Leak offers a glimpse of Microsoft’s canceled Andromeda OS for dual-screen devices

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 21, 2022
Updated 2022/01/21 at 5:58 PM

Prior to Microsoft, the company spent several years working on an operating system codenamed Andromeda. It was designed as a Windows Phone reboot with a . The company worked on the software until it finally decided to include Android in the Surface Duo. So far, we’ve only seen glimpses of Andromeda in things like filing patents. But Windows Central recently obtained an internal build of the operating system and installed it in a .

A rare sight of an unfinished project aside, what’s interesting about seeing Andromeda after all these years is how many of the ideas Microsoft was working on made their way to the Surface Duo or the apps the company has released since. On the lock screen, for example, you can see an early version of . In the meantime, many of the features you see on the “Journal” home screen ended up on the company’s Whiteboard app, and this is something you can download from .

At the same time, it’s an interesting look at what could have been. Even in the software’s unfinished state, there’s a lot we see in the video that is genuinely different from anything Android and iOS offer, even today. The fact that Andromeda lets you take notes right on the lock screen and that they’re still there the next time you unlock your phone is something that seems genuinely useful.

Of course, there are probably many good reasons why Microsoft decided not to pursue Andromeda. Launching a device that does something different, let alone a completely new operating system, is no easy feat in a mature market. Unless a device does almost everything right, it’s hard to get over the fact that most people tend to stick with products they know and feel comfortable with.

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