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Andromeda, folding PCs, and Microsoft's vision for the future of personal computing

Microsoft's Project Andromeda initiates an evolving category of connected pocketable PCs built on top of Windows Core OS. This first generation device targets businesses, schools and prosumers. Qualcomm's and Microsoft's combined connectivity and mobile computing strategies reveal a long-term goal to eventually bring this telephony-enabled PC category to consumers as well, however.

"We continually look for ways to redefine the mobile experience for customers, which is why we developed the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile PC platform," said Don McGuire, Qualcomm's VP, global product marketing.

Qualcomm's Always Connected PC push is the first step toward the pocketable PC category that has all the power of Windows 10 desktop computing and the mobility and constant connectivity of smartphones. This emerging category may be Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's ultimate mobile device vision that leapfrogs smartphones. To envision where Microsoft and Qualcomm are pushing mobile computing (though this may sound fanciful) picture the context-conforming, always-connected mobile device that can be a PC, tablet and phone from the popular sci-fi program Westworld. That device category becoming reality for the masses may be closer than you think and here's why.

Foundations of a single device computing future

Westworld's all-in-one device.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 mobile platform (and beyond) is positioned to expand connected computing in several areas: AI, security, video/imaging, AR/VR and LTE gigabyte connectivity which allows web apps to behave as native apps. Additionally, since its technology powers the smartphone industry and is foundational to 5G cellular infrastructure, Qualcomm has a vested interest in the evolution of connected computing. Thus, pocketable PCs aren't just Microsoft's goal. Qualcomm wants as many people on the cellular roadmap as possible.

In fact, Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's CEO calls smartphones "low-powered computers" because of their processing power and light computing capabilities. Bringing the full power of desktop computing to the cellular roadmap in a context-conforming design that can be a PC, tablet and phone is a natural progression to this limited computing via mobile platforms. Here's how Microsoft and Qualcomm are making that happen:

Step 1: Window 10 on the cellular roadmap

The first step to a pocketable context-conforming Windows PC with telephony for consumers and professionals was to bring Windows, the world's most prolific desktop OS in homes and businesses, to the cellular roadmap via Windows 10 on ARM. Always Connected ARM-based Windows PCs, will be followed by the first foldable pocket PC this year.

Windows on ARM brings Microsoft's ultimate mobile device vision into focus

Step 2: Context sensitive software

The next step was ensuring Windows could adapt to desktop, tablet and handheld configurations.

OneCore unified Windows across devices types as the foundation for a modular OS. Windows Core OS builds on that foundation allowing Windows to be tailored (by Microsoft or OEMs) to device types. Compossible Shell (CShell) enables the UI to conform to device types or states as the hardware transitions to different contexts.

Step 3: Context sensitive hardware

Hardware capable of shifting between states: pocketable, tablet and PC is essential to this single computing device vision.

Various patents and sourced information suggest Microsoft's working on a pen-focused Courier PC-type device. This device is pocketable, can be unfolded into a mini-tablet and via Continuum, connect to an external display for a desktop experience.

Step 4: OEM partners and altered carrier model

Microsoft's Andromeda device isn't a one-off product. Like Surface and 2-in-1s, it will be an aspirational category-defining device meant to inspire OEM third-party options.

Additionally, consumers' ability to switch between carriers almost "on the fly" directly from Windows on Always Connected PCs, and the coming folding PC category, makes Microsoft less carrier-dependent.

Always Connected PCs gives Microsoft's upper-hand with carriers

Step 5: Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Microsoft's and Google's partnership to standardize PWAs may help provide a unified app platform (for certain app types) to help address the app gap. PWAs are web-based, behave like native apps and are platform agnostic. Windows 10 (not just Edge) will treat them as native apps. They'll be distributed through the Microsoft Store and have UWP qualities like Cortana integration, notifications, easy install/uninstall and more.

Progressive Web Apps, the great equalizer

Step 6: Processor evolution and 5G

Since Microsoft's 2018 Andromeda device will be thefirst-gen device of a new category, it's important to remember that technological limitations for this initial device don't define the limits of the category. It may not be capable of replacing a PC for powerful mixed reality, intense gaming and other heavy-lifting computing but processor evolution and 5G will enable these things and more on subsequent iterations of PCs in this category.

Furthermore, high-speed 5G networks will, combined with advanced processors, enable low-latency edge computing with powerful cloud-based apps.

A PC category for the masses, not a smartphone

Microsoft's mobile device vision.

Those who struggle to differentiate between this device category and smartphones may find the following helpful:

Envision the category's context-conforming Westworld-type-device goal. Then back that up to where we are now as the pieces are coming together as described above. This device category's designed from the foundation outward to be a full PC on the cellular roadmap. Smartphones are not.

