With 'Surface Centaurus,' can Microsoft avoid Samsung's Galaxy Fold mistakes?

Galaxy Fold standing on table
Galaxy Fold standing on table (Image credit: Android Central)

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is among the first in a new wave of foldables expected to dominate tablet and phone innovation over the next decade. Notoriously, the Fold was also plagued with launch issues, with early review units failing relatively easily under a variety of average smartphone user scenarios.

After some engineering tweaks, Samsung started sending out review units once again, and early impressions seem to be relatively positive. Our sibling site Android Central has covered how Samsung improved the design of the flexible display in-depth.

Despite the improvements, the Galaxy Fold still screams "generation one" device to me, something only passionate enthusiasts will likely buy. I had to convince myself not to buy it, because as faulty as it's likely to be over time, there's something so incredibly compelling about it. Something Surface fans have been dreaming about for a couple of years, in fact, since the first "Surface Phone," or "Andromeda," patents started appearing online.

Nowadays, Andromeda seems like little more than a pipedream. But Microsoft isn't about to let Samsung and other Android OEMs have all the foldable fun, and it is readying its own folding Surface "Centaurus" tablet, according to rumors. Can Microsoft avoid the gen-one woes that have scared me away from the Galaxy Fold?

Folding ground zero

Samsung has included an array of improvements to the relaunched Fold, including a more robust folding mechanism and tighter protectorate around the display. However, there are a number of design flaws that are just too obvious a compromise to overlook. The way the Galaxy Fold doesn't go all the way flat when enclosed just looks clunky and malformed. The miniature display on the outside, while folded, also looks a little odd, with its chunky top and bottom bezels.

Surely, this is not the exact product Samsung would have wanted to ship but is instead representative of design constraints inherent with our current technology. Folding displays introduce a litany of construction challenges, putting immense pressure on the screen with repeated folds, creating creases that not only look ugly but can potentially lead to more serious damage.

These are the hallmarks of gen-one innovation. And even though it's going to be far from perfect, it's still incredibly impressive and will help pave the way for a future where mobile devices can do far more, while also being far more portable.

Foldables are incredible ... or will be

While most smartphone manufacturers seem content to release the same phone repeatedly year in and year out, relying on marketing to sell what are, in my opinion, otherwise incredibly boring, Samsung, LG, Huawei, and a few others are exploring the boundaries. There's a lot more you can potentially do with a folding form factor, especially when hinge technology gets better. Laptops have seen similar innovations, but of course, they cannot fit into your pocket.

A smartphone folded out in "tent mode" is convenient for consuming media. Folded upwards like a Nintendo 3DS, you have on-screen video game controls that don't obscure the display of what you're playing. The same goes for typing documents or even video editing on powerful Android apps like InShot and Adobe Rush, which are starting to give full professional PC programs a run for their money. And then there are just the basic, obvious benefits to multi-tasking.

Modern devices may not be able to take advantage of these scenarios today, but as more products launch with folding displays, app developers will start to accommodate and fill in the niches that come with the extra screen real estate. Where full Android tablets may have failed to take the world by storm, foldables may be able to help bridge the app gap between Android phones and more serious productivity devices, including Chromebooks. That could eventually bring a more serious challenge to Microsoft's homegrown platforms.

Surface challenge

Microsoft lost the mobile race in spectacular fashion, arguably jeopardizing the long-term health of Windows. It's quite sad that in 2019, if I want to use the full Instagram or fully-functioning Twitter, I still need to pick up an Android or iOS device. The Windows 10 Microsoft Store is still a wasteland, and Windows development, in general, seems to have slowed to a snail's pace, with few exciting apps or "fun" social programs making their way to the platform.

With Surface Centaurus expected to be revealed in October 2019, Microsoft may also debut Windows Lite OS, which effectively seems like another stab at building a light, agile computing platform that makes the bulky Windows legacy optional — enabling more versatile ARM-based computing solutions in the process. Centaurus is expected to be a folding tablet and will spearhead a broader initiative from various PC manufacturers to build fresh devices in new form factors. Like Windows Phone, though, it'll live or die based on the support it gets from app developers. Centaurus will be able to take advantage of Win32 apps, and possibly even Android apps through some form of virtualization, but I don't see how these solutions will help Centaurus users enjoy the full benefits of having a folding device.

Windows Core OS is rumored to include an all-new Windows experience.

The Surface team is renowned for building incredibly polished devices, and it has years of experience under its belt from refining the Surface Pro line all the way to its sixth generation. Even if Surface can circumvent some of the design pitfalls that Samsung's smaller pocket-sized device has suffered, it'll all depend on which devices leverage their folding displays to their full potential.

