runs Android apps, will it have any great performance as it's basically Intel based? It's the same old apps that we complain when we say 'WE MISS W10M'. Even if it ran decently, won't that be suicidal for UWP, which is the way forward for Windows? Developers need better reach for their apps and if 'universal' Android apps run here, why bother about UWP?
    Running Android apps might give Centaurus a better user base, but isn't this just like the Edgium?
    Maybe letting a seemingly sinking ship sink even deeper, so that the new Centaurus won't drown.
  • Microsoft announced at Build that UWP is dead. Integrating UWP features into Win32 is now the way forward.
  • No they didn't announced at build that UWP is dead, what they said was they are integrating more ecosystems to UWP. Something tell me that you didn't see it. If they killed UWP then what would be the purpose of a Win32 API less OS in Windows Lite?
  • Every time someone sneezes there are guys like Bleached claiming that UWP or some other Microsoft tech is dead... They only hear what they want to hear, and for some reason they want Microsoft to fail...
  • Is it that we want Microsoft to fail, or is Microsoft making moves that are obviously going to fail? It was blindly obvious that UWP was a joke when they launched. Why create UWP apps that wouldn't be compatible with the majority of Windows devices? They needed to make UWP compatible with Windows 7 if they really wanted it to gain traction. Their strategy was terrible and now they are admitting it. We were right from the start.
  • Exactly. People weren't using UWP before and this change means they certainly won't have any reason to use it in the future. UWP is dead, "Windows Apps" are the future (Win32 with some UWP features). When "we" say UWP or something is dead, we mean it doesn't have users or any viable path to gain users.
  • Parts of W10 are UWP and as high as your troll power level might be, even you cannot troll people into thinking that Windows 10 doesn't have users. xD
  • When people say UWP, they are talking about the app platform. Nobody cares about the under-pinnings of Windows 10. That is a strawman.
  • Have you heard about Adobe XD and Adobe Dimension and the unreleased Project Gemini A.K.A Adobe Fresco are all UWP apps
  • You will pique my interest when there is Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Premier all made from scratch only with XAML/C#. Until then UWP is dead and irrelevant.
  • Trololol, MS never said that.
  • Google is only ahead in phones, they do not have a tablet anymore and only Apple does. Windows might not have tablets because they are more into the hybrid devices (that should be a new category to begin with, don't know why it isn't) which they dominate seeing as Chromebooks are seen as a joke by many. If they do release the Android apps it will run in a container, the same way Win32 apps does which means they are running under UWP.
  • So Android apps won't be running as they are, but requires to be a part of UWP, being in the Store, with UWP handling the emulation. This means filling more of the app gap just like PWAs do. That sounds cool. Thanks for the info pal!
  • Google still has a tablet platform and the majority of tablets sold still run Android. They are just really low end. There is very little reason to get a tablet when phones are so big and just as powerful.
  • Google just gave up on their Pixel Slate devices, so obviously they are failing in the tablet market.
  • Yeah, the tablet market sucks for everyone but Apple. Google isn't putting any effort into tablets going forward, but that doesn't mean millions of crappy Android tablets won't be sold.
  • Mind blown. If it ends up being true and Andromeda runs Android apps, they're a little late because I just recently made the switch to an android phone. Would have been nice to make a seamless transition to another Windows device.
  • If this happens it will take years before we see a new device and by that time that Android phone you're holding will be old as heck
  • Google being evil as usual and cutting the Microsoft's wings in 3, 2, 1...
  • They can't because Android is Open Source. They just won't be able to install Google apps from the get go, but seeing as this isn't a phone device or a Virtual Machine I don't see why Microsoft will care what Google says.
  • Or access the Play Store, which means the vast majority of potential users will have no use for it...
  • Or (most likely) the time for playstore with 90% market share on apks is over. See also what's happening with Huawai.
  • Good point, will be interesting to see what happens.
