After months of rumor making the rounds of the tech world, Microsoft finally acknowledged that there was existence of the Surface Neo , which is the company’s two-screened foldable laptop that has been talked about a lot in the industry in recent times.
Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, said at an event in New York on Wednesday that the company is in still in the process of finalizing the product and will be available for the market by the next holiday season.
Even though Microsoft is most widely known for development of its very well known software packages and programs such as Windows and Office, the company has also been intermittently developing and making computer hardware by itself since the 1980s. In fact the United States based global company generated a little less than 5 per cent of its total revenues from the sale of devices in the most recent fiscal year, which came in at $6.1 billion and was 19 per cent more than the revenues generated from the same account in the same period a year ago.
A number of computer making companies such as Dell, HP and Lenovo have been inspired by the Surface brand of Microsoft since 2012. The brand develops and offers arrange of hardware products ranging from the little Surface Go to the more complex and elaborate Surface Studio desktop. However, those products from Microsoft as well as a the inspired hardware form other companies have not become an instant and universal hit like the iPhone from Apple.
The new device from Microsoft has a hinge that is able to rotate a complete 360-degree along with a chip form Intel top power it and a USB-C port. Other features of the new device includes supporting hardware and software for a stylus as well as a keyboard can be folded over half of one of the displays. A virtual trackpad can also be displayed.
The global tech industry has been abuzz since December last year with rumors of the two-screened device which is now known as the Centaurus. A prototype of the product was reportedly shown by the company to its employees in May.
However, the urge and the intent to develop these type of devices have been present in Microsoft for quite some time. The first rumors of a similar device – a folding device with the codename Andromeda, started to float around in the tech industry in 2017. Rumors had it that the Andromeda was a little smaller in size in comparison to the Centaurus.
“After struggling to find a serious use case, and the fact that their previous mobile hardware had absorbed $10 billion …, the device went into the vault, for now,” Brad Sams wrote in his 2018 book “Beneath A Surface.”
A device with 7-inch dual screens that used the codename Courier was being worked on by the engineers at Microsoft in the late 2000s. That device also reportedly had a unique pen- and touch-oriented interface. Microsoft however reportedly abandoned the project in 2010. According to a report from CNET, that decision was taken because the project was very far from its more important products such as Office and Windows.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)