Folding devices don't need to be a gimmick

The experience that comes with a folding device hinges on more than just the gen-one issues and design constraints. Aside from basic side-by-side app multitasking, there are tons of other ways folding displays can be more versatile than a simple phone, laptop, or tablet, providing a bridge across various user scenarios offered exclusively by those older devices. Microsoft may have an advantage, supposedly shipping a larger tablet with more space for its components, but it's also supposedly shipping a brand new OS alongside it, dubbed Windows Core OS, with many hard questions about the app situation that need to be addressed.

Samsung's phone might have an unsightly gap and an odd tiny screen on the reverse side, but it may still end up providing to be a more enjoyable "folding" experience as a gen-one device, purely on the basis of Android.

As a wise alien tech blogger once said, Begun, the folding wars have ...

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • I think where the Fold failed and Centaurus might succeed is that, at least as I understand it, Centaurus won't have a single folding display, it will have two displays with a super tiny bezel between the screens. This isn't as elegant of a solution on paper as a single folding display, it's something that would remove the vast majority of the engineering issues Samsung is facing with the Fold. It's no longer a question of how one makes a display that can survive countless folds. It's now a question of how to make that bezel as small as possible, something that display manufacturers have been working towards for some time now. And depending on how small they can get that gap between displays, the fact that it's two displays instead of one might not matter in most use cases.
  • I think until such time when Microsoft (or any other tech company) try and pursue the prospect of splitting the guts and display of a mobile handset, all these efforts to realize a phone-tablet hybrid will (possibly) always end up in a nerfed implementation.
  • Centaurus itself is an odd beast; apps or not, I have yet to see or hear of a proper use case for a large tablet that folds into a smaller tablet. Considering the bulk and likely compromises of a folding device, you'd be better off simply bringing two separate tables, if for some reason you actually need two screen sizes.
    On the other hand, a small tablet, that folds into a pocketable device...! Particularly if it has the functionality of a true pc, when hooked up to a monitor, mouse and keyboard! In that case, I wouldn't need a huge app library - just a browser optimized for small touch screens and maybe a handful of good web apps.
  • Yeah andromeda would be more interesting I think, but still I can see potential use cases for centaurus. E.g. as long as it is light & thin enough it could double as a tablet and a pro/bigger tablet, maybe even a laptop if they make a cover for it (would be weird but I think it could work in theory, probably not happening).
    There would be an advantage over 2 tablets though, that would be less portable and more clumsy with charging.
    At the very least centaurus could be a stepping stone for Andromeda.
  • Exactly. No one has a use case for this thing yet. The rumors say that it won't even be pocketable which takes away the main use case, making it entirely useless other than for novelty or gimmick. Would you rather have a more powerful surface pro or for (likely) the same money a less powerful tablet that folds for no reason? To actually succeed this would need to be a special purpose device like a gaming console or something for creatives. Just something that folds "just because" is not really a use case.
  • I agree, if I want a large full-power screen, I'll use my regular Surface. I would like a folding device only if it fits in my pocket (although the more important part would be the Windows-based attribute, but if they planned on doing it just for that, they would have done it by now). Also, anything that involves or requires a lot of processing power is most likely something that I would want a keyboard for anyway.
  • NO, cause Microsoft is known to produce half baked design with half backed software which is full of inconsistency and bugs. And in past few years, I have never seen them investing properly in a product, cause they don't want to take risk of investment. You gotta bet big to get big!
    I tell you what! After 3-4 years apple will come with their version, with better research, design and investment and people will buy it like sheep's :)
  • > which is full of inconsistency
    you should give that title to Android.
    Google handles only Pixels, not bug free. OEM handles their own phones, not bug free, and because Android is open source, API tampering is a common practice, API inconsistency == different bugs even if phones run the same OS version.
  • Android isn't supposed to be consistent by design. You don't attract third party manufacturers by controlling every aspect of THEIR device. Being "consistent" is what sunk Windows phones. Why does Samsung's phone have to be consistent with LG's? Who does that benefit?
  • Whatever Samsung's mistakes may have been, they got one important thing right: It's a phone and a tablet in one, so now you can carry one device instead of two. That's not just cool; it's USEFUL. What does Centaurus do to be useful? I realize it folds in half. That could be useful if it means my tablet will now fit in my pocket, but it doesn't sound like that's the case. It could be useful if it's both a phone and a tablet in one, but I'm not hearing any rumors of that either. So how exactly does the folding-in-half thing make my life better? I'm a Surface fan, so I'm holding out hope that the October 2 event shows me how useful it is to have something that folds in half and therefore gives me a reason to buy it. Panos and team do a great job thinking about how people are going to use the technology. But if this is just a $1500+ tablet that's cool because it's Windows and it folds in half, then MS is not trying hard enough.