  • The big question still remains "What is Core OS" and what can or can't it do? Many guess it doesn't run Apps outside of the Store; or it won't run Win32 apps? We are all just guessing. But isn't the next Xbox supposed to run Core OS? If so, how could Core OS be so limited, yet so powerful to be able to run Xbox games? Running the Xbox sounds pretty limitless to me. Personally, I think Core OS will be scalable and can be built to be as light as a Chromebook-like OS, or built to be more capable than Windows 10 is today. I think it will share the same Core and Kernel as Windows 10, making it possible to run anything one could on Windows, Xbox, Hololens, Mixed Reality, IOT, etc... (Since all of these run on a special version of Windows 10). With some Linux being added to Windows as of late, add Android apps to the mix now? We'll see, but I'm tired of waiting.
  • Power to run triple A games and limitations on what you allow consumers to install and run are COMPLETELY different things. S mode (and earlier RT) could've run Windows apps, but was artificially restricted.
  • Core OS will not run Win32 apps natively it will be UWP based. Which means all apps that are not containerized under the Centennial project (or other way) to run as UWP will not work on Core OS. Some XBox games already are under UWP but I don't think anybody has the numbers. An example of a game under UWP banner is Gears 5. Why are you waiting for Core OS? Is not like Windows 10 is disappearing. Core OS won't be ready to replace Windows 10 for decades to begin with.
  • From the looks of it WCOS is gonna follow the Azure style of handing things. Via containers / very lightweight VMs which makes it very pluggable with UWP at the top of the stack handling them all. So you can get a containerized win32 layer the same way Android is probably used. The tricky part here is that since android is ARM it'll have to use an emulation layer for that. They have the expertise of Azure and also a living example on how it works via WSL 2 running a Linux on top of Windows, I'd bet they're incorporating this here into a Core OS feature instead. If this is true they it'll be one heck of a flexible OS as it can run literally any Subsystem-OS as long as Hardware permits and even then they could use an emulation layer. I guess they're really going in for that modular goal. As a developer I'm really excited how the new OS works and how the new UWP layer can handle and orchestrate all these.
  • My guess is that CoreOS is just the real "core", managing the hardware, and on top of that you have different packages. One that is "Windows 10", one that is Windows Server, one that is XBox, one that is "Windows for AR" and hopefully also one that is "for pocketable Devices". All using slightly adapted GUIs and capabilities with the smallest common ground "UWP" or Centinental Containers.
  • Would be totally awesome if I actually needed to run any Android apps.
  • If you've been hearing for over a year that core OS can run Android apps, why didn't you say so? That's literally the biggest game-changer ad most note worthy news for windows in over a decade.
  • I suspect that just hearing isn't enough for reporting. They must have more solid evidence now.
  • No one is asking a very simple, but very important question. What browser will it have? The current Edge? Surely no. The Edgium? It is not finished yet. Will it be finished along side of the release of this device? How bad will the browser be?
  • Maybe worse than Edge, but still better than Firefox. However, besides of the design, i do like the new Edgium very much.
  • I'm using Chromium-based Edge (sorry, can't bring myself to call it "Edgium") as my default and primary browser right now. It's already much more complete than Edge was for more than a year after its launch (maybe than Edge is still, except for some very specific, niche functions). Maybe that's not saying much, so I'll add: while I can see things to improve, I have not NEEDED to use any other browser since making it my default. I have run others concurrently for testing and to keep things separate on my taskbar, but no site or functional problems with the Chromium-based Edge in recent builds. In other words, I don't see the new Edge holding up anything.
  • If this isn't going to be released until 2020, then Edgium will be completed by then. This won't be released though.
  • 😒😒 always this clown.
  • I have been using Chrome extensions in Edgium.. Best of both worlds.
