Microsoft’s Pocketable, Dual-Screen Device, ‘Andromeda’, Might Not Launch in 2018 After All

Just before the end of June, a new report aimed to shed some light on a dual-screen device coming from Microsoft, codenamed “Andromeda”, that the company has been working on for at least two years.

While the device itself wasn’t technically all that new for the folks who have been watching the rumor mill over the last couple of years, the exciting part of this latest report was that Microsoft was actually moving forward with a launch for the product, and we wouldn’t have to wait very long to see it. According to that report, Microsoft was planning on launching the pocketable, dual-screen device before the end of this year.

What’s more, it would be just the beginning, as Microsoft would be implementing the AndromedaOS software into Windows 10’s next major software update, “Redstone 5”, which would lay the groundwork for other Windows device manufacturers to create their own dual-screen devices for the desktop operating system.

But, it may have all been too good to be true.

According to a report on Monday from ZDNet, sources say that Microsoft is now not planning on launching Andromeda in 2018 — and may not launch the product at all. The report’s sources indicate that Microsoft has decided that AndromedaOS is not ready for the public market. Part of that comes from scheduling and and build quality, but also reportedly comes down to not having a “compelling reason for Microsoft to come to market with its current iteration of a small, dual-screen mobile device”.

As a result, coupled with shakeups happening to Microsoft’s executive lineup, the Andromeda teams are back at the drawing board with software and services — and Andromeda got the cut for any potential plans that may have initially intended for a launch in 2018.

But while Andromeda might not see the light of day this year, or even next, the teams working on the concept aren’t giving up on the core idea:

“Andromeda or its successor could still end up coming to market at some point and attempt to fulfill Andromeda’s original goal: A portable, multi-screen Windows-10-based device. But if that happens, expect something more akin to a small foldable PC type form factor than a phone-sized device, sources say. And something that will run Win32 apps, not just Univeral Windows Platform (UWP)/Microsoft Store ones.”

So, it sounds like we’re not going to get a brand new portable, dual-screen device this year — or anytime soon, for that matter.

Our Take

The Andromeda product itself sounds like a device that would be immediately searching for a reason to exist, and there is no way that it wouldn’t be prohibitively priced for a lot of potential customers right out of the gate. But it’s still an awesome idea that maybe one day will really make an impact on the market.

[via ZDNet]