  • I agree, I know that the Surface team will nail the hardware... but the ecosystem is the issue. Huawei is going to spend a billion dollars trying to get app devs to invest in its OS... can't see MS ever putting up that kinda investment.
  • Microsoft has the money to make that type of investment. I would love to know why they don't...
  • The Windows ecosystem has software which is not really the issue because of the tools Microsoft built to help convert/rewrite the legacy software. The problem was ARMs was not powerful enough which is changing quite a bit now with the new arm chips which are getting to power ranges Microsoft really want. However, Intel's failure at a low power chip was a major setback so Microsoft's change direction and began support of the ARM chipset of which Windows Lite will be optimize to run on though I am guessing on this point. Right now, the ARMS chipsets look unbeatable but like Apple customize chips maybe taking off as well.
  • Then why is Centaurus not running an ARM chip?
  • You know what chip this not-yet-revealed device runs on...?
  • According to Windows Central it is an Intel device.
  • But their word is not gospel; their predictions should be treated as such.
  • They are very careful about what they report. If they say it is Intel, it will probably be Intel.
  • Probably... The key word. 😉
  • Have you listened to the podcasts or read the articles on here? It sounds like they have already seen it. If you are holding out hope that it is ARM, good luck.
  • In the latest podcast, the term is 'indicates', 'we've been told' or something along those lines.
    I'm not really holding out hope for anything, since I have no personal use for this device; my comment was simply a reaction to your rather cocksure assertion.
    You may end up being right, but so far it's still just a guess.
  • It is a bit more than a guess. Daniel and the others have talked about seeing a device and Windows Lite. I am not talking about just the most recent podcast either. Microsoft telling these guys that it is Intel based, is a bit more than a guess. We can be quite confident that it will be an Intel device.
  • I'm pegging eventually it will be both, ARM version might come later, but I can't see this device having multiple configurations on release, but hey, I could be wrong.
  • That's a good point ytrewq. If it's going to fold, then the purpose of folding should be so it fits in your pocket. I don't think I would buy a phone that folds. It will slow down accessing information due to the act of unfolding it every time you want to do something. This is the thing though. There are only four things a phone does where its form factor is the best form factor. Those four things are calls, GPS, camera, and audio. Everything else that you do on a phone is a compromise and can be done better on something bigger. The reason people spend so much time on phones is because app designers have centralized workflows around adhoc and asynchronous communication of large people networks. This leads to many notifications and the need to have this thing with you all the time (even when home) to keep up with notifications. Microsoft has a chance at this OS game by making the small go big. What does that mean? On big devices, where we want to be productive and get things done, Windows undoubtedly rules the world. Big devices no longer need to be big to hold enough computing power. So enough computing power can be small. Microsoft should focus on small devices docking to full desktop but the app ecosystem still works in small (in case you are not docked). They have in fact been working on this with UWP; just that no one is really paying attention. I think with Windows Core OS, more docking devices coming to market, and more smaller powerful Windows devices coming to market, people will start to pay attention. Hey, this little thing can be my full computer where I can get full multitasking productivity on two monitors! The next step will be hey, look now this thing fits in my pocket. The next step will be, hey if it fit in my pocket, why can't it also be my phone. If that follows through, then Microsoft will win. Apple and Google are way behind in making the small go big. Microsoft has the clear lead on this, and this is where the future is going. Docking of small devices.
  • "Microsoft has the clear lead on this, and this is where the future is going. Docking of small devices." So I need to carry my phone, docking station, keyboard, mouse and monitor when I am traveling? Plus cables? Why not just carry a laptop? Are hotels going to provide all of this hardware for business travelers? No, they are not. Again, a laptop is easier. No, this is the past. We had component computers 45 years ago. PCs did not take off until they were in a single box with a single power cord. No one is going to carry a bunch of gadgets and a rat's nest of cables, just to cobble together a PC when they get to their destination. Laptops exist for this very reason.
  • For the full PC experience; yes, you would have to carry around all that gear. But usually you only need that at home and at work; the rest of the time, you'd simply use it as a tablet. Besides, no one is saying this device aims to be mainstream out of the box. In time, most hotels could have all the extras available in your room as a standard service, just like free wifi has become standard over the last two decades.
