Microsoft has been experimenting with its foldable hardware for quite some time. But a new report has now revealed the Redmond company is set to make foldable devices and dual-screen hardware a "big investment area" for both Windows and Surface verticals. To kick off the new development, Microsoft has been spotted testing a Windows 10 build dedicated to foldable devices. A dual-screen device with note-taking, tablet-style form factor is already rumoured to be in the works with codename Andromeda. However, Microsoft could push other OEMs towards the new hardware range as well.
The investment that currently seems to be in the pipeline from Microsoft mainly aims to adapting the Windows operating system to a foldable device form factor and push the development of apps towards foldable displays and devices with dual screens, reports The Verge, citing people familiar with the development.
One of the early devices that Microsoft is building to exemplify dual-screen hardware is the Courier-style, foldable note-taking tablet that's been codenamed Andromeda. This is speculated to hit the market sometime later this year.
Meanwhile, it is reported that Microsoft is working with Intel and other OEMs to make the market ready for foldable and dual-screen devices. The company just earlier this week also was spotted developing a new Windows 10 build that could be specifically designed for the foldable device form factor. The Windows 10 build (rs_shell_devices_foldables), as reported by Twitter account BuildFeed that tracks the latest Windows build releases, suggests some tweaks at the Windows Shell level to support the new hardware.
Besides making Windows operating system compatible for the new form factor, Microsoft is likely to move beyond Intel for building its foldable and dual-screen devices. The company could also bring support for ARM-based chips to push other OEMs to join the ongoing development. Last year, the company brought 'Always Connected' PCs from manufacturers such as Asus and HP to expand its footprint in the market of mobile devices.
That being said, Microsoft is likely to face tough competition from companies such as Samsung and LG that are also building their own foldable smartphones. Google is also notably tweaking Android specifically to support foldables. Moreover, Samsung and Huawei are expected to showcase their first foldable phones at MWC 2019 next month.