  • if only Microsoft allowed android apps to run in their operating systems from early windows mobile six years ago, could be a pretty different picture on their os's now..its now too late for porting apps
  • More than likely this and Windows Lite will be killed before release. It really doesn't make sense. It won't be able to compete with iPad on the touch side. It just won't. Microsoft will have some kitschy touch interface that fan boys will claim is the second coming but to everyone else it will just be an annoying novelty. If it is running Intel, it also won't be efficient enough to compete with iPad. I really don't understand the Intel thing with such a device. On the other side, it will compete with Windows laptops. Good luck there. I think you have even less of a chance getting Windows users to switch. Windows works great and people have been using it for decades. There really isn't anything wrong with a good, old fashioned, Windows laptop. Nobody, not even Microsoft can make something more productive. Microsoft is incapable of building a new platform using current paradigms. They need something completely new and revolutionary or else their attempts will be fruitless.
  • Bleached, dude, you are on fire! Check your blood pressure.
  • I don't know why you guys are getting excited about this. It's going to run crappy phone apps on a bigger screen. Plus it's not going to run natively which means it's going to be slow. And it's not going to have a consistent UI with Windows 10 (not that W10 has a consistent UI anyways). This just means developers are not supporting the Microsoft Store. Just putting lipstick on a pig if you ask me. It's going to be a huge fragmented POS.
  • Well, ask yourself this calming question.
    Is anyone going to force you to buy it? 🤔
  • Wow, now you're channeling Bleached; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It's tiring to see MS try to pound to fit/paint to match Windows to a device that will probably do nothing well. As I've noted elsewhere, just buy a shoulder bag and carry a Surface device or stop trying to do complicated work on a too small form factor.
  • That's the biggest insult in the history of the world.
  • There had been discussions about this on the Forum some time ago, if you can run Win32 in an emulator why not Android. The next logical step to this would be an Andromeda type device. Something small and pocketable. I am always amazed at the ability of some on this forum to fault EVERYTHING MS does. I wonder why they even bother to participate in these discussions, other than to gratify themselves that they somehow matter.
  • @bleached why do you think this will not be released? Intel clearly is involved, there are other OEM's who are clearly aiming for this segment of the hardware market. Apple is trying to get into this space, Android is aiming for this space as well... from the OS side of things. The phone/tablet market is desperately looking for something new to jumpstart demand as the slab phone has plateaued. Yet you seem to feel that MS is off on a frolic of it's own and doomed to failure.
  • He reminds me of those people who constantly chant EEE and M$ nonesense whenever MS does anything good and is perpetually has to find something bad to say no matter what MS does. I mean it's good to not be too loyally attached to a company but doing the other way around is just as bad or I'd say even worse. MS seems to have the tools to make this work as these tech can be traced on their other expertise, one of which are managing multi OS systems under Azure VMs, Windows Sandbox and also WSL 2 and it's almost bare metal VM that boots a Linux system around a second on demand. You could say that all those experience would be very useful on implementing this subsystem and if successful it gets both light and semi-heavy computing in one go as Win10's vast peripheral driver support would make mouse and other peripheral support be ready out of the box, something that both Android and iOS is struggling (e.g. you can't just plug in a drawing tablet / pen / mouse / keyboard and it would work out of the box wherein Win10's plug and play driver supports this).
  • I mean, Microsoft's track record for new OS's outside of their mainstay has... not been good. So there is certainly precedence that this will either fail, or be cancelled, moreso than there being a possibility of success. That's not to say either option is a given, just that history says that the former is more likely.
  • We are a decade in. There is nothing new Microsoft can bring to the table. Tablets are basically dead. The only thing ModernOS can compete with is full Windows. Good luck there. People are used to Windows, have been using it for decades. Microsoft can't make a new platform that is as productive as Windows or consumptive as iOS/Android. I don't see how they build support for new lite OS. They can't compete on price. I can literally drive down to the local electronics store and buy a new iPad for $239! Apple has the touch tablet market locked up. Is the new Surface going to be $199? It will flop if not.