  • So I travel a lot for my job. I used to take a laptop. I tried to travel as light as possible. I had a reinforced duffle bag, and a bag for my laptop with charger. I then got a Surface Go for traveling. Mind you, the computer I was traveling with was mainly for personal use. I had a full desktop workstation where I was traveling to. When I got to the hotel, I mainly just did personal stuff on the computer and watched some shows. By the time I got to the hotel, I was tired and not in the mood to work anymore. Switching to the Surface Go lightened my load considerably. I was able to get rid of the bag for the laptop. The Surface Go is so small and light, it was able to fit in with the duffle bag. I was down to just one bag now. I didn’t take the Surface Go charger; I just used my USB-C phone charger to charge the Surface Go. The Surface Go has a 10” screen and a smaller keyboard, but for a lot of tasks, the size is not that much of a compromise. You can still get things done on it. So, I don’t think hotels will be providing docking station setup. The hotel room is more a place to sleep and relax. I also own a HP Spectre x360. This computer has the power and storage for Visual Studio and Cubase, which I use. But, if the Surface Go had a little bit more power and storage, I could see bypassing owning the HP Spectre x360. I would have a docking setup at home for when I really needed to have productive multitasking with larger monitors, full keyboard and mouse. For some people that don’t need to use power hungry apps like compiling, music editing, photo editing, and video editing, I could see today the Surface Go being someone’s only computer. Take a college student for example. They could carry around the Surface Go to classes and the library and it would be very little compromise over a full-sized laptop, and when they got to the dorm room, they could dock to a workstation setup to be more comfortable. The Surface Go can dock to two 4k monitors. I often will “dock” my Surface Go to a 4k TV wirelessly (no messy cables required) using Miracast. It works really well to make the small Surface Go go big. So, the more I think about it, and I may be biased because I really wanted the Andromeda, the Centaurus play may be the right play. The Centaurus could be a very productive device if also combined with a docking setup. In a hotel room, it may be just enough to get light work done, and at the same time greatly lighten the traveler’s load. When Windows Lite devices become pocketable, I see the market producing Lapdocks as a productivity solution. But they also make foldable Bluetooth keyboards that are very small. An Andromeda sized device in tablet mode with a foldable keyboard would still be very productive in a hotel room provided you had a desk. I have a foldable Bluetooth keyboard that has a case that becomes a tablet holder. It is very compact. The added storage would just be the foldable keyboard and maybe a wireless mouse.
  • Hotels obviously aren't catering to this device niche yet, and the setup would likely be restricted to work-centric hotels anyway. Remember, not everyone has a full desktop setup at their destination. The rest of your analysis makes a case for a more powerful Surface Go; not a Centaurus device - the foldability brings no advantages to your situation. In fact, the necessary increase in thickness and decrease in ruggedness will likely be a pretty big drawback. In any case, you're still lugging around a bag of some sort; imagine being able to get by with a Surface Go, but being able to fold it up and put it in your pocket! Perhaps even leaving your smartphone at home...!?!
  • Hotels could easily support this. All they would need to do is put the TV at the back of the desk. This might look strange, but imaging taking your foldable Surface Phone out of your pocket, setting it on the desk. It wirelessly connects to TV via Miracast (which nearly all SmartTVs support now), you pull out a foldable Bluetooth keyboard and a mouse. You have a full workstation.
  • Hotels will want a fee for this. They aren't going to put workstations in their rooms for free. They even disable the HDMI port on their TVs!
  • Not where I live. Where are you? La la land?
  • Hey bleached, I'm not sure you followed my post. The hotel would not need to invest anything they don't already invest in hotel rooms today. They just need to make sure they have smart tvs that support Miracast. They need to be creative with how they place their furniture so the desk sits in front of the TV. And then need to make sure their TVs allow the Miracast connection. That will not really cost them anything.
  • Here in the US it can be tough to find a hotel that doesn't disable the HDMI port. Either way, using a TV as a PC monitor is a terrible experience. Are you going to sit on the bed with a keyboard and mouse? That certainly isn't the future.
  • Hotels charged premium for wifi 10 years ago; today it's mostly free. Same could be the case for these accessories.
  • His one bag is for clothes.
  • Omg, imagine centaurus is two pieces connected by magnets into different configurations, side by side, back to back, perpendicular lol... and you can split it apart to dock it to a surface pro 7 or laptop 3 to extend and share feature sets lol
  • Lol, you just found a new reason for microsoft to extend their surface charge port if it can also connect to a centaurus screen. :p
  • "That could be useful if it means my tablet will now fit in my pocket, but it doesn't sound like that's the case." That will never happen, because phone size (something that fits in your pocket) simply cannot unfold into something large enough to run Windows and Windows apps. At best it could fold out to a 9 inch screen. Personally, I still think that the whole folding screen thing is a fad that will be gone in a year or two. People are expecting a 6.5" phone that folds out to a 13" screen. It does not work that way.
  • Do you want to see me fold an A3 paper 3 times into a pocketable size? An A4 size tablet would be more than enough, so only two folds... 😊
