Even if Microsoft put aside its efforts with Windows 10 Mobile, it wouldn’t mean the company is avoiding mobile for good. While it’s clear Windows on smartphones is no longer a priority, it seems that Microsoft is hoping to create a new mobile device targeted at a new user category that places pen and digital inking in the center of the experience.
The Andromeda folding device
CShell and Windows Core OS, previously known as Andromeda, are two projects both related to Microsoft’s next rumored device. The Andromeda device is a prototype foldable tablet running Windows 10 built with CShell and Windows Core OS. The foldable device is designed to be placed in your pocket when it’s folded and rumors say it also can place calls, meaning it could replace your smartphone despite not being explicitly designed for it. In that way, it’s similar to the canceled Microsoft Courier, making it likely that Andromeda is a digital pocket notebook.
The device will feature a pen for digital inking, with prototypes opening up into a notebook app tied to OneNote with support for standard inking options via Windows Ink.
The notebook app is designed to mimic writing in a real notebook using virtual pages. It will also have a Start screen and menu bar along with the ability to run apps such as Edge or Photos.
Andromeda will probably run on ARM and will include the latest Snapdragon CPU. It will also be able to run true-UWP apps.
Microsoft is not building Andromeda for the average user and won’t be an iPhone or Android competitor. In this way, the company will try to create a new market for people who want this kind of device. It’s not so hard to imagine a digital journal aimed at schools and enterprises, is it?
As long as Microsoft doesn’t cancel these plans, its future mobile efforts sound incredibly exciting. Since Andromeda is expected to arrive in 2018, it’s possible that this mysterious foldable device also lands around the same date.
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