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While we regularly write about the so-called Surface Phone, the prevailing sentiment is that the device dates back to a time when Microsoft was more bold, and is unlikely to reach the market under current management.
There is, however, plenty of evidence that Microsoft was as recently as last year actively working on such a device, going by all the patents published in 2016.
Now the WC reports that Microsoft is actually still continuing the work, and that the folding tablet is heading to the market in 2018.
The device will reportedly focus on pen and digital-ink functionality and function similar to the much vaunted Microsoft Courier.
The foldable tablet would still be able to make phone calls but will reportedly run Microsoft’s CShell adaptable Windows 10 user interface and Windows Core OS, rather than Windows 10 Mobile, and is code-named Andromeda.
Reportedly in lieu of a specific pen-based user interface like the Courier above, prototypes of the handset would launch in a special notebook app that is tied to OneNote. Like the Courier above it would mimic a real notebook with virtual pages, with the full power of Windows 10 (likely on ARM) still below.
Microsoft will reportedly also license out the design to other OEMs, in the same way, we have seen many Surface Pro clones over the last few years, with the first devices expected in 2018.
For an idea of what such a device could look at, see Ryan Smalley’s Surface Note concept here.
Source: The WC