    Heck, even an A5 sized tablet would be useful, and folded once along the length of the device, it would only be as wide as a standard phone...
  • Still wouldn't be tall enough. Imagine three Galaxy Notes side by side. They would be really thick when folded and still not tall enough to be comfortable.
  • It all depends on the technology, ie how thin the design can get; I'm just replying to an 'it'll NEVER happen'-comment... I'm not sure what you mean about 'tall enough'...? An A5 sized tablet would approximate 9". Fold that lengthwise and you have what amounts to a very tall smartphone, that would still fit the inner pocket of your coat or jacket. Bigger than a smartphone sure, but portable without a bag.
  • You can't get much taller than current phones and still be pocketable, especially if you increase the width as well.
  • I used to carry the very first 7" Samsung Tab in my inner coat pocket; it fit... just! But it had enormous bezels and was a lot wider and thicker than today's smartphones.
  • Me too. A Nexus 7 would fit in my pocket. It wasn't comfortable, but it worked when traveling.
  • Maybe not right now, but I think the most important thing right now is for Microsoft to get some kind of pocketable device out there so that developers (or more importantly, the places that keep telling you to download there app when only iOS & Android users can do that) start writing their apps to include Windows. The folding thing is being talked about because it will hopefully encourage consumers to make the switch. It's one of those chicken/egg scenarios between developers & consumers. I, as both a developer & consumer for Windows & Surface devices, have already done as much as possible to prepare my apps for future Windows & Surface devices, and would buy a pocketable Windows-based device the second I heard about it.
  • Yes you're right, some sort of telephony is needed. LTE should be a given now. I say some sort of telephony because I use Skype to phone numbers (cause of office365home), WhatsApp voice calls primarily. I use a pay as you go sim to deal with incoming calls. Didn't find voip solutions natural enough yet.
    Bottom line, I find data more important and voip pretty much replaced traditional cellular, software needs bit more to get there. Oh and I'm big on Bluetooth head sets, just need something I can pull off the surface centaurus and put in ear!
  • Isn't there a rumor about MS releasing Bluetooth ear buds? That could be part of the plan for telephony functionality.
  • There was an article written several months ago about the woes of the Galaxy Fold. I posted at that time even with the current woes of the Galaxy Fold it would still be more preferable to me than some device that folds in half. Why? Because the Galaxy Fold is a PHONE!!!! That is way more useful than a device that just folds. But then again it depends how you use this device. If you plan to use it as a tablet it may be very useful. I have tablets at varying sizes and my 8 inch table could be replaced by this. BUT, there is nothing more useful to me than my PHONE. It's with me every day, everywhere I go and uber useful to use. Tablets are useful, but not nearly as useful as my phone (to me). Regardless of any hype if I purchase any folding device from Microsoft it's not because I think it is very useful, it will be because I can afford to purchase one and want to replace one of my tablets. But what would get me to absolutely spend some hard earned cash is a Microsoft branded phone. Well, that's if is not using Android apps.
  • Funny, because I hate my phone. The ONLY good thing about it is that it's with me wherever I go. But that's where it ends. Doing ANYTHING on it is tedious at best, frustrating at worst!
  • If you're using an Android phone, HELL yes you have nothing but frustrations. That's a given. If you're using an iPhone then I really don't understand. If you're using a Windows Phone still you shouldn't have any issues. But you may be missing some apps if you're into those things.
  • You are doing something wrong. Google wouldn't be selling millions of devices PER DAY if that was true.
  • I don't even own an Android device, but because I'm somewhat technical savvy I get people who own Androids asking me how to this or that on their devices often. As if I care how something works on Android. Just because there are ONLY TWO choices to purchase you're either going to to purchase an iPhone or Android device so that's not saying much. If there were only two models of cars being sold you would own one or the other.
  • I ask how to do this or that on my work iPhone all the time; usually the answer is 'you can't'...
  • There used to be quite a few choices between Windows Phone, iPhone, BB10, and WebOS. People ignored everything but Android and iPhone. Even when Windows phones were all over the TV and available in every carrier, no one bought them, and they had huge return rates for the few that were sold.
  • I have a feeling I will be agreeing with you on a lot of things. I am still using a Nokia Lumia 920, not because I can't afford an Android or iPhone, but because it is better. Yeah, I can't deny that it may be missing a few apps, but it is definitely worth it. I am also a developer for Windows apps (including Windows Phone apps before Microsoft stopped supporting it), and would love to be able to submit my apps, most of which I have already updated, for a Windows-based phone (although I obviously can't call them 100% updated until I've tested them on an actual device).
  • The 920 was a poor device next to it's contemporaries, a gigantic flop for Microsoft and Nokia. The 920 was the end of them putting any effort into a flagship device. To compare the 920 to modern devices is laughable. How can you say that with a straight face?
