Microsoft's folding Surface, code-named Andromeda, may be in jeopardy

Perhaps the handheld Surface device won't come out this year after all.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

Andromeda was rumored to be Microsoft's folding Surface-branded device.

David Breyer

We've heard whispers about a secret Microsoft project called Andromeda -- a handheld foldable Surface-branded device that blurred the lines between phone, tablet and PC. Although previous rumors claimed that Andromeda was coming out this year, reports are now saying the Andromeda project has been put on hold indefinitely.

The updates come from known Microsoft reporters Tom Warren and Mary Jo Foley, who both say that Andromeda won't come out this year and that Microsoft has gone back to the drawing board. With both reporters independently reaching the same conclusion, it seems pretty likely that the fate Andromeda is up in the air.

Warren previously reported on Andromeda in detail, and claims to have seen internal Microsoft documents about the device. Now he's saying that the Andromeda OS isn't ready and it's "definitely not coming in 2018."

Meanwhile, Foley cites a recent Microsoft executive shake-up as the potential reason for Andromeda's death. Her sources say Microsoft officials were deciding whether or not to include bits of the Andromeda OS in the next  Windows 10  feature release, but ultimately decided against it.

By taking Andromeda out of the next Windows 10 release, Microsoft may be suggesting that dual-screen devices aren't quite ready yet. Had Andromeda arrived this year it could've led the new wave of dual-screen laptops.

And due to Andromeda's handheld nature, it could've been among the first folding phones and tablets. While we've seen plenty of patents and heard rumors about folding devices, they haven't really hit the market yet (besides the wacky ZTE Axon M).

Now that the word is out that Andromeda is on hold, Microsoft fans have put together a Change.org petition to show their interest in the device. As of right now it has over 700 signatures.

Microsoft declined to comment.