Microsoft is allegedly going to launch a small dual-display Surface device in the first half of 2020. The foldable PC would be powered by a special Intel chip and will be capable of running Android apps.
Don't expect this gadget to be a phone. The new Surface will likely be positioned for productivity.
According to a report in Forbes that cites tech industry market research firm analyst IHS Markit, the new Surface device will not use a foldable display but two 9-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio screens.
The rumors of a foldable dual-screen Microsoft Surface has been coming and going for a while. The latest was in 2018, when Windows Central’s Zac Bowden claimed that the Redmond company had been working with Intel on this type of Surface device code-named Centaurus.
The rumors then were similar to this: a dual-screen foldable Surface tablet with a new Intel processor developed specifically for the device. The Centaurus rumor claimed that the device would run Microsoft’s Windows Core OS along with a Win32 legacy stack to run pre-packaged software for this platform from the Microsoft Store.
New to that report is the ability of this Surface device to run Android apps — which has been an elusive target before. Huawei is trying to achieve that feat for its own OS.
The device would also have a user experience designed to adjust to this morphing design, changing its interface according to the mode you are using. In laptop mode, one of the screens would use one of the screens as keyboard and trackpad — like the Lenovo Yoga Book C930. In tablet mode, the device would act as one screen, similar to the legendary (but unreleased) Microsoft Courier.
Microsoft seems to have been investing heavily into this new form factor, filing patents on hinges to make two displays work as one rather than using flexible screens like the delayed Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X.
The new report is also related to another rumor published in a book by tech journalist Brad Sams about Project Andromeda, a foldable two-screen device that would allegedly take the role of a Surface phone once Microsoft manages to get all major Windows apps to have a mobile form factor form.