  • Many people carry small bags though, especially women. So the folding feature might be more interesting for them perhaps. Or in a jacket or such. It is a niche device anyway, so maybe that suffices if the rest is executed good enough.
  • I agree. They already ready have a 10 inch Surface Tablet so the form factor next inline would be a folding device that fits in your pocket or purse and with the changing of the browser code would allow for access to the Google playstore for apps since they already make apps for Android phones this form factor should be able to have much broader reach and use of the apps there. One of the best use cases for a Windows folding device would be Office 365. This suite would be perfect for a folding device and without the need to carry a much larger device assuming it has the proper ports to use in displaying on a larger screen which is commonplace.
  • "device that fits in your pocket or purse"
    A device that fits in a woman's purse could be a very different size from a device that fits in a man's pocket.
  • Microsoft avoided Samsung Fold mistakes by shelving Andromeda 😒 They better get it right with Centaurus, at the very least as a thin client.
  • Centaurus and the Galaxy Fold aren't really comparable. You touch on it in the article, but the Galaxy Fold is the first generation of a revolutionary jump in hardware technology. If rumors about Centaurus are true, and it doesn't have some crazy hologram feature that joins the screens, then Centaurus is all about the software. Don't get me wrong, I am sure the hardware will be awesome (it's a Surface), but a couple separate screens and a hinge aren't exactly ground breaking features. Centaurus sounds like it will have much more in common with devices like the Kyocera Echo, Axon M, LG V50, or G8X. The Galaxy Fold is a whole different beast from those machines.
  • If the bezel between the screens would be small enough it would be a similar experience in practice while being a cheaper & more reliable solution.
  • You might be right. If they can get it down to something like 0.1mm, then it might be ok. I wonder if they used Samsung's edge screen, maybe they could make the bezel imperceptible. I am kinda surprised Samsung hasn't do something similar. WC reported that the bezel between the screens in a couple millimeters. https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-centaurus-everything-we-know
  • "The way the Galaxy Fold doesn't go all the way flat when enclosed just looks clunky and malformed." This site is so hypocritical. So on Fold it just looks clunky and malformed, but on Surface Book there is no problem and everything is perfectly fine there? Ah yes, the reason Book does is because it is meant to be that way - a feature for drawing, riiiiiight, my bad... "The Windows 10 Microsoft Store is still a wasteland, and Windows development, in general, seems to have slowed to a snail's pace, with few exciting apps or "fun" social programs making their way to the platform." Careful, Jez! Rubino is going to ban you and delete your account for such truthful comments. Oh and call you a TROLL. Seems like you don't do weekly meetings in the conference room at WC lol. What's next, saying UWP is dead (like Thurrott who was unrightfully slammed by bunch of Twitter morons for saying the bitter truth)? Careful! "refining the Surface Pro line all the way to its sixth generation" Uhm... Surface Pro 3 4 5 6 look the same? Did I miss that refinement?
  • There are some key differences between the fold and the book, and having the fold not fold completely offers some disadvantages you're not having with the PC. For example, being phone living much of its life in pockets putting a constant strain on the hinges and each half due to the pressure applied on them all the time. For example, try putting your phone on a hard pillow an push hard on its back, it just goes down into the pillow. Now make a contraption that mimics the fold holdinding your phone. When you press now, the phone still goes dow into the pillow, but when it stops you Don't have even pressure, the top half still have air under it and can be pushed further and break. It also make it less pocket friendly. Etc. Ruobino never called people a troll just for being critical towards Microsoft or their products. This is however a site devoted to Microsoft and their devices. When some people make more posts than anyone else, always being negative, always advocating for how much better Android or certain Android phones or Google services are, and directly or indirectly calling people fools for not seeing this, then at one point that person is not just giving his opinions, but have become a troll. See, I happen to have a S10 and a Lumia 950XL. And I liked my 950 better, no matter how much better this person might try to convince me his Note is than the 950. I use full screen menu and live tiles on my five display desktop, and this has worked better for me than any W7 style menu ever has, no matter how often this person feels the need to tell me how live tiles are dead. We on this site are here because we like what MS have done and are doing, most of us atleast. And the same goes for this site as well. We are very aware of their short comings and failures. We do however believe in the potential, and the small steps taken towards a very competitive pocketable mobile market segment. Even if we know there is a huge room for failure. We know. We don't need 50 posts from a single person under every article telling us how much better everything Android is. Again, we know, why spend so much time trying to convince us we are wrong? I don't want those Android devices, and I certainly don't want anything of Google services, if I did I'd be over at Android Central. Again, feel free to post what you believe is the shortcomings of these products, we will see and perhaps even discuss those. Some times we well agree. Don't post those under every single person's post under an article, and keep riding that dead horse. If you do, then don't cry for being called a troll.
