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Leak reveals Andromeda OS Microsoft’s canceled on a Lumia 950

Microsoft was operating on a “portable” private device used by the Windows OS before the company switched to Android with its Surface Duo. Codenamed Andromeda OS, this device appears in the emails, copyrights, reports, and all the links to the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Now, Windows Central has received the first test version of Andromeda OS running on Lumia 950 to show how close Microsoft is to launching a modern replacement for Windows Phone.

Andromeda OS
Image Credit: Windows Central

Although Andromeda OS is never designed for use with the Lumia 950, some Microsoft engineers use these devices to test parts of the operating system. As is common in the development of secret devices in many technology companies, not all engineers have access to dual-screen prototype hardware, but they still had to work on OS components.

“Windows Central” Hand for Andromeda OS shows the original version of what would have been Windows Phone dual-screen platforms. The lock screen is clearly inspired by Windows Phone, with Cortana in charge of notifications. The main difference is the ability of the lock screen to act as a large canvas to take notes. No need to launch a separate notes app – just start writing.

Even the home screen was another piece of ink, something Microsoft called the Journal. This digital notebook supports ink, sticky notes, photos, and 3D objects and was always readily available.

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Elsewhere, there is support for early touch that has clearly led to what was eventually sent via the Android-powered Surface Duo. Most of the first Andromeda OS UI look like part of a Surface Duo post or Windows 11 entry.

Still, it is interesting to look back on what could have been. Microsoft eventually canceled the Andromeda and Andromeda OS applications in order to harvest the same hardware that Android-enabled. The software maker also worked on Surface Neo, a large dual-screen device powered by Windows 10X. That project ended with the cancellation of Windows 10X last year, and it looks like Windows 11 will lead the way for any devices from OEMs that are trying to bring a compact hardware with a dual screen to life.

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