Microsoft’s critically-acclaimed Surface brand is set to receive as many as three new additions this year. If reports and rumors prove true, 2019 might very well be the year when Microsoft would finally unveil a device that would allow it to re-enter the mobile market — the highly-elusive, near-mythical Surface Phone.
According to a Forbes report, three new Surface devices are expected to be launched by Microsoft within the next 12 months. The first of these is the Surface “Libra,” a portable device that is designed to take on the lower-end market. According to reports, Libra will be equipped with a USB-C connector instead of Microsoft’s proprietary Surface connector and would be taking on devices such as Apple’s iPad and Google’s Chromebooks. A keyboard cover is also rumored for the device.
Apart from Libra, Microsoft is also expected to unveil its next-generation Surface Pro machine, codenamed “Carmel.” While Microsoft has dropped the numbers from its flagship hybrid line, the current-generation device could be considered the Surface Pro 5. With this in mind, the tentatively-named Surface Pro 6 is expected to feature major bumps in specs, including Intel’s latest-generation processors and faster LTE capabilities.
Perhaps the most highly-anticipated device in Microsoft’s upcoming offerings is the Surface “Andromeda,” a portable device designed to be used as a handheld and as a full productivity machine. Andromeda has been making its rounds in the rumor mill for years as the near-mythical Surface Phone, and so far, Microsoft has been incredibly tight-lipped about the device. This year, however, with the device’s patents being published and with work on its operating system seemingly underway, the Redmond-based tech giant finally seems ready to unveil the device.
According to Thurrott, an authority in the tech industry, internal documents from Microsoft indicated that Andromeda, or the Surface Phone, is set for release sometime in 2018. Based on Microsoft’s documentation, the Surface Phone would be a pocketable device that would be versatile enough to engage a wide variety of users.
Perhaps its most attractive feature is its rumored capability to support full-fledged Windows apps. With this capability in Andromeda’s repertoire, Microsoft is attempting to ensure that its device becomes the handset of choice for individuals who value portability and true productivity.
With this in mind, Andromeda could very well be Microsoft’s most important device in years. If the tech giant designs and markets the device correctly, Microsoft could make an entirely new product category, similar to how Samsung kickstarted the phablet industry with the first Galaxy Note. If not, Andromeda might end up just like Microsoft’s Lumia devices — great, but largely forgotten.