  • The fold is directly visible on the screen though, while the SB hinge gap is only visible from the sides and some people even like that design.
  • How can you compare a device that exists and is being sold already (Samsung Fold) with a device that is no where no to be seen (Microsoft "Centaurus")?????
  • Welcome to WC!
  • Don't see the problem. It's like comparing a car with a flying car. You have some ideas about what attributes and capabilities it would have. When someone start developing one, more news will surface and a more educated comparisons could be done. Then, when the car is released people will see that the rumors were right, or the car is just some oversized drone not capable of filling enough use cases of a car. Or, if we're lucky someone thought about something new, and we'll get a fammily minivan with warp speed and inter stellar travel capabilities. Sometimes you'll be right, sometimes you'll be wrong. Sometimes being wrong can be either good or bad. Don't see why this is worse than any other site always trying to guess what Apple will be coming up with.
  • 'You can have some idea about what attributes and capabilities it might have' Impossible, according to your hero Rubino. He loves taking a p*ss on people for doing exactly that...
  • Haha, love the WC comment section at times like this :D
  • But, in this case, you are comparing a flying car (Galaxy Fold) that is released and available with a normal car that is just rumors. The Galaxy Fold is a jump in hardware technology. Centaurus is hardware we already have (touch screens and hinges).
  • Lots of people do not see a use case for this. I do, but it depends on the performance and its docking abilities. I noticed someone else mentioning this, and someone else the answering "so, not only will we have to carry a big device, but also a dock..." No, that's not it. See, a lot of people works in offices, and do most their jobs there, but also travels around. Making a presentation on the office, perfecting it on the aircraft, presenting it with the customer. Or, managing networks at the office, then going on site to connect the console cable to run putty on a unaccessible switch. In both cases it would be great having such a small computer. And, for many people running full office suite, browser, and and a few easy Win32 apps would be enough. The prerec would be dual screen 2560x1440, or single screen 4K support when docked, minimum. Having a big phone does no make me want do drag along on a even bigger PC. Having the PC close to the same size as the phone is not a negative thing, as long at I can use it as an alternative to my PC.
  • You just described the Surface Pro and a use case that basically requires full Windows. What is the point of this device?
  • I could see that working if it is heavily build around pen usage for writing longer stuff etc, than it could potentially be a better option than there surface pro or go.
  • Can MS avoid the Samsung mistakes? I hope so but Nadella has made too many mistakes for me to be confident.
  • Yeah, that Nadella. Makes the company the most valuable in the world again because all of its businesses make money every quarter and completes the reorganization that Ballmer began to eliminate the toxic internal culture. What a failure!
  • Don't let business skills get in your way mate. Very few business units thrive in the long run when they cut off product lines to soon. Nadella has form that's impossible to overlook and the MS charitable recently gave a speech that came straight out of the Nadella playbook - don't be brave, don't lead, don't take risks
  • Oh, will centaurus have telephony?
  • Does it matter much? Unless it's small enough for you to put it in your pocket and hold it to your ear with one hand, Phone-capability really won't be a factor... This is why the Andromeda device would have been SO much more interesting, and why the success of one device will say nothing about the potential of the other.
  • It matters because wireless earpieces are now a big thing. People dont necessarily need to be able to hold it to their head.
    The centaurus is in a bag ir something and you just receive and make calls
  • I guess it could also matter to pave the way for a telephony Andromeda device so they could already test it and remove errors (not really MS's style though x) ). And it could possibly be useful for people that use ear-/head- phones.
  • I think this device will be a game changer for the phone and tablet industry. There are only few true hardware companies in the world who is doing innovation. Microsoft in terms of hardware has already changed the trend for oems on how to make better devices. The quality and innovation MS is producing is remarkable and no one can beat at the moment.. at least Apple can not... I am a fan of Apple products too but see their innovation ... They can't even put a proper mouse support on their iPads and they say it a PRO device, I bought that and then sold. They put a normal tiny display bar on Macs which has not been innovated from last 3 years. I love MS based on the fact that they are really innovating and taking big risks and then helping this generation. Truly saying I can even wait for remaining 11 days to see what they are coming with... Centaurus I have too much hope from you.
  • Current rumors indicate no hardware innovation at all.
  • Care to share these rumors or links.?
  • https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-centaurus-everything-we-know
  • I really hope windows lite/core OS garners enough developer support. MS really can't afford to launch another Operating system that fails
  • True, especially since uwp is better now (smaller command bar and better looking etc) and the oskeyboard seems to be more reliable now so it would be a bummer if it fails (more than rt I think), but the devs still need to make more apps.
