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Report: Microsoft’s next dual-screen Surface may be able to run Android apps

While the next Microsoft Surface is still very much under wraps, the new dual-screen could potentially come with the ability to run Android apps natively.

A report from market research firm IHS Markit told Forbes (via The Verge) that the next Microsoft Surface will come sporting a dual-screen, with two 9-inch displays and a 4:3 aspect ratio.

The device is codenamed Centauris and will reportedly run Android apps thanks to Microsoft’s brand new Windows Core OS that allows developers to build custom Windows operating systems for their devices.

Windows Core OS is not for everyday users. It is for device manufacturers and developers to build custom Windows operating systems for their devices. This platform is “modular”, meaning that a version of Windows can be tailored to a device’s needs. To make a proprietary Windows operating system, you would have to inject proprietary binary-blobs and software into the source code.

Windows Core OS will no doubt help Microsoft create much more lightweight versions of its core OS and help the company tackle the massive growth of Chrome OS devices such as Chromebooks. As for a release date, we are told that Centaurus could hit the market during the first quarter of 2020.

By adding Android app support out of the box, you would hope that it would help any eventual Surface follow-up to gain a further footing in the market, especially as the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X have faltered in recent months. The biggest downside to this endeavour is the lack of Google Play Services access, which puts Microsoft in a similar situation to Huawei — should they lose all access to Android indefinitely.

That means that Microsoft will have to build its own Android app store for this Windows. They will also have to convince developers to modify their applications to work without Google Play Services access. You could argue that it would be much easier for Microsoft to convince developers to do so than Huawei.

IHS Markit has also claimed that this dual-screen Surface will adopt 10nm processors courtesy of Intel and even will include LTE or 5G connectivity. That would most definitely put this potential product squarely in competition with any delayed 2019 foldable devices like the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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