Microsoft Andromeda To Bring Unifying Desktop Shell To Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, HoloLens

NuAns Neo Smartphone
Microsoft is preparing to blast off to Andromeda. No, we’re not talking about Mass Effect: Andromeda, but the company’s efforts to overhaul the Windows 10 UI. Microsoft’s version of Andromeda (not to be confused with Google Andromeda) beefs up the desktop experience for OneCore (Windows 10) platforms such as Windows 10 Mobile and HoloLens.

There are a several parts that make up Andromeda, but as MSPowerUser describes, Windows 10 Mobile users stand to gain the most from the initiative. For example, the current Continuum desktop experience with Windows 10 Mobile represents a reasonable facsimile of the Windows 10 desktop when using an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. But Andromeda will bring multi-monitor support, a supercharged Action Center and a full-featured taskbar among other things.

Microsoft has for the most part killed off its Lumia line of Windows 10 Mobile smartphones and third-party OEM hardware support is not exactly robust. Microsoft is also sitting on sub-one percent market share in the global smartphone market. The very fact that Microsoft is still devoting considerable resources to Windows 10 Mobile leaves us hopeful that the company is looking to truly bring a revolutionary Surface Phone to the market at some time in the near future.

Windows 10

Andromeda itself is just one part of the new Composable Shell (CShell) architecture that Microsoft will release for Windows 10. CShell will allow Windows 10 to rescale the Windows Shell in real-time across all OneCore devices (i.e. Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, HoloLens). The ultimate expression of this will likely come with Windows 10 on ARM, which is expected to debut with production hardware this fall.

“The other benefit of an adaptable shell is that Microsoft will no longer have to maintain and update each individual shell separately,” wrote Windows Central last month. “The Composable Shell, being scalable across all kinds of Windows 10 devices, will be the same shell everywhere, meaning Microsoft won't need to worry about updating individual shell environments. Update once, deploy everywhere.”

Microsoft is expected to showcase Andromeda and the Composable Shell at BUILD 2017, which will take place in May.