Microsoft's and Qualcomm's goal is this device category's eventual consumer adoption. Even under optimal conditions it would take several iterations before that begins to happen en masse (if at all), however. Still, the long-term goal isn't its niche beginnings. It's a truly personal, inking-focused, telephony-enabled computer category for all scenarios for all people. If successful history may note 2018 as the dawn of the all-in-one mobile device.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

95 Comments
  • I don't know what is is but I can't get excited anymore about new Microsoft products. It's like my enthusiasm has gone through a shredder the last years. I can't even force myself anymore to read another WardFantasyStory.
  • I'm with you on enthusiasm has gone through shredder. But I like reading Jason's articles.
  • Thanks. Glad you like them. 👍🏿
  • If Microsoft can't excite then no one can.
  • They better hurry up with the foldable Phone.   Samsung and LG both have their versions almost done and ready for release soon!  Once that happens,  MS is dead in the water again.  It don't matter if symantics says its "not a phone".   It is a phone,  will be viewed by the general public as a phone,  as well as people selling them (if this device gets sold through normal channels),  and most everyone besides a few fanboys here.  Should be called the surface belly up!  because that's what its going to be if they don't release it before samsung. 
  • I would hedge my bets that Samsung's foldable device is far from 'ready for release soon'. If we consider that according to statements, they were showing a prototype device at CES this year when the Samsung S9 launch date is only a few weeks away. This same promo material had absolutely no mention of anything other than the S9 we won’t be seeing it this first half if not at all this year. LG on the other hand has had very little news regarding a foldable phone this year so anybody’s guess is as good as mine.
  • They (samsung) have already stated its being released this year.  I have much more confidence in samsung making their projected timeline that microsoft at this point.  
  • I don't disagree, but I suspect the Samsung device is a different animal altogether
  • Samsungs patents either have a hinged screen (the DS like patent) or a curved hinge that looks like a Surface Book in minature (bad for a phone).  LG has a "design patent" with no mechanical details.  I doubt either of them is coming with a narrow radius folding phone (single screen) any time soon.  The only real world models of working bendable screens we have seen have been bulky big radius hing types (Lenovo).  I think MS approach is the more sensible with the given tech.
  • No...Samsung is using a folding screen.  and THEY have comeout and stated THEY are releasing this deivce this year.  This is directly from samsung.  MS is going to be behind the 8 ball again in this area.   LG has also come out stating THEY are releasing a foldable screen phone too.   This is not rumor mill crap,  this is both of these companys publically stating these devices will be released this year.   So,  MS better get their **** together if they want to "create new catagories"  because sammy and the Life's good crowd are hot on their heels.  software is moot as most everything can be done on android now anyways....
  • Disagree. Apple was not first with the iPhone, but they were best.
  • Problem is,  MS has been late or no show with alot of things they "announced"  so being late to releasing their foldable phone (because that is what it is),  its going to be the nail in the coffin.  If these devices get out in the wild first, MS is screwed because people will again think,  there goes another MS no show.   And purchase one of the other devices first.   Simple.  BTW,  Apple WAS first with the iphone.   Nobody had the iphone before apple.  😋
  • Even if what you say about Samsung releasing a bendable screen device this year ( which i doubt since latest report say it will probably only happen in 2019 or 2020) you are still missing the whole point... The key to success here is software and Android sucks balls when it comes to adapting to different screen sizes. This is why Microsoft so far is the only one that is really poised to actually properly use a dual screen or bendable screen device.
  • I think that might largely have to do with the existence of, or lack thereof, the devices in question. You might start to feel more excited about it if there was actually some new information, new announcements, or anything else indicating we're anywhere near this device becoming a real thing.
  • It's a brave person that'll go out and buy the next big thing from Microsoft... I for one won't bother, my house is a graveyard of their experimental failures... I will continue to use my Surface for work but for everything else there is Android... I finally found my happy place and can thank MS for forcing me there... 😀
  • So why are you then still on this forum as you have decided to leave MS? Sound like the guy who divorced his wife and then continues to stay around:  in the real world that's stalking here we call it trolling.
  • You're gonna be hella busy if you plan to reply like this to everyone who says they have lost some trust in MS
  • LMAO. Yep. That is 98% of everyone here. If everyone that is done with them, didn't visit this site, it would be a ghost town.
  • I be buying one!
  • So long as it's priced so that one can actually use it in a mobile context without a certain mugging, me to. If they price it so it can only be used in a secure environment then it will be a pointless device. The market for a device that's super portable and pocket sized but too expensive to use outside the home/office environment safely will be vanishingly small.
  • If your looking for affordability andycalling,  you shall move on somewhere else.  This device is going to be 1500-2000 dollars for sure!
  • What a bullshit.
  • Their thin & light laptop costs $1000, the Surface phone is $1299 bare bones, and more likely $1499.
  • he's not lying
  • No.  I'm not lying.  If the whiny fanboy consumers in here think this device is for them and Microsoft is going to sell it cheap.  They have another thing coming.  This device is going to marketed towards business and such will command a high asking price.  Just like every other surface product.   1500-2000 depending on internals.  
  • Well consider my use scenerio (individual results will vary), if it can replace my Tablet and a high end phone then you would still save money at that price.
  • And just because it's targeted at businesses, why should it be so expensive. Why spend twice the price on something like this when I can get Lenovo laptops for under £500 and they can just tether their existing smartphone... Not all businesses can afford to, or want to, pay premium prices. Business efficiencies (or cost cutting) is the order of the day. Especially if you have 50k plus employees to consider!
