Microsoft's post-Windows Phone vision leaked

Microsoft's post-Windows Phone vision leaked

While Microsoft's ambitions for Windows Phone are well and truly dead by now, there was a time when the company was planning a sequel to the ill-fated mobile operating system. Microsoft's Surface Duo smartphones feature dual screens and come with a series of Microsoft mobile apps and a custom version of Google's Android operating system, as Microsoft has pretty much given up on making an operating system for Windows-based smartphone.

But a few years ago, the company was working on a version of Windows 10 Mobile designed for dual-screen smartphones. The Andromeda OS codename was dropped when Microsoft gave up on Windows Mobile. But last year, Windows Central released a report detailing how the operating system allegedly performed, based on leaked information. Now Windows Central has a lot more information thanks to a leak of the Andromeda OS version itself.

This build was designed to test the operating system on the Microsoft Lumia 950, one of the latest smartphones to ship with Windows 10 Mobile software. Although it is a smartphone with only one screen, it was allegedly the smartphone that Microsoft used to test Andromeda OS, so the company released builds of the operating system for the smartphone.

La vision de Microsoft pour l’après Windows Phone fait l’objet d’une fuite

That said, the project was canceled before it was even finished, so the software isn't completely smooth. Rather than show off a fully polished operating system that was never released, WindowsCentral released photos and a hands-on video that hint at what we might have seen had Microsoft continued down this path.

One thing that is clear is that Microsoft was pushing pen and handwriting features. For example, you can start taking notes directly from the lock screen by resting the stylus on the screen — you don't even need to unlock your smartphone in the past. There is also a "Journal" function which runs constantly in the background and allows you to take notes at any time.

What of the past

The operating system retains a Windows 10 Mobile-style user interface that includes a tiled Start menu, a quick settings panel, and a Settings app. But gesture navigation is also supported: when viewing an app in full screen, you can swipe from the left side of the screen to bring up the Start menu or from the right side to bring up notifications and Cortana. Swiping down from the top of the screen brings up the Control Center.

Some of those ideas eventually carried over into the Android-based Surface Duo or Windows 11. But overall, Windows Central's report is a time capsule of an operating system that will never see the light of day. . While there's no chance of this project being revived for future Microsoft hardware, there's always the possibility that certain features could make it to the Surface Duo. Even then, it's probably best enjoyed as a relic rather than something that could inform Microsoft's future efforts, however disappointing that might be for those who miss Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.