Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Puts the “Andromeda” Project in Standby and Starts Working on a Dual Display PC Known as “Centaurus”

By Claudiu Sima

When it comes to patents, Microsoft is looking like a company who is afraid to launch its product on the market. For a few years now we’re seeing a lot of patents for a foldable smartphone, but in spite of so many applications, MS didn’t launch a single product with this specific feature.

Whilst companies like Samsung, Huawei and LG are getting ready to unveil foldable devices as soon as next year. We’re still talking about Surface Phone / Andromeda, a device that still receives dozens of patents that describe even the small audio parts besides the foldable screen and the associated hinge, but no sign of a real device yet.

Today we find out that MS put the Andromeda project in standby to focus on another dual-screen PC, known internally as the Centaurus. According to WindowsCentral, Microsoft has been working on this device for more than a year, and the goal is to officially present it in the fall of 2019.

We’re dealing here with a device that adopts a new format, one with Windows 10 onboard using two displays for increased productivity. There are a few similarities to the “Courier” project in the MS archive and we find that Centaurus is running Windows Core OS, a modern version of Windows 10.

It is capable of running x86 applications and, depending on the content displayed, the device will adapt to needs users. Imagine a kind of ZTE Axon M device with even bigger displays, but also narrower edges probably. Still, knowing how things are with Microsoft, the chances of seeing Centaurus officially released next year are pretty small.

The post Microsoft Puts the “Andromeda” Project in Standby and Starts Working on a Dual Display PC Known as “Centaurus” appeared first on Tablet News.

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New Microsoft Surface Patent Shows Potential Redesign, Slimmer Keyboard

By Radu Iorga

We don’t only see Samsung patents these days, or Oppo or Huawei ones. Now Microsoft has a fresh Surface patent out, that hints at a potential redesign of the tablet. It pops up with a slimmer keyboard and more novelty below.

The patent was filed recently at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). It mentions a Surface Pro Type Cover redesign as well, making it slimmer. The trackpad could be integrated within the circuit board, according to the same documents. A new keyboard means that the device could be thinner overall and also completely redesigned.

The Verge is quoting unnamed people familiar with Microsoft’s plans, claiming that the future models will have USB Type-C ports, thinner screen bezels and a more rounded design, to mimic the Surface Go. Microsoft has been changing the Surface Keyboard constantly, so that’s not a big surprise. The idea was to improve typing and input, but changes were rather small, not groundbreaking.

We also expect new Surface Pen, Dial and other accessories, especially since Apple also an Apple Pencil 2 out already. You know what would be nice? A foldable keyboard of sorts, to test out the format.

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Microsoft Imagines a Dual Audio System for the Andromeda / Surface Phone Foldable Smartphone

By Claudiu Sima

Microsoft

Although Microsoft has denied all the rumors about the development of a foldable smartphone, the patents associated with such a device continue to appear online, confirming that the IT giant is planning such a product. Today, for example, we are discovering a new patent associated with Microsoft Andromeda / Surface Phone that reveals a kind of dual audio system.

This technology will allow users to adjust volume according to the type of content displayed in multitasking when the foldable screen is split into two. Thus, an example is the one in the right area where we play a game while on the right we have the audio player open. Here, the user will be able to choose a different volume level for each of the two activities.

There will be two onboard speakers that can be used separately for playing different audio materials or for stereo audio playback. Face recognition will also be used to make the volume adjust automatically based on the distance we are from the device or when we switch from one screen to another.

Apparently, the technology would also work when wireless headphones or headphones are connected, and another feature is to turn the mute mode on when the user’s face is not detected around.

Microsoft

The volume slider will also be present on screen software and the document indicates the ability to see power and volume buttons with haptic feedback. We don’t know, however, whether the technology will end up on Surface Phone a.k.a Andromeda and not even if this device will be launched in the near future.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Gets Durability Test: Hairline Fractures and Bending Happen in Front of Camera (Video)

By Radu Iorga

While still reeling from the traumatizing bend of the iPad Pro (2018) in the JerryRigEverything test, it’s time to see if the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is any better. The same YouTuber is on the case and this time he’s dealing with a bigger size device, dangerously close to a laptop. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s more resilient, though…

It all starts with a scratch test, with plastic scratching at level 3 and glass at level 5 or 6. It’s all Gorilla Glass action here, performing reasonably well with a level 6 pick, but at level 7 the pressure transfers to the LCD quite visibly. As the YouTuber finished the level 7 scratches, the screen panel got a hairline fracture from one corner to the other, so a screen protection could be useful.

Then we get to the usual cutter action, scratching all the sides, with a sound that could make you cringe. All the slots, ports, cameras and cutouts can take the abuse reasonably well, even though taking a cutter to your device isn’t exactly a good idea. As far as the flame test is concerned, the panel lasted 12 seconds under the heat and fully recovered, so that’s good.

The final test was the most important one, the bend test. The Surface Pro 6 flexes quite a bit, but it doesn’t cave to the pressure and still works. I can’t see a fatal damage, but the screen and body keep on keeping on. After a few more bends the screen panel pops out and cracks more from the level 7 scratches done above. Even with all this abuse, the device still works, which is admirable.

There are no flaws built into the weakest point, so thumbs up for the device, as it passed the bend test. The kickstand actually helped it a lot.

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Microsoft Gets a Patent for a Foldable Device Able to Capture High End 3D Audio

By Radu Iorga

The US Patent and Trademark Office awarded a new patent to Microsoft, one that has to do with a tablet able to capture and record 3D audio, plus play it. The experience is supposed to be superior to a set of over the ear headphones.

The idea of the device is to capture acoustics in an improved way during concerts, delivering a 3D and probably surround-enabled experience. This device will be a foldable phone/tablet and it’s expected to have a “camera that captures one or more face characteristics for customizing the binaural audio stream for a user”. Wintel has been confirmed to be working on a new generation of foldables, so Microsoft’s patent makes perfect sense.

Microsoft’s documents mention that binaural recording is a way of recording sounds using two microphones in a spaced arrangement, with the aim to create a 3D stereo sound sensation for the listener. The idea is to approximate the experience of being in the room with the artists or the instruments during their recording. This concept is called “dummy head recording” and it involves a mannequin head with a microphone in each of the ears and placed in the room with the instruments and performers to try and imitate the human listener experience.

The hinged device fits previous patents, with two screens and the ability to fold down the middle like a magazine or the Courier. To me this sounds like a niche device, that wouldn’t have too many units. It also sounds like something that Nokia would have done using the OZO tech, but that’s no longer Microsoft’s biz. We could end up with a sort of musical instrument or orchestral machine, which is clearly a niche product.

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