  • I'm looking for a usable device, Steve Adams. If it is usable, and for me that means usable for more than 10 minutes before being stabbed and left bleeding in the gutter, then I'm buying and I believe many others will do too. If it is not usable, I suspect Microsoft will never release it. That said, they did release W10 Mobile in a unusable state so perhaps Ol' Nads is just foolish enough to try. Even he wouldn't carry one though, surely? I mean, I suppose in the US they could sell them packaged with a gun but that's not going to fly in most markets.
  • Considering that guns are rather expensive that seems unlikely.
  • Bub78,   have you been in the states?   gunz are cheap as dirt down there.  and you have to have a pulse to buy one.  That's why every nimrod has one.
  • Yes, I actually live in Arizona, a state with some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country. Pretty much any non-felon over the age of 21 can purchase a gun without a license or permit. As far as cheap, I dunno, I guess that's subjective. A decent handgun is like $400 or so. May be bundled so you could use your old Continuum docks for target practice? I don't think they're heavy enough for doorstops 🙄
  • I think you should move then Andycalling.  If I have to worry about being stabbed while walking in public because of my phone?  I am getting the **** out of there. 
  • There are few places in any country where a wise man can walk around the streets waving a four figure wad at people with confidence. Any place where it is sensible to do so would probably not let me in. Clearly you live in a very select community. If you buy such expensive devices, I suggest you don't take them beyond the security guarded gates. You will wish you hadn't, but possibly not for long...
  • Where do you live?!
  • Concept is sound till you get to the phone argument, Windows just isn't viable or desirable in that usage mode.
  • When I use my Lumia 950XL as a phone it's either through my BT headset or my BT car connection. What's the issue?
  • Why? I use W10M every day and CShell could create a "phone-friendly" state easy.
  • It isn't desired on a tablet either. I don't understand how such a device will entice anyone. Plugging into an external monitor and running a gimped version of Windows certainly isn't desirable.
  • The Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team might have a vision for the future of computing but I still am not seeing the business case for folding PCs that are un-phones.  They are going to go out of their way to market a device (I know, that is an oxymoron - the MSFT actually marketing a device) to say it isn't a phone but has phone-like capabilities and people are going to think, "Hey, pretty cool but now I'm going to have to carry an unphone, a phone, a tablet AND a laptop?"  One or multiple devices need to go in this scenario and the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team isn't going to position the unphone against any one of them. What does the unphone offer that isn't available with a phone & laptop combination other than it being cool?  And the MSFT isn't going to win a Cool War with Apple or Google. Andromeda has some legs to it but it is getting so closely tied to the folding unphone that people will only think that it is totally connected to that.  I'm guessing there are much better business cases to espouse for Andromeda than the folding unphone.
  • As usual I stopped reading after your first 5 words.
  • Does anyone else ever finish a Ward-itorial and come away feeling like they read words didn't exactly mean something? It's like a commercial for a cult. "Envision a future where this happens, this is the world we want you to be a part of". Or one of those webscrapers that pulls random articles from blogs and newspapers and re-jumbles them together into a new article. Constructively, I feel like these articles would be better framed as educated speculation rather than whatever the right word is for what they are now.
  • This 100%. Lots of text, little substance. Most of it the same article for the nth time again.
  • educated speculation rather than an editorial?  
  • I hate to say this because I don't want to be rude, but honestly...I stop reading every time now as soon as I see the "certified" Warditorial emblem. I'm not stupid and I don't want to read the same speculation in different words over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Again.
  • Speculation yes, educated spaeculation not so sure. Have any of his fantasies ever panned out?
  • Hi rbgaynor, a closer look would show that what I present are fact-based analysis. What your, and some others, perspective seems to be concerning what I layout regarding Microsoft's long-term plans is an assumption that what's presented is being proposed to occur in the short-term. That's a fallacy in your perception of my work if that's the case. Though I make clear in these pieces that these are long-term plans that take time to roll out over time, through the execution of various product roadmaps (for instance the Andromeda device needs the Windows Core OS to be ready. So we can't have the hardware launch without the OS, etc), I understand that many people here see things from an annual product launch perspective. Simply put expectations for the manifestation of results for many readers here extend to months or about a year at most. Seeing beyond that is not common many. So if something doesn't happen in a years time then the analysis I present from that persons perspective is wrong. 😉SMH. Not quite.😉 Consider the following: My observations in the past said that Microsoft's Windows-on-mobile strategy would lead to the intentional death of Windows Mobile to be succeeded by full Windows on non phone, telephony-enabled devices with an inking focus.
    Since those predictions: 1. We've gotten details on Windows Core OS, a modular form of full Windows that, as I predicted, can work on any form factor. 2. We've gotten info on CShell that, as I predicted, conforms the OS to a users context. 3. We've gotten sourced info on Project Andromeda that, as I predicted, would be a non-phone mobile device with, as I predicted, telephony and an inking focus. 4. Additional patents, have come to light, that with the previous information, corroborate the story of Microsoft's continued Windows-on-mobile efforts (despite widespread claims to the contrary)with a non-phone device that I of course, have long stated were a reality. 5. WC now even has sources that put the release of this device that I predicted existed, that is a continuation of Microsoft 's Windows-on-mobile strategy, that I persisted was ongoing, as Fall of this year.
    Of course any Project can be canceled at anytime, but my 'predictions' or better yet simple analysis of observable information said that it exists and described what it is years ago. And the more info that comes to light, the more consistent my analysis is revealed to be with what Microsoft is doing.
