Microsoft's Dual Display Surface Windows Core OS Device Rumored To Run Android Apps

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There have been rumors floating around of a dual-screen Surface device from Microsoft from well over a year. It's a rumor that just won't die, and even Surface chief Panos Panay has hinted at the possibility of the device with tweets and commentary on the form-factor.

Today, there's a new report claiming that a dual-screen Surface device is indeed on the way and that it will have dual 9-inch displays with a 4:3 aspect ratio (keeping in line with other Surface hardware). This information comes from Jeff Lin, who serves as the Associate Director of Consumer Electronics for HIS Markit.

According to Lin, the dual-screen Surface device, which has allegedly been developed under the codename Centaurus, will launch sometime during the first half of 2020. Given its dual-screen form-factor, this device won’t be running any garden variety version of Windows 10. It will instead run the lightweight Windows Core OS (WCOS), which has been specifically designed to accommodate dual displays.

Other features reportedly on tap are the adoption of 10nm Intel Lakefield SoCs along with on-the-go connectivity made possible by an onboard cellular modem. At this time, it’s not known if Microsoft will go with legacy 4G LTE connectivity or if it will include a new 5G modem from Qualcomm (or some other vendor).

Another critical feature reportedly on tap is the ability to run Android apps on the device. This is an interesting move by Microsoft, but not exactly surprising given how closely the company is becoming intertwined with the Google ecosystem with respect to apps and services. 

According to a separate report earlier this month, Microsoft has been showing off its dual-screen Surface hardware internally. It’s not known, however, how well the device has been received by Microsoft employees.

"We will invent and we will create when products are right," said Panay in 2018. "We can't bring new categories into the world and not be a place where customers need it."