By now, it's quite clear Microsoft is working on a foldable device. We've seen various patents for hinges, leaked images, multi-page code references, and apparent industry sources. Amidst all that noise, it's difficult to work out what ‘Surface Andromeda' will actually look like, but hints in a new APIs may give some clarity.
Renowned Twitter investigator WalkingCat has noticed references to hinges, and they come with six modes. Under Windows.System.Preview.HingeState, it mentions closed, concave, flat, convex, and full.
The references remind us of a Windows Phone patent we saw in June 2017 that had similar modes. The API makes further hints at ‘TwoPanelHingedDevicePreviewReading' and different postures.
Panos Panay Teases Further
This suggests Microsoft is in serious testing mode for at least one foldable, though the addition of ‘preview' is definitely worth noting.
Importantly, it also lines up with a Tweet from Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay. The executive is definitely teasing something, referencing LG Display with an image of two photos in a hinged wooden housing.
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) 28 June 2018
It's worth noting that previous reports suggest LG will begin mass-production of foldable displays for Apple, Google, and Microsoft. However, it could easily be Panay playing on the rumor mill with a well-timed joke, so take it with a grain of salt.
Either way, reports outline a strong year for Surface, with the unannounced Andromeda and Libra slated for 2018. There's also the possibility of a Surface Pro 6, code-named Carmel, which is said to be in development.
Ultimately, we'll be surprised if Microsoft doesn't release some kind of foldable, but it's better to hold off than have a repeat of the Courier. With Samsung, Apple, and Google apparently working on foldable screen devices, it may be hard to get out ahead.