    So, rbgaynor (and others) I know when long-term analysis such as mine, which lays things out over the long-term and doesn't yield those results in the short-term, particularly for an audience geared toward a yearly device perception, seeing the steady manifestation of long-term analysis over time may not be natural. In fact it may be difficult for some given a desire for a device now. But, take another look at what I've been saying and what's developing, and your statement will likely be changed.😉
    Nobody, not even top analysts, get everything right, and few people get everything wrong, but a look at what I've been saying proves, that contrary to your statement, I've been more right than wrong😉
    Here are a few good pieces to revisit:
    Optimism or observation
    "Should Windows phone fans be optimistic about Microsoft's mobile strategy?":
    https://www.windowscentral.com/should-windows-phone-fans-be-optimistic-a...
    AND
    "Seeing Microsoft's mobile strategy requires big picture perspective":
    https://m.windowscentral.com/understanding-microsofts-mobile-strategy-re...
    FINALLY
    "Will Windows phone fans finally get the device if thier dreams?"
    https://m.windowscentral.com/will-windows-phone-fans-finally-get-device-...
  • Is it a non-phone even when in "phonecomposer" shell? https://mspoweruser.com/microsofts-full-list-alternate-windows-shells-re...
  • Heres a question for you QuietNine, (and others)🙂. First I'm sure that we all agree, cynicism and sarcasm aside that Microsoft is a multibillion dollar company that when it spends time and money on particular technologies and states a certain goal for those investments, there is a level of internal commitment and expectation by the company that those investments will yield positive results.
    Now let's look at the bullet points of this piece:
    1. Windows 10 being brought on the Cellular roadmap by Qualcomm/Microsoft. Note, Qualcomm's mission is to bring as many people as possible onto the cellular roadmap. FACT.
    2. Windows being developed as CONTEXT SENSITIVE SOFTWARE to conform to different device types and devices states. FACT.
    3. Microsoft building mobile CONTEXT SENSITIVE HARDWARE per patents and sources. FACT.
    4. OEM partners as part of Microsoft mission. Nadella recently reiterated this well know fact that the company is committed to DEMOCRATIZATION of aspirational devices it makes. FACT.
    Users ability to purchase data directly from Windows from a choice of carriers on eSIM equipped devices is a model Always Connected PCs are introducing as we speak. FACT.
    5. Microsoft literally reached out to Google to partner with them in the development of Progressive Web apps. (See my piece on that). This introduces a common app development standard for certain types of apps. FACT.
    6. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor advances the capability of mobile computing in various areas, as all advances to processors do. It is a known fact that processor capabilities that enable computing previous processers could not are introduced every year and devices over time that use these evolving processors will be more capable than previous devices with older processors. FACT.
    5G will introduce high capacity low latency network connectivity increasing the capabilities of cloud computing. FACT.
    In 2009, via the embedded Future Vision video Microsoft themselves gave us the vision of a foldable pocket device they envisioned as the future of mobile computing (it's not an idea I introduced😉). FACT.
    Now my question to you, given all of these FACTS😉, minus snark, sarcasm or even presumptions of failure, what do YOU think Microsoft is going for here (if not defining a context conforming pocketable PC category as I propose)?
  • Is there a date that you can agree on that if Microsoft doesn't have anything by X date, then we need to look at something else?  
  • Against my better judgement...   1. Windows on Arm... yup... Qualcomm would like to sell more chipsets, but they're not going to undercut their cell phone business, because that'd be ridiuclous. If they can sell more chips they will. Capitalism at work. 2. Ok, Continuum C-Shell thing I assume is what you mean there. Not much in the way of development since it was introduced in 2015, but sure they're probably working on it. Please don't explain the difference between Continuum & a composable shell. Changing the GUI based on screen size & hardware capabilities. MS hasn't been able to change the GUI with any sucess since Win95, but sure. 3. MS has filed upteen billions of patents(exageration), every technology company does. When Samsung/LG/MS/whoever finally releases some sort of folding phone they can all sue each other for infringement & make cross licensing deals. This happens all the time. MS made more from its Android patents then they ever made from Windows phones, despite never releasing an Android phone (yeah Nokia, whatever). 4. Huh? MS needs OEM partners...? This has been true since MSDOS. If no one makes hardware, no one needs Windows... This is also the same CEO that comitted to making Windows phones, right?(which I don't blame him for dumping, but to take his statements at face value is a bit naive) 4.5(?) Honestly, who cares about this? This keeps getting touted as a feature... Cool, I can buy overpriced data from MS instead of overpriced data from the big 4, yay? Devices run on WIFI more often then not anyway, unless for the true road warrior (real estate agent, field engineer, etc.) who probably already has a plan with a carrier. This isn't a selling point, just an option on how to stay connected if it's even needed. 5. MS has a pitiful app store & no mindshare. This could be written as 'MS had no choice but to partner with Google...' Certain types of apps might benefit from a unified architecture. Certainly not the best or most important ones(subjective, yes) This is MS latching onto something Google is doing anyway, with 80+% of the mobile space, NOT partnering with Google isn't really an option. 6. That was the longest way of saying new processors come out every year I've ever read. Not much of a revelation. Samsung seems to usually get exclusivity on the newest Snapdragons for a bit after they're released. Might see some WoA devices Q3/Q4 2018? This doesn't seem to warrant its own bullet point. 7(?) 5G is years away from widespread implementation. It's also going to cost bilions of dollars to implement. If the goal is to always have the always connected 5G Surface Phone, you'll be waiting quite a bit longer... 7.5(?) A 9 year old promo video... right. I'm sure there have been multiple videos in the past 9 years of all sorts of things. I'm just gunna leave that one alone, because, weakness. Would Microsoft like to make the foldable Surface Phone? Probably, but technology & engineering as it exists today & for the foreseeable future isn't capable for executing the unicorn device people on these forums seem to expect. Yup that folding Westworld thing is cool & all, but it doesn't exist. It's a TV show. With sentient androids. Might be a ways off? Making a pocketable device that folds, is aesthetically pleasing, durable, will last all day without charging & actually adds features that users would be willing to switch devices for is a ridiculously tall order. If you want the folding phone look at the Axon M, that's what you'll get. If you want to put Windows on it with stylus support & call it a PC, great. That's your new category. Sorry if most of us are a bit underwhelmed. I feel like if you owned a car dealership you'd sell it because someone told you flying, self-driving Ubers would be replacing the current system of car ownership.    