  • "With 'Surface Centaurus,' can Microsoft avoid Samsung's Galaxy Fold mistakes?"
    If you incapable of learning from others mistakes in this case, then you have boat load of miserable and pathetic engineers, designers and senior leadership or decision makers.
  • You think it is easy to make a folding screen after merely seeing Samsung's mistakes? I don't think people realize how insanely hard it is to make a folding screen. It is expected that there will be hiccups. It will probably be several generations before it is really ready for mainstream devices, but when that happens, the devices will take over.
  • https://youtu.be/tYk2us6W6Gg
    The truth beginning of the "Universal" Windows Platform... UWP... There have been countless attempts in the past to create a platform e.g. UWP that unifies the different existing mainstream OS and devices of different form factors.. 2 in 1, 3 in 1, mobile, foldable etc.. The first key note speaker, CTO of Microsoft Xamarin, painted the historical journey of software development evolution needed to realize the one platform that rules the other platforms.. This talk was followed by the CTO of Uno... demonstrating how the solutions to the grand vision of "UWP" is here... based on the "secret" 5+ years of alternative software development approach towards the challenges of cross platform solutions The truth "UWP" vision based on the Microsoft UWP technologies will leverage the creation of a new foldable form factor such as the Centaurus..
  • I hope so, UWP in itself is good and gets updated regularly.
  • Design wise the Centaurus is supposed to be 2 separate- 9 inch 4 X 3 screen ratio tablets
    joined together by a special hinge, this early Centaurus device will not be a single Material
    screen folding Tablet /Smart phone hybrid. I think it will work well & last longer than
    current single screen material foldable tablets will. the Centaurus to me will be a new
    Tablet format. a niche product aimed at the Enterprise customer with special soft ware
    for business people to use. this will be a niche product. Microsoft probably wont make
    many of them to sell so if you want one buy it quick before supplies run out
  • If it is enterprise/business oriented, why is it not running full Windows 10? Why would business want an expensive tablet that might not even be branded Windows?
  • Lots (most, probably) business customers don't need full Windows. If their machine can run Office and maybe a few proprietary programs, it'll be fine.
  • This might a very important downside indeed, especially if MS does not properly support LiteOS like rt etc. On the other hand it would probably fix the 'tablet mode' issues/limits Windows 10 had etc. So we get some we lose some, will be interesting to see how this unfolds whatever the case.
  • If it's aimed at business they simply cannot call the OS Lite anything, that will kill their sales because of public perception that "Lite" is always deemed inferior.
  • I think enterprise is LESS worried about the naming scheme. It professionals are the ones picking your next device, and they know what to look for. It's the consumer customer that's likely to have a negative gut reaction.
  • Yeah sorry, I was implying business customers buying for themselves rather than the company buying for them, but I can see how that was confusing.
  • To replace the iPads used now with devices that IT can reliably manage?
  • Years of schooling and you cannot "reliably manage" an iPad? Please. If that was the issue, there have been plenty of Windows tablets available through the years that you could "reliably manage".
  • My experience supports leo; the IT department at my job always complain about handling Apple products, iPads in particular. I'm no expert, so I wouldn't know wherein the problem lies, but they've dropped iPhones completely, and only assign iPads when absolutely necessary.
  • FOLKS I wish that Microsoft had made the coming Centaurus project 2 touch screen folding
    Tablet a 7 inch diagonal 4 X 3 ratio screen like the original Courier had instead of a 9 inch screen
    the current one will have because it was a more portable device. now if Microsoft really wants to
    make the Centaurus device stand out MS should install a simple 4/5 G feature phone inside
    the case of one of the models of the Centaurus for folks who really desire to carry around
    ONE device that also has a screen bigger than any smartphone has
  • Get an iPad with cellular. There are a few sizes to choose from, the best tablet experience available, and all the software you could want. I am sure there are multiple VOIP solutions too.
  • I would be much more interested in an Andromeda kind of device rather then this. I think the Surface Go already fills the small form factor area.
  • Well the screen size of this is much bigger though when unfolded. Depending on MS's execution, this might be worth it or not.
  • I would rather have a device that folds and has small bezels (less than a mm) separating the two screens and is more dependable/durable and cost a lot less.
  • But then it's just a tablet with a line down the screen or a netbook with an inferior touch keyboard instead of physical.
  • "Like Windows Phone, though, it'll live or die based on the support it gets from app developers."
    As an app developer since the beginning of Windows Phone, and currently an app developer for Windows 10, it certainly has strong support from me. In fact, I have already done as much updating as possible to prepare the apps for a Windows-based phone and multi-screen devices, although you can never really consider an app completely finished until it has been tested on an actual device, and what the actual device experience feels like can never be 100% predicted, you can't beat the real thing.