New Leak Offers Details About Microsoft’s Folding Pocket Computer, ‘Andromeda’

A leaked Microsoft document bolsters long-running speculation that the company will introduce a folding, pocket-friendly device may join the company’s Surface line. The device, according to current plans, would be roughly palm-sized when folded, include a full-width screen covering a center hinge, and could be controlled by a stylus.

The new document was obtained by The Verge. Details of the project, known internally as Andromeda, have surfaced previously both in leaks and in possibly-related patents. A designer has even produced unofficial 3-D mockups based on those details, which according to The Verge closely resemble Microsoft’s own prototypes.

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But the new document adds more detail to Microsoft’s overall vision for the product. According to The Verge, Microsoft describes Andromeda as “a new pocketable Surface device form factor that brings together innovative new hardware and software experiences to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience.” Strategically, Microsoft reportedly views the device as a rebound from the failure of Windows Phone, aimed at blurring “the lines between mobile and stationary computing,” and creating a “new and disruptive” hardware category.

As gorgeous as the speculative mockups look, potential applications for this sort of device aren’t quite instantly compelling — even focusing on sheer portability, it might compete with the big phones so many power users already carry. Intel recently demonstrated a similar folding concept known as Tiger Rapids, showing it used for handwritten note-taking, then converted into a mini-laptop with a touchscreen keyboard. The latter might be a tough sell for serious users, since most touchscreen keyboards are, well, kind of terrible.

The tech news site Thurrott, whose reporter seems to have viewed part of the same document earlier this month, emphasizes that none of these plans are certain. Microsoft has canceled other projects within weeks of planned launches, and Andromeda was reportedly largely spearheaded by Terry Myerson, who was in charge of Windows and devices before leaving the company earlier this year. That increases the chance that all of these rumors could come to nothing.

Microsoft has declined to comment about Andromeda so far, but Fortune has reached out to the company and will update with any response.

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