  • I'm not sure if your point by point rebuttals were presented in the same overall context of the argument my points are supporting. My overall point is that Microsoft and Qualcomm are working together to bring an all-in-one pocketable mobile CATEGORY with telephony to the MASSES, not just a one-off or businesses device. And to address concerns I've seen here that the device(readers focusing in a first gen device) wouldn't be capable of fully REPLACING A DESKTOP for some tasks. Each point was presented as a component of that devices, and intent. Some of your responses seemed to take these points in isolation and misses the overall point.
    1. Qualcomm's motive of course is in part profitability but as its history on long term investments/bets show it forgoes short-term profits to establish itself as the foundation for technology that yields benefits, up to ten years down the road. That's why it has achieved it poison in cellular leadership it has, and even its early investments in video and audio compression, because it new viseo streaming would be important in what was then thr future. The same is happening now with the partnership to bring a desktop OS onto the celluar roadmap in partnership with Microsoft. Making it JUST about selling more chips is a gross oversimplification of the companies strategy to position for an evolving mobile computing reality. Particularly for a company that takes very long-term and collaborative approach to the market.
    2. CONTEXT SENSITIVE SOFTWARE - I'm not sure you actually made a rebuttal here but as may opening to this response suggests, this is part of what's need make the device category work. And WC has shared multiple articles talking about Core OS and CShell. So this point, as I shared supports the overall point I'm making, MS is working on this devices and I believe in conjunction with other points it will be for the masses. Note: Your feelings that it will fail are distinct from whether or not Microsoft is working on this. I think your rebuttals need to reflect that distinction. I don't know if it will succeed or fail. But they're working on this.
    3. PATENTS- again you seem to take this point in isolation. It is, however, presented within the context of sourced information, proof of OS development that would fit the dual screen context conforming mobile hardware, the increased focused on inking at Microsoft, the statements of the type of device the company is targeting, a long time goal to bring full Windows to a pocketable device but technological limitations previously hindered that etc. The piece clearly places the point within a larger context and not in isolation.😉 So a response that a company makes "a company file upteen billion patents" doesn't really address the fact that we see supporting evidence that patents for a Courier-type device seem to be coming together for an actual device based on what I've just shared here.
    4. Altered carrier model: "Who carriers about this" People who will buy mobile data on Always Connected PC, carriers, Microsoft and people who will buy data/voice in pocketable PC if they make it to market. Not every area has reliable ir secure Wi-Fi you know.
    5. PWAs. Again you didn't really give a rebuttal, the gist of your conclusion was ultimately that Microsoft IS (regardless of reasons why) partnering with Google for PWAs for a unified app platform for certain apps. That's what I said.
    6. Evolving Processors: This warranted its own bullet point because it addresses the argument that some make that this device which is meant to be a full PC won't be capable of certain full PC tasks. Perhaps not the first-gen device, but subsequent devices in the category on more advanced processors certainly will. As I point out in the bullet technological limits ofthe initial device are NOT limits of the category. Some readers don't make that distinction so the bullet point makes that clear.
    7. A 9 year old promo...again you address the point in isolation rather than in the context of Microsoft bringing a folding pocketable device to the masses with the support of the other presented evidence. Within that 9 years we've seen more recent patents bearing resemblance to the device in the Future Vision video indication a tangible and recent pursuit of that vision since sharing it in the past. We've seen real investments in making Windows at its Core and shell level being reconstructed to fit different device types and devices STATES, (context conformity) which fits this device vision, and the hist of other things that I've already shared. The video doesn't exist in a vacuum.😉 continued below...
  • Finally, technologically engineering a first gen device is possible. The reference to the Westworld device was obviously not my presenting a literal expectation of what Microsoft's device or this evolving category would look like. It was a reference point for a category of device that is an all-in-one computing device to help the less imaginative visualize a non-phone mobile computer CATEGORY that can be a PC, tablet a function as a phone but not be a smartphone. A picture is worth a thousand words😉
    Then if that at least helps them get the category in mind, what would be a crude representation (in comparison) of that category would by Microsoft's first-gen Andromeda device.
    The category would evolve over time with OEM support, bringing it to the masses. And this is where my OEM point comes in. Some readers, again, felt Project Andromeda may be a one -off device. OEMs will likely first bring to the category to enterprise and ptosumers, but in time it will bring it to masses. With that said the question to QuietNine (and others and which you failed answer at the end of the bullets which together made a case (not independent isolated points as you seemed to perceive them as based on how you answered or failed to answer some points as I noted) was: Now my question to you, given all of these FACTS😉, minus snark, sarcasm or even presumptions of failure, what do YOU think Microsoft is going for here (if not defining a context conforming pocketable PC category as I propose)?
  • I was less constructive than I intended to be. Sorry about that.  
     
