Microsoft may be stepping close to launching Surface devices with dual-screen technology, something the company has been working on for some time. The Verge reports Microsoft recently held an internal hardware showcase covering upcoming devices, including Surface dual-screen products.
It seems the focus of the event was a sizzle video focused on new Surface devices that will launch this year. Those products are likely to be a new Surface Pro and probably a new Surface Book.
However, the sizzle video also showed a prototype for Microsoft’s Surface dual-screen, which was also showcased in the flesh at the event. Of course, it’s no secret Microsoft has been working on its Surface dual-screen (codenamed Centaurus) for at least two years. Still, this is the first evidence of an actual device being built.
Interestingly, it seems Microsoft’s hardware ambitions won’t be focused on Andromeda, the company’s OS development for dual-screen devices. As we reported in April, Microsoft confirmed it is ending plans to develop Andromeda further.
Andromeda was the underpinning technology behind the rumored Surface Phone. One of the core selling points of Andromeda will be its ability to run a full Windows 10 desktop experience with Win32 app support. This would help Microsoft bridge the app gap it has faced on mobile before. Essentially, a user could download any app they wanted easily.
Microsoft’s plans for a Surface dual-screen device have changed during the development of said hardware. It was originally thought the company would develop a Surface Phone with a folding screen setup. Instead, a laptop is much more obvious and viable.
Upcoming Public Reveal?
Now that a prototype is known to exist, there is a change we will see the device launched soon. Any rumors of a rollout this year seem unlikely. However, when Microsoft launches new Surface hardware in the fall, don’t be surprised if the company at least showcases its plans for Centaurus and maybe even shows the device in action ahead of a 2020 launch.
Microsoft’s upcoming Project xCloud service was also showcased at the internal hands-on event. The cloud gaming platform will open up full Xbox One gaming capabilities across platforms and form factors. Microsoft is expected to fully detail xCloud at its E3 2019 briefing next week.