Microsoft is preparing for foldable Windows devices

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Microsoft is working on adapting Windows to work on foldable devices. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the software maker is making foldable devices and dual-screen hardware a big investment area for both Windows and Surface. This investment includes adapting Windows itself and its many built-in apps to work across foldable displays and devices with dual screens.

While Microsoft has been experimenting with its own hardware with dual-screens, codenamed Andromeda, the company has also been working with Intel and other OEMs to be ready for the next few years of experimentation. PC makers famously developed a range of 2-in-1 devices for Windows 8 more than five years ago, and we’re expecting to see a similar effort for dual-screen and foldable devices for Windows in the coming years.

Most of this work is related to Microsoft’s Composable Shell (C-Shell) and Windows Core OS, a more modular version of the existing Windows Shell that powers many parts of Windows 10 today. The first Windows 10 build (rs_shell_devices_foldables) designed for foldable devices was spotted earlier this week, revealing that Microsoft has a dedicated team working on adapting its Windows shell for this new hardware. This should come as no surprise to many Windows watchers, as Microsoft has been gradually integrating more of its dual-screen work into early Windows 10 builds in recent months.

We’ve only seen Microsoft’s secretive Windows Core OS work appear on devices like the Surface Hub 2 so far, but hardware like HoloLens 2 should also start to reveal more of how this new modular Windows push will play out. Dual-screen and foldable devices won’t be limited to Intel, either. Expect to see a range of devices from PC makers that include ARM-powered chips.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2

Microsoft will face tough competition in the dual-screen and foldables devices market, though. Google has already pledged to natively support foldables to limit fragmentation, and Android has the advantage of a mobile platform for devices that attempt to switch from a phone form factor into a tablet one. Foldable phones are already starting to appear, and 2019 is bound to see the beginning of a new battle to redefine phone, tablet, and laptop form factors.

Comments

Why don’t they make a foldable laptop, no wait, we’ve already have that for the last 30 years.

On a serious note, a foldable monitor with quick detatchable stand for portability would be interesting…

How about that ‘foldable monitor’ being an actual pc/tablet — fold it and there’s a dedicated screen on the backside for tablet use. How about the other side of the back has a keyboard. How about it just turning into a laptop folding the other way. How about that ‘detachable stand’ being an actual docking station. How about modular no-bezel µLED one day eliminating screen ‘bends’ in foldable display design. How about a Surface Book with all of that.

So something like this?

Can’t wait for them to have a promising idea, come out the gate strong, then half-ass the execution until they eventually give up on it cough Cortana cough Windows Mobile cough Microsoft Band

Excuse me

Same can be said for the Surface line and look where they are at now. They stopped improving those you mentioned for some reason, but things have changed. Reason why MS is the most valuable company now and like 70 billion more valuable than Apple as of today. Things have changed for the better and I think "Andromeda" will be a game-changer.

Amazon overtook Microsoft’s valuation a couple of weeks ago.

Innovations like alcantara on the laptop that gives it that oh so creepy dirty feeling like carpet in a shower

https://youtu.be/sbqgfPYhn6Q

Yes, the Surface line has stayed, but the line has gone from a pure slate mobile tablet to a traditional laptop. Basically everything new MS has tried has been beaten back and relegated to classic desktop/laptop Windows 7 era computing. There’s even talk of live tiles going away since no one is using them anymore. Its like the market and dev community doesn’t want them to do anything new. MS has been pigeonholed as a PC-era tech company and it looks like that’s where they will stay. (of course the real money is made in cloud services, which no one really sees)

Its a bummer because they made some cool stuff. No, it wasn’t all perfect and it wasn’t all for everyone, but neither was the competition. Windows Phone was great, the Band2 was very well done (except for that pesky plastic breaking, which could have been easily remedied). Groove Music was the best service available for playing your own content + a huge streaming library all mixed up in the same playlist.

Well cutting losses is normal in the industry. Google does the same thing with their apps.
Apple just releases a lot less products.

It’s hard to say that Siri has really got any better either.

You must not use Siri then.

You’re right. Siri is worse than he thought…

Why would I? It’s subpar and there are better products on the market.

I’m finding Shortcuts to be pretty awesome. Sure, it may not be as powerful as Android’s most robust 3rd party tools but it’s a good deal easier, built-in and more capable/reliable that the Google Assistant equivalent.

You should take care of that cough. Seems serious.

They haven’t given up on Cortana. They still add new integrations and commands to it. Plus they even released Surface Headphones recently which support Cortana.

This is gonna be good! Totally PUMPED!

Gimmick. Dead on arrival.

That’s what they said about the original Surface Pro…

I never bought a surface pro, did you?

What’s your point here? A lot of people do

The detachable Surface line is the most sold Surface and the revenue is over 1B a year so even if you don’t see them out in the wild too often, they ARE there, and people are buying them.

Yes, however I now use and prefer the Surface Book due to the dGPU.

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