  • on
    june 24 2019 info has come out that the Microsoft folding PC will have 2 separate 9 inch diagonal
    4 by 3 touch screens so imagine 2- 9.7 inch screen Apple ipad air tablets joined together by
    hinges it will have LTE but no mention if it will have a built in Cell phone. I hope one model of
    a Centaurus device does have a built in 4/5 g Feature phone. it probably will run some
    Android apps as well as win32 PC programs. the Centaurus is physically bigger than the
    original 2010 MS "Courier" two screen tablet which surprises me. I will buy one & test it out
  • Two iPads and a roll of duct tape to create your own hinge will be cheaper and actually have a full ecosystem. What could Centarus bring that we won't already have?
  • Why not just a Surface in a shoulder bag, with keyboard and possibly even mouse? If the Go gets a better battery, why this at all? I've bit the bullet on a Note 9, and I really don't see a need for a 'step' between a phone and a Surface Go, with keyboard, etc., besides Gee-Whiz. The Android is good for a little work, transferred with One Drive, but I'd rather do work on a simple setup as possible. I'm also a big fan of the fewer moving parts the better, and a Go with a keyboard is barely 2 moving parts as opposed to the damage you can do with a hinged dual-screen form.
  • Surface Pro and OP6T has been a great combo for me. I don't pull out the SP unless absolutely necessary.
  • First half of 2020? Good grief, that leaves up to a year from now before a launch and my pound to your peanut that means shipping around Christmas 20 20 or 18 months from now. That leaves this in Fantasyland and plenty of time for Nadella to scrap it. Seriously, when did speculation become news? Has anyone given thought to what Google might do to thwart any attempts to hijack access to the Android store? MS will need to be far more nimble than it has shown in the past because still playing catch up stuff.
  • Google took that precaution years ago. Any apps that use Google APIs will not be compatible. Only the crappy apps will work.
  • I suspect this will not be implemented with any level of virtualization/containerization, but rather in a fashion similar to the Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux. I don't want to get drag this thread into the technical differences between these approaches, but the Subsystem for Linux is a "better" implementation than virtualization/containerization. If you want more information, here is a quick explanation of the Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux. While reading this just replace "Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux" with "Modern OS Subsystem for Android" to get the jist of how it may be implemented. Also, some very good videos are on Channel 9 to explain the difference.
  • Yeah I'm very confident it will use the new subsystem tech that WSL 2 uses for this. The obvious benefit is that it will run bare metal. It's still a VM actually but it's a new type wherein Guest OS resources aren't isolated from the Host OS and vice versa, I'd bet it's something like a Type 1 Hyper Visor in the same vein Azure VM's host multiple OS's via that same bare metal hyper visor. So it's almost native at that point which is why WLS can boot the linux subsystem quite quickly. The tricky part here I'd bet is how they handle ARM since this device is x86 and all Android apps are built for ARM. Would they provide a build toolchain to compile to x86? Or an ARM emulation layer? As a developer (who also uses WSL as part of my daily workflow) it's a technical curiosity on my part which is why I follow WSL 2 quite closely.
  • So then how does Chrome OS handle Android apps on Intel processors?
  • From a quick search it seems Android does support x86 and that's what ChromeOS uses on Intel devices. Since Apks aren't native code like iOS apps are. It still goes through a JIT phase to make the apps run so Apks are actually platform agnostic. if there exists an x86 Android runtime from AOSP then there's a big chance that's what MS will be containerizing on their new VM tech from WSL 2.
  • Thanks RirinDesuyo, I stand corrected. The WSL does use very light weight virtualization. I thought it accomplished everything through translation of the system calls. After watching the Build 2019 session for WSL 2, I have a clearer understanding. I'm convinced this will be the approach for Android support. Here is that WSL 2 session for the technically curious.
  • Google abandoned the tablet market. Why would running Android apps on a folding tablet be that useful? If they release Andromeda, that will make more sense.