    My quip is mostly at the way these articles often aren't well framed. It doesn't entirely matter if you're right or if the audience agrees, that discussion will unfold either way. What *does* matter is if the article is well constructed so that your audience will want to follow it to the end. When readers can't easily follow the idea presented, everything comes off as mumbo-jumbo.  
     
    Re-read your first paragraph. What is the idea you want to pitch your audience? When I read it, I feel like the article setup/thesis is just the last oddly written sentence (that the ARM PCs will also target consumers). But then you switch gears with some quotes from Qualcomm without building on that thesis. It is not until your 5th paragraph that you give readers the real article thesis (here is how Microsoft and Qualcomm will bring desktop computing to cellular devices that can dynamicly change their display size). You then stay organized and on the rails up until your conclusion, where instead of driving home the thesis you address readers who would have difficulty understanding why this is the right strategy for Microsoft.
     
    As for your question on "what is Microsoft aiming to do" I don't think anyone would disagree with you that they're trying to ready windows for a dynamic display mobile computing environment.
     
    If Microsoft fails to adapt desktop for mobile, Android and iOS will certainly take the route of adapting mobile for desktop, and that will be a big danger for Windows.
     
    I don't think they plan on out doing Android on mobile dynamic devices, but if they can make context changing software good enough (Ala progressive web apps and project centennial) then they will at least protect their hold on enterprise.
     
    Achieving iOS levels of adoption in the dynamic device category would be enough to drive the Microsoft app store, and that might be achievable if Apple continues to ignore the upcoming platform shift (at least they appear to be, who knows what infinite loop is really working on).  
     
