2019 could very well wind up being the year of the foldable device. As we prepare for the first foldable smartphones to arrive, Microsoft is reportedly gearing up for big investments in foldable and dual-screen Windows devices. This includes not only foldable hardware of its own and from OEM partners, but also a push to make Windows compatible with those devices.
Rumors that claim Microsoft is pursing foldable tech aren’t really anything new. Andromeda, which is said to be a foldable Surface device, has been popping up from time to time since 2017, and though the initial expectation was that Microsoft would reveal that device in 2018, the year came and went without anything official.
Now The Verge reports that Microsoft has been working on preparing Windows for an incoming surge of foldable hardware. Sources familiar with the company’s plans told The Verge today that Microsoft’s work centers around Windows Core OS and C-Shell to give OEMs a modular Windows they can use in their foldable devices. That, in turn, should allow OEMs more flexibility in how they implement the OS without deviating too much from the core Windows experience.
When the time comes, we’ll see hardware from Microsoft, Intel, and other OEMs that weren’t revealed in today’s report. Essentially, it sounds like Microsoft is planning on foldable devices to make as big a splash as the 2-in-1 notebooks that started appearing several years ago. 2-in-1 notebooks still seem to be going strong, so that should give some idea about Microsoft’s level of investment and interest in foldable devices.
Whether or not this Windows-based foldable and dual-screen hardware will release this year is unknown, but with Samsung set to fully reveal its foldable smartphone next month, you can bet there will be at least some interest in getting devices to market from other hardware manufacturers. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, so stay tuned for more.
Image source: David Breyer