It sounds like Microsoft's vision for a folding Surface device with 2 screens could be dead. Here's what the prototypes are rumoured to look like

David Breyer

It sounds like the future of Microsoft’s long-rumoured “Andromeda” Surface device is up in the air.

A Microsoft device codenamed Andromeda, designed to be some sort of folding productivity tablet, has been floating around the internet for some time. Interest in the folding hardware was rekindled recently after a report from The Verge said it could be a “pocketable” Surface device, and that existing prototypes are said to look nearly identical to renders created by designer David Breyer.

Alas, we shouldn’t be expecting an Andromeda device any time soon, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. The Andromeda device’s operating system was rumoured to be included in an upcoming update for Windows 10, but Foley said that is no longer the case, which casts major doubt on the Andromeda device’s viability any time soon.

The renders portray a beautiful and intriguing device with interesting potential. It also wasn’t exactly clear what it was meant to be. It looks like a smartphone, but it wasn’t designed to be one, according to reports, although it was said to support “telephony,” which could mean any data or internet-based calling system like Skype.

As Foley mentions, Microsoft never mentioned Andromeda to the public, and it sounds like Microsoft is still deciding whether to take the idea to market. At the very least, a 2018 reveal seems firmly out of the question.

Check out the renders that are supposedly identical to prototypes of Microsoft’s rumoured Andromeda Surface device:

Microsoft’s “Andromeda” was supposedly a folding, pocketable device.

David Breyer/Twitter/@D_Breyer

Rather than a smartphone, Andromeda was said to be some kind of smartphone companion that could do a lot more. It sounds interesting, but carrying around a second device in addition to your smartphone isn’t that appealing.

And it was said to support a stylus, much like Microsoft’s Surface laptops and hybrids.

David Breyer

It could have had a 360-degree hinge that would let you pitch the phone like a tent and have the display facing opposite directions.

David Breyer

A 360-hinge would also have allowed it to be folded flat in both the open and closed position.

David Breyer/Twitter/@D_Breyer

Laying it out flat would have given it tablet-style functionality.

David Breyer/Twitter/@D_Breyer

Or it could be configured into a miniature laptop.

YouTube/PHConcepts/David Breyer

The Andromeda device was said to run on the ARM architecture – a low-power yet efficient chip design that’s capable of basic computer tasks. It was also rumoured to only run apps from the Microsoft Store.

In theory, the inner screen could wrap around the hinged part of the device, which would give you a display strip to show you notifications.

David Breyer/Twitter/@D_Breyer

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