Rumour: Microsoft’s folding phone may still be on the way, but it wont run Windows



With actual real-life folding phones being announced, in some ways, Microsoft’s own folding phone has never been both nearer and further away.  The concept of a device that turns from a phone into a tablet is appearing on actual shelves in the next few weeks, but we are hearing increasing rumours that Microsoft’s Andromeda shell is largely shelved.

Weighing in on the issue is Steven Troughton-Smith, who is well known in the old iPhone hacking community.  He notes on Twitter that Andromeda is a legacy product tied to Windows Mobile and is no longer in the conversation:

Similarly, the WC’s Zac Bowden is also suggesting that Andromeda is on the back burner, but also suggests that the hardware may still ship running the new Lite OS.

According to Zac Bowden Lite OS is not Windows, saying;

Windows Lite isn’t a lesser version of Windows; it’s an entirely new OS experience designed for lightweight computing. It probably won’t even be called Windows because of this.

In his podcast today, Brad Sams notes:

“It does get rid of Live Tiles, flat accent colors are mostly gone. Windows Lite looks familiar… but it does not explicitly recall Windows. Think about Chrome OS, and how you would make it a Microsoft look. It’s pretty close.”

We have heard, via ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, that the OS will nevertheless run Windows software, possibly in containers. On the other hand, we have also heard that Lite OS will have a heavy emphasis on web apps, similar to Chromebooks.

I suspect Microsoft may have been too ambitious with Andromeda and decided to start over with a stripped-back OS instead. As is often the case, Microsoft’s hardware chops may have exceeded its software capabilities.

While Lite OS may be brand new, Microsoft’s dual-screened Andromeda hardware is now starting to appear dated when actual in-market devices will have proper flexible screens. Should Microsoft still bother? Let us know below.


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