Report: Microsoft's foldable tablet to focus on note-taking, may be released in 2018


A lot of ink has been spilled in the topic of Microsoft's spectacular failure in the smartphone realm, though one would imagine such musings would stop now that Windows 10 Mobile is pretty much officially dead. And yet, there's that one rumor that has simply refused to die: the one about the foldable Surface device that's been in development seemingly forever.

But if a new report from Windows Central is to be believed, the reason as to why it persists is simple: Microsoft is actually working on such a prototype. Commonly referred to as "Andromeda" (though this doesn't appear to be its official title), the device is said to be a smartphone/tablet hybrid not unlike the brand-new ZTE Axon M.

But we already knew as much: Microsoft's numerous patent applications on the subject have been really helpful in showing the direction Microsoft would to take with such a device. But the new report sheds some light on Andromeda beyond just its form factor, and things sound pretty wild.

Even though the device is said to offer telephony capabilities, those won't actually be the focus of the user experience. Instead, Microsoft will strive to make the device something akin to a virtual notebook, with emphasis on digital inking. Some prototypes reportedly open up into a special note-taking app designed to look like a physical notebook, whose contents will be synced with the company's OneNote service.


Andromeda will likely be powered by an ARM processor (which is the architecture pretty much all smartphone processors use), but will run a version of Windows 10 on top of it. Which may sound problematic at first (because, you know, apps), but it seems Microsoft won't actually try to sell the device as a smartphone/tablet alternative at all.

Instead, the company will try to carve out a brand new niche of digital note-taking devices, something which its peculiar form factor will be quite well suited for. As such, there's a fair chance the target demographic will be the enterprise, schools, and such — markets where such a device may actually be a useful tool, instead of just a gimmick.

But it's worth mentioning that even if Microsoft actually has a bunch of Andromeda prototypes lying around, there's no guarantee any of them will become an actual product — after all, the company has been known to cancel innovative products before. But if it does, the internal timeline for such a release is said to be "sometime in 2018," which may or may not signal that the project is nearing its completion.

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9 Comments

1. zr2s10

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

Aaaaaaand.... It's canceled.

4. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And 3 years later we'll see leaks about prototype model of this device, and it's looks nothing like picture above

7. Peacetoall unregistered

Hahahaha so true

2. somegek

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 27, 2017

If this can replace the common notebook, it can be quite interesting. But then there comes the price, battery, weight, ability to use different pen, lifespan, etc, which makes the notebook still superior to such a thing in merely writing down stuff. They have to come up with something special to justifiy the extra problems

6. hemedans

Posts: 755; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

am worried about price, battery and weight wont be a problem if they use arm soc. if they use sd660 then someone like xiaomi will build cheaper device.

3. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Meh, my Surface Pro 2 and Note 8 have fulfilled all my Note-taking needs and wants. Only thing replacing them is either of the following: - Compelling future successors - An innovative Smartphone/Tablet PC that literally surpasses my Surface Pro 2 in performance, versatility, flexibility, connectivity and compatibility without compromise (i.e. a Surface Phone with full Windows 10 on ARM, reasonable selection of ports, and beyond 4th generation i5U + 8GBRAM performance)

8. rishav20193

Posts: 241; Member since: Jul 18, 2015

I think this will have windows 10 on arm, as the windows 10 mobile is on shelves.

5. KeyserSoze

Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

There's already tons of Microsoft foldable tablets on the market... they're called LAPTOPS! LOL!

9. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I use Windows smart phones and will use them until they break. I am in no hurry to buy other flagship smart phones right now. Since Microsoft itself will make no more Windows smart phones . US Window smart phone fans do indeed hope that Microsoft makes a single or dual screen Windows 10 Andromeda OS MINI Tablet that has a built in 4G cell phone. It will be Bigger than a regular smart phone but will have our favorite Windows interface Modern UI Tiles and all. the Windows 10 "Microsoft store" has thousands of apps and more are coming plus this device will be able to run some Desktop PC programs best run in it's Continuum mode to see the program on a bigger screen

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