  • I agree with you. Ward is huckster.  He is passing out the Kool-Aid but no one is taking it. 
  • Hi sniperboywc, please read my response just above. And after reviewing those facts, with neither snark, sarcasm nor cynicism please give YOUR view of what you think Microsoft is doing given the bulleted investments I've highlighted above and in the piece. Thanks 😉
  • Whilst I am genuinely excited about giving MS another chance to kick me in the jewels Jason, you need to realise you are not dealing with Microsoft fans anymore, but Microsoft victims. We may well still love them, we certainly hope they will change and will treat us better in future, but to ask us to cut out the sarcasm and cynicism is pretty unrealistic. We are victims and our response to an article about our abuser's good intentions is going to provoke anger, longing, fear, hope and scepticism in equal measure. Expect many defence mechanisms to kick in and a distinct lack of normal logic and try to understand that it cannot be helped right now. Consider Windows Central as a refuge for beaten Microsoft victims and realise that the road to recovery is not short. Have you thought about writing a few cognitive behavioural therapy articles?
  • It's a company that makes software & laptops & things, you're not a victim.
  • I'll take some of that kool aid.   FACT
  • Thus the Warditorial moniker. Seems obvious to me
  • It's called an Editorial... Speculation is not only allowed, it expected, and welcomed.
    ......
    What is wrong with you? If you don't like it go back to iDroid Central, and read about the S9, S10, S11, S12... Boring repetitive BS🙄🙄🙄
  • Step 7: Failure.
  • Step 8: Grow up
  • Don't engage with the blue icon thing, it'll just go off on some insane recursive logic diatribe. Your inbox gets flooded with like 1200 question marks & repeated emojis with bad grammar mixed in for good measure. Just nod, 'oh yeah, surface phone, that'll be so great for you' & keep moving.
  • Ha ha.  that little blue thing is rodney standing next to his MURICAN IRON.  Snail.  more commonly called hardly ableson.  ha ha.    I do agree 100 percent with you howeevr BUB78
  • Good article, Jason. I don't think Google is a partnership material. It stays ahead by doing what others wouldn't do and what others think they should do.
  • Thanks😎
  • Jason, I'd be interested in the Andromeda device when information regarding it solidifies a bit more, and when we start getting new information rather than rehashed speculation. Until then, I fear that if you continue talking about it without any new information, you're just going to contribute to readers getting tired of hearing about the device.
  • Well, if you keep your ear to the ground, 😉 it's not just the device itself that paints the picture but the contributing technologies and models they introduce.
    The information recently shared about the development of Windows, Polaris, Aruba, Andromeda OS etc are part of this narrative.
    The goals and actions of Qualcomm, which powers the mobile industry and will also power this device are also part of this narrative. So paying attention to what CEO Steve Mollenkopf and other at Qualcomm are saying about the capabilities of Snapdragon 845 (and beyond) and 5G, which this device category and all devices will run on is also important.
    The potential impact of PWAs on the app gap is important as well.
    What's happening for some here is a very narrow, "tell me only about the device" notion, which is fine. But the device when you get it (if you get it in your hands) will be framed by all of the things, processor, 5G, PWA, context sensitive Windows and other aspects that will make the device "work."
    What I provide is context based on these facts (the supporting characters of the production if you will🙂) Look at the bullets of this piece. They are not speculative, they're factual.
    Now, I'll remind those here that think my analysis is off the mark(and it could be I'm human and therefore fallible), in 2015 I predicted a pocketable 7inch pen focused telephony-enabled device running full Windows.
    Now, as most writers echoed the Windows phone is dead mantra, I pushed the Windows-on-phone/mobile narrative, essentially saying that Windows Mobile would be succeeded by full Windows on a pocketable device.
    Now some the folks who initially said "no that's not going to happen" "Microsoft is done with mobile" have now, in the wake of Project Andromeda and Core OS information that is coming out, switched to, "well if they do its not going to work." SMH🙂 I don't know if it's going to work or not, I'm just giving you what I see. And it seems that what I see has a greater likelihood of happening than not happening.😉
  • Jason, I absolutely agree with your sentiments about looking at the bigger picture formed by following news and information regarding the ancillary pieces that dictate what this device will be capable of, and where the market is trending. So I'll be a little bit more clear about my stance: I don't consider only direct, device related information as worthy information. I suppose the problem is that I also follow what is going on in the tech world and put these pieces together on my own, which is why I don't find the conclusions drawn to be new or novel. But I guess to many, they may in fact be new considerations. Perhaps I'm being a bit too harsh, but I still don't think there's enough new information right now to draw any new conclusions, really. As a side note: I may or may not be representative of your general audience in the degree to which I follow the tech industry. I'm a tech enthusiast, developer, and entrepreneur. I love to speculate on where the market and specific companies are going. I believe the RED Hydrogen is the most forward pushing device of the year, and I'm just waiting to see whether Microsoft can push the industry in the direction it wants to go with this device or if it will be poorly received, or late.
  • Most people are not trained how to spot the big picture. It's like the Serlock Holmes story about a map reading contest where Watson tries to embarass Sherlock to find/spot a place on the map that is so tiny printed that Sherlock will not find it whereas Sherlock alluded to a name on the map that was spread across the full page and you would only see if you would hold the atlas  with strectched arms and Watson did not even notice... The same folks that now claim "they will fail" will state in a few years from now "how come we did not see that one coming?" disruptive tecnologies (whenever they occur) are seldom spotted in advance. Who predicted the iPhone 11 years ago?  Who predicted the compact disk in 1981 one year before the actual introduction in Japan (and btw it was already there in the Philips - Sony labs in 1979?)    building 87 anyone?
  • True.👓
  • This may become another series like the Wharton brooks series. 
  • Microsoft vision is flickering displays. 🤣😂
  • Wao. Wao. Entiendo todo ahora.
  • Is there anything new in this article?
  • In the Microsoft earnings call this week it said that Surface sales were up 1%. Profit was coming from enterprise, office 365 and azure.  Microsoft has transformed itself from devices and operating systems to cloud services and, to a lesser extent, games. Windows represents a legacy business. Still profitable but flat. Surface, as a reference device at premium pricing, is successful within it's own parameters but there are btter laptops out there. There are more value orientated laptops out there for most people from Lenovo, HP, Dell and the like. The detachable screen makes Surface an occasional tablet. The Surface Studio and Hub are whole different things. The Surface "not phone" but two screened Unicorn device is different. However if it sells as well as any of the other Surface devices we are not talking about huge sales but a modest business of premium devices. So it will be less large than the Windowsphone business.  Priced at the right level it may sell enough to justify it's development. I hope so. What most Microsoft users want is a smartphone. I doubt whether this will attract too much interest.
  • interesting stuff! Think MS sees the need to diversify into the device area again? Amazon - big cloud biz - no device Google - small cloud biz - devices (Google services compete directly with O365) MS - cloud and devices    Thoughts?
  • Amazon no device? Alexa devices, FireTV, stick, tablets e-readers etc. I disagree with your assertion
  • Jason, since I started reading your informative topics, I've noticed that you have a problem with using commas. I refer you to your very last sentence of this piece as an example: 'If successful history may note 2018 as the dawn of the all-in-one mobile device.' You should've typed: 'If successful, history...' [Notice the comma!] And even then, the word 'successful' might make your readers think that you were referring to 'history'! So, I think it's better to write your last sentence as 'If it's successful, history...' or better still, as 'If that category is successful, history...' Please try not to confuse your readers! And forgive me for my criticism!
  • 😉
  • I donot like working with a tiny smart phone screens a 7 to 9 inch screen Windows 10 PC tablet wih a built in cell phone to send & recieve voice phone calls is OK to me. I have a bigger screen to look at Windows 10's Microsoft store already has all the apps I want and the fact i could run desktop PC win32 programs with continuum on a desktop PC monitor makes the Andromeda device a more bang for the buck device than a smart phone that  runs some apps
