Microsoft’s foldable Surface could be the reborn Courier
A category-defining Surface mobile device set to launch in 2018
Windows 10 Mobile is more or less dead, as the company publicly acknowledged that new features and hardware have not been planned for the future. But Microsoft is not giving up on Mobile. We have been reporting since February that Microsoft is working on a secret mobile device codenamed ‘Andromeda‘. This device will run full Windows 10 with OneCore and Composable Shell – one version of Windows that adapts in real time to the hardware, which in turn would allow Microsoft to create a new category of devices.
A new report by Windows Central throw more light on the Andromeda device. Sources familiar with the matter have told the website that Andromeda is a foldable tablet running Windows 10 with CShell. When folded, it resembles a traditional smartphone, and it will have cellular capabilities as well as Windows 10 Mobile will become one of the modules of “the new Windows 10”. It could actually replace your smartphone, but the real purpose of the device is to take notes and use it like a digital pocket notebook.
Microsoft was working on such a device back in 2009. The Courier was designed as a 7-inch tablet that folds like a book and can become a smartphone-like pocket device. Microsoft Courier never achieved more than being an early prototype as both the foldable screen technology and Windows as a software were not suitable for the Courier eight years ago. But with Windows 10 OneCore, Microsoft may reinvent its digital notebook as launch it next year under the Surface brand.
The prototype of the foldable Surface supports pen an inking, and even has a special app that mimics writing in a real notebook. It runs on a smartphone-class ARM processor, has Continuum built-in and maybe runs Win32 apps from the Microsoft Store via emulation. However, such a device won’t be marketed as a phone, and it won’t compete with Android and iOS phones in a battle that has already been lost.
According to the source, Microsoft Courier / Surface Note / Surface Journal, or whatever you call it, may launch sometime in 2018, if not gets pushed back or cancelled. Microsoft cancelled many innovative prototypes in the past, so until the device is officially announced, the foldable Surface is nothing more than imaginary future.