  • Can anyone explain to me why this thing will run Android apps? Its not like Android tablets have been a runaway success, so that MS is just trying to cash in. Now, it would make perfect sense if this was a small screen, phone-sized device. But two 9 inch screens? So, what is the point of a large screen Windows device running Android phone apps? Nope, I just can't believe Microsoft is that stupid. Or that desperate. If you really want to run tablet apps, then make a deal with Apple. Running Android apps on a tablet is like GM making a deal with Ford, so GM can sell Edsels and Pintos, when you could have Mustangs and F-250 trucks.
  • In a perfect world, I would agree with you that making a deal with Apple would be a better move. The problem is this isn't a perfect world. Sadly, Apple doesn't make deals like this. Only Apple can run Apple. Full stop. Android is open source.
  • That’s my point. There is no reason to do this. Android tablets have already failed. Running Android on a Windows device is pointless, and only hurts Microsoft. There is no upside to this. This will not happen. Remember OS/2.
  • This feels like a fix to a problem that doesn't need to exist. Just create Windows 10 with a touch friendly interface for tablet devices. Why shoehorn another companies apps into your product because you have chosen to stifle it? It just seems counterintuitive to me.
  • This is a serious error in judgement, why would any other developers want to develop any uwp apps or repackage win32 apps if they can shoe horn android apps to reach another customer base with minimal work? Once again the idiocy of those who do not understand the complexities of the circular economy have reigned supreme. Clamoring for android apps on windows devices is so counter intuitive it borders on insanity. Why the hell would you pour all that time, money and effort in unifying the code, the underlying APIs, the nullifications of three generations of mobile code only to empower Google? Anyone with an iota of common sense would not give more ground to the competition as only through diversification everyone truly benefits as it drives down cost and fuels innovation. Otherwise one company simply holds all the cards and can dictate whatever direction they want. We've already seen Google act like spoilt rodent and that's with a monopoly of digital user content creation (YouTube) and in the browser space (Chrome). Allowing them to gain a bigger slice of the app market makes Brick from Anchorman look like a genius. Sure, in the short term it allows Microsoft to tap into the android app market but it also enables all that malware as well. As I don't see Microsoft hiring more staff to screen all the junk android apps as after all the constant issues with the updates to Windows after the Quality Assurance team was axed. They have not made any concrete steps in rehiring dedicated and programmatic testers. As that would simply reduce the amount of net profit Microsoft will generate per quarter. Because sadly, reducing the over all wage cost is the easiest and most laziest way to increase profits. This a short term gain for Microsoft, massive long term win for Google and massive loss for the rest of us. The least problematic aspect out all of this is that we are still going continue using a static grid of icons as an interface for a long while. Guess the team at Xerox haven't stopped kicking themselves for not patenting that GUI.
  • You read my mind! 100% in agreement. Thanks for articulating it so well...
  • Thanks. It would make more sense to have UWP aspects moved towards android such as sandboxing (which would go a long way in curtailing malware) and restrictive advertising. I've seen far too many apps tailoured for children on android randomly splash full screen adverts and often they can only be skipped after a few seconds only.
  • With an ability to run Android apps, Windows becomes less relevant. If I want to run Android apps on my Windows PC now, I already have options (like BlueStacks). If I want to use Android apps regardless of what device they run on, there are plenty of devices that run Android (and its apps) natively -- no Windows required. If I'm an app developer, why would I waste my time writing native Windows apps for such a "Windows" device if I'm going to have to compete with the plethora of Android apps users could choose to use (or may already be using on other devices) instead. I shouldn't be surprised; Microsoft finding yet another way to shaft Windows (app) developers is nothing new. Project Astoria was cancelled with good reason. I'm not seeing that anything substantial has changed since then that would make this a good idea, outweighing its obvious disadvantages.
  • I don't think it's going to run Android apps it doesn't make much sense to run Android apps on device that size.