Microsoft reportedly releasing foldable Surface next year with 9-inch screens

Microsoft is reportedly planning to roll out a small, foldable Surface with a pair of 9-inch screens in the first half of next year, possibly as early as the first quarter.

IHS Markit’s Associate Director of Consumer Electronics Jeff Lin told Forbes about the upcoming device, citing “supply chain info.” Code-named Centaurus, the device was reputedly shown to some Microsoft employees earlier this month as a continuation of the shelved dual-screen Surface Phone concept that was known as Andromeda.

The foldable Surface, according to IHS Markit, will be powered by the long-rumored new version of Windows 10 named Windows Core OS, or WCOS, also known as Windows Lite, geared for a dual-display user interface. The device is also said to be launching with a 10nm Intel Lakefield processor, with an always-on connectivity function for LTE or 5G. It is also rumored to be capable of running Android apps and Apple’s iCloud service.

Windows Central’s Zac Bowden confirmed that Centaurus will feature two separate displays and an Intel processor, while highlighting the device’s capability for running Android apps. The feature is said to have been first considered for Andromeda, so it is possible that work on compatibility with Android apps from the canceled project continued into the Centaurus.

Bowden also confirmed that Centaurus will ship within the first half of 2020, citing his own sources. While the Forbes report did not mention when Microsoft will unveil the device, Bowden said that he has heard rumors of a possible announcement at a hardware event in October, possibly as a teaser or a full reveal alongside Windows Lite.

Centaurus will soon join a group of products that have so far struggled to draw interest in the market. The much ballyhooed release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold was delayed due to issues with the foldable screen, while the Huawei Mate X will not roll out until this fall.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will be able to capture a lion’s share of the foldable device market upon the launch of Centaurus — or whatever it ends up being called —  but it certainly has potential due to being one  of the first devices to be released boasting the Windows Lite OS.

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