  • It seems some here may not be aware of what an Editorial is and why its important, whether one likes the content or not. If they did, they wouldn't be so caustic or rude and possibly reply with a more professional and/or polite response. This is just my opinion of course. Anyway, good article Jason. Keep up the good work.
  • So do we need to wait for 5G? I like Jason Ward 's enthusiam! But I am a bit sketchy on MS and consumer products....They just don't back them.  The seem to lack the strategy of Google and Apple.  Their marketing is questionable and they seem very unsure. I doubt they could pull of a foldable....they would fold too quickly....(ha ha ha...)
  • I've been a fan of Microsoft since July 29, 2015, when I was finally able to ditch Win8 and install Win10. An unpopular opinion: I think this article is good speculation and I hope it is what they are going for. The question is: Will it work? Knowing Microsoft and the market we are in, even this strategy would seem hard on them. New tech is risky, but if Microsoft is really doing this, then I have little reason to believe it will fail outright. I'm glad they are not completely "Starting over" and allowing for a smoother transition I just hope they ACTUALY got through with this. It's all speculation, sadly. If they do anything you mentioned, I could be well on the road to trusting Microsoft like in the beginning. Failure is not an option for them this time, with so much at stake,
  • Reading the comments here I notice so many people say they don't like Microsoft development or Jason's article. so why the hell do you make your condescending comments. why are you here? Are you nothing but trolls? if you don't like reading these article why do you read them. I like the way Jason has put together the analysis and provided a potential positive direction that a new device might take. For the person who doesn't get this new device - it is to be a device you can use to replace a phone and some lower spec mobile devices by being either phone size or phamlet size and continually connected to the internet.
  • Thanks Keith😉
  • Keith, as one of those who commented against this article, though hopefully not in too condescending of a way, I'd like to address your question. I'm here primarily to learn about what Microsoft is up to. I like to understand their goals, their strategy, how they are executing, and their progress on the execution. Jason writes great speculative articles regarding Microsoft's short and medium term strategies. He gathers the knowledge he has regarding Microsoft's interests in related areas, their current and near term technological capabilities, and forms a sensible educated guess at Microsoft's strategy. I have no problem with Jason's ability to do this or his ability to write good editorials. The criticism I had, and I think what is the basis of the criticism others here had as well, was just the lack of much new information here. We have speculated on what this device will be and how it ties into Microsoft's overarching strategy before. None of the information in this article, in my opinion, changes any of that. It is roughly the same information leading to the same conclusion. in fact, we have had separate articles on progressive web apps, how Qualcomm's upcoming tech plays into Microsoft's strategy, the form factor for this device and inclusion of a pen/stylus, the fact that it is not technically a phone, et cetera. The only information that is new here is regarding 5G, which itself is not new, it just hasn't been discussed much on this site before. We walk away with the same understanding of the potential of the device that we came in with. All that said, I just wanted to clarify that we do have multiple perspectives going on on this site. What was once a more unified enthusiasm is now divided into equal parts hopeful speculation and hopeless cynicism. This division is, in large part, Microsoft's doing. That does not forgive condescension, nor does it mean it's productive in any way to be constantly cynical and "troll," as you said. So to Keith and Jason as well, I hope you don't take my comments as condescending or trolling. I look to you, Jason, for insights beyond what I or the general public may already know. You are after all closer to the source, and even if not that, are likely spending more time in this than the rest of us are. If I am critical, it is only due to my expectations of you and the rest of the editors here, and I hope that it may be of constructive use to you.
  • I enjoy Jason's articles very much. FACT. NOBODY, not even anyone here (editors) KNOWS what MS is going to do. FACT. Us, being burnt by MS before (but still are fans of new technology and Microsoft in general, have a right to be cynical...FACT. Keith, if this device cannot do everything I can do on my iphone plus more it will NOT replace my iphone FACT.
  • Glad you like my work Steve😉
  • Great article. Assuming this device gets released, its certain the surface team will make top-notch hardware. No doubt the price will be out of my reach, but I am hopeful for cheaper variants from partners.
  • Oh, If they do release it, it's going to be AWESOME. It remains to be seen if OEM's run with this device. Who knows. I know Samsung and LG, as well as others are all releasing folding screen phones this year, so MS better bring their A game. If not...it's a flop.
  • This is true. They have be be all in across the board and I think they realize that. Let's hope so.
  • Microsoft I hope realizes that single 2 screen foldable Mini PC tablets will be an secondary
    device a person can view Documents and do light editiing of a document on. they are great to use on an Air plane or train or boat where working space is very limitted. they are great to use at home
    too in your truck or car, porch den. Students can carry 8 or 9 inch Tablets to classes too. if they are made right. these device will not sell as well as Bigger tablets or laptops but they will sell better if they have a built in Cell Phone. The question is does Microsoft have the guts to sell a product that will sell in small quantities. I will buy a Surface "Mini PC" Tablet with a built in smart phone because I like a bigger screen to work with than a cell phone has
  • Thank you Jason for providing an inspiring article and links to videos that blew me away. 5G is going to be awesome! I believe Microsoft is doing great work with Windows 10. I also believe they have the right strategy in making Windows 10 easily adaptable to many form factors. Windows Core OS is cool for OEMs to have options on configuring Windows 10 (verses just being limited to a version of Windows 10). And the new CShell will allow a single device to conform to other form factors through monitor connections and connected input devices. I believe this is where the future is headed. That is, we are headed toward OS and application convergence on multiple form factors. The current state of paying for computing power for every form factor (e.g laptop, tablet, and phone) is really pretty silly if you think about. It is like buying a car for driving alone, buying another for when you have two people, and then buying a third car when you have five people. I want a converged OS and applications. I believe this will simplify my life. I've thought about what OS I would want to be this converged OS and here is my reasoning. Linux: Linux is great for back room servers, but has not captured the consumer space. Linux out. Apple's iOS: I would argue that Applie is not in the business of making OSs. They are in the business of making devices. The OS is just what comes with it. For that reason, I don't think Apple is interested in OS and application convergence in quite the same way. They are trying to push iOS and the iPad as some type of computer replacement, but I am not interested in that. And I'm not interested in getting locked into their limited selection of expensive devices. Apple out. Android: OEMs love Android because it is free and they can do what they want with it. Unfortunately, Android is an OS for a throwaway culture. The OEMs create a device with a particular version of their modified Android, but after they put it out, and put out maybe a few maintenance releases, they are done with that device. The device is abandoned. This throwaway mentality is unacceptable for a device that will serve many form factors. I want updates to a device that is going to be a primary computing device. Android out. Chrome OS: Chrome OS is targeting laptops. There seems to be no vision to make Chrome OS also a phone or small form factor. That is what Android seems to be for. So I don't see this happening with Chrome OS. Chrome OS out. That leaves Windows 10, and I think Windows 10 can do it. Microsoft is leading in the effort of convergence. They are probably up to 5 years ahead of the compitition from what they learned with Windows 10 Mobile, Continuum, and UWP. I use Windows 10 as my primary computing device (e.g. laptop) and I like Windows 10. If I buy a small device that can also be my primary computing device (and that day is coming), I would want that device to running Windows 10.
  • There are many people who want a device that is portable but has a bigger viewing screen than smart phones have. there are those who want a very good Mini PC Tablet. This Andromeda device for fills their wishes and then some because some models will have a built Cell phone. I would buy this device and do not mind if I have carry it around in a small shoulder bag. This device wont be for everyone but I thnk enough People will buy the MS Andromeda Mini PC 2 screen tablet to make it worth Microsoft's efforts to bring it to the market place