Microsoft Is Giving Chromium A Dual-Screen Emulator

It was expected but nonetheless disappointing that Microsoft has decided to delay not just the Surface Neo but the dual-screen flavor of its upcoming Windows 10X. It hasn't however, completely given up hope on the dual-screen promise even as it focuses on a single-screen Windows 10X first. Not only is the Surface Duo reportedly still on schedule, whatever that schedule may be, the company is now pushing an emulation mode in Chromium that will let web app developers test their software not just for Microsoft's dual-screen devices but even for something like the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Microsoft revealed its Surface Duo and Surface Neo early to generate hype among developers and users as well as give them time to prepare for that future. Without even test devices, however, developers are left to try and guess how to best support something that has yet to exist. Fortunately, Microsoft has thought of that as well and released SDK and emulators for the Android-based Surface Duo and the delayed Windows 10X-based Surface Neo.

Now it's apparently doing something similar but is casting its net wider. WindowsLatest discovered a source code change to Chromium, the open source project on which Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and a whole host of browsers are based on. The proposed change adds dual-screen support to the browser, practically allowing developers to modify and test their apps to work on two or half screens.

The emulation adds a black bar that represents a hinge, something that is inescapable on the Surface Duo as well as something like the LG V60 ThinQ and its Dual Screen case. The "hinge", however, is optional and the view can be made to span both halves of the screen or just one half.

What's rather interesting with Microsoft's move is that it isn't keeping that emulation mode for itself or its devices. By targeting Chromium, it is making sure that developers will have access to the tools they need to support Microsoft's future devices as well as others that play that dual-screen game. Whether it gets accepted into Chromium, however, is still unknown at this point.