Microsoft Surface Centaurus to launch in 2020 with potential Android app support

Microsoft Centaurus
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Let me make it clear. First of all, it’s not called the Microsoft Surface Centaurus. But since we have no official name for it yet, the codename “Centaurus” will have to do for now. Whatever the name, though, it’s a new type of surface PC from Microsoft and will get a release date sometime in the first half of 2020.

According to sources (Forbes), this new PC will feature not one, but two 9-inch displays – in the form of a book. Keep in mind these are two separate panels, unlike the Lenovo’s iteration of a foldable laptop. The display comes in at a 4:3 aspect ratio and will pack a 10nm Lakefield CPU from Intel.

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The Centaurus will run on ‘Windows Lite’ with native Android apps support. It’s basically a stripped down version of Windows and will seemingly compete with ChromeOS. This version of OS is based on the “Windows Core OS”, which is basically a more efficient version of Windows that targets smaller devices, mostly tablets. So, it won’t give you the full-fledged Windows experience, but it won’t gorge all that power either…

Intel Tiger Concept
Intel’s Tiger Concept; A dual display laptop

The Android App Support

A Windows device with Android sounds exciting, but this isn’t exactly a new concept. Google tried to push the Android PlayStore to their own ChromeOS a few years back, but fast forward to this day, it hasn’t panned out really well for them. ChromeOS is still nowhere near to competing with any of the major players out there.

For one, Microsoft’s reasoning to support Android Apps on their own tablets is awfully similar to Google’s. But if Google themselves failed to scrape out any success from it, I don’t see the silver lining for them, either. And that’s after they added touch support on multiple ChromeOS devices. So what chance does Microsoft have?

But then again, Google’s implementation wasn’t the best either. The apps were poorly optimized, not to mention buggy and that’s on Google’s own ChromeOS! Compared to them, iPads were far far better, and there was basically no comparing the two.

Play Store on Chrome OS

Just think of how many successful Android tablets are currently there in the market. Sure the whole industry has been a bit stale lately, and yet the iPads are still selling comparatively well. So, if the maker who has the most influence towards the play store could not do enough, what does Microsoft hope to achieve from this?

We don’t know yet, but I do have a theory. All of Google’s implementations were limited to tablet experience – think of it as a Windows laptop, but without the legacy features. If Microsoft can bring even a semi Windows experience with Android app support, that could light a match in this direction.

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And finally, Microsoft has a good relation with OEMs who manufacture hardware based on Windows. So companies like Dell, Lenovo, HP or Acer should come up with their own versions of this PC as well, a benefit Google didn’t have. Plus, it seems like even Bill Gates is all in with the idea, given his disappointment.