Microsoft has dropped a very cryptic hint that its foldable ‘Andromeda' device is coming soon. With patents, industry sources, and more, it's been quite clear that the company is working on something, but we're yet to hear anything official.
The appearance of a new platform for the Microsoft Store is likely as close as we'll get, but it's definitely not clear-cut. Under availability, the app now shows a star and the numbers 8828080.
According to Windows Central, this could be a reference to the Andromeda OS. The number has appeared recently as a target platform and corresponds to Microsoft's corporate phone number.
As well as the Store itself, apps from major third parties have surfaced, including Spotify, games, and more. It seems they're all working on apps for a new platform, and the chatter so far makes Andromeda the most likely.
The appearance now makes it feel much more likely that Microsoft is planning to bring it to market, but details are still sparse. Though the rumors say Andromeda is a foldable, 360-degree hinge-driven device, it's not clear what the software side of things will look like.
If the listing in the store is Andromeda, UWP would be one avenue, but the offerings there are limited. We still don't know if Microsoft plans to build in support for win32 apps.
Either way, Windows Central believes it will launch late next year. The foldable nature will make it great for notetaking and on the fly switching between phone and tablet sizes.
However, its app support means it wouldn't replace the regular smartphone just yet. Neither UWP or Win32 have mobile-exclusives like Snapchat, which are essential for many. Instead, it would be a new category of mobile device, which is exactly what Nadella promised earlier in the year.