Surface Phone

Microsoft’s long-rumoured foldable Andromeda (also referred to as Surface Phone) is launching later this year but it appears that it won’t have Polaris (CShell) version 2 or support for Win32 applications initially. A new report also claims that Microsoft’s ultimate mobile device could launch as soon as this year, and it will be powered by Windows Core OS with Andromeda Shell.

While Andromeda CShell is mobile-focused, Polaris is a CShell for desktop that would run on top of the Windows Core OS to deliver the best experience on large screen size devices. Polaris is reportedly arriving next year, while Windows Core OS with Andromeda will be unveiled later this year. Microsoft is designing Windows Core OS for desktop without the legacy Windows elements and applications, in other words, the operating system will be limited to Microsoft Store, just like Windows 10 OS but in a much better way. Polaris will compete with Chromebook as the devices powered by Polaris Shell will be lightweight, secure and faster than the traditional Windows 10 laptops. While Polaris won’t support Win32 applications natively, Microsoft is exploring new ways to emulate the legacy applications to fill the app gap.

Microsoft is also working on adding support for Polaris to the foldable mobile device, and this will make the foldable device, even more, advance, lightweight and faster without Win32 legacy codes. If the new report is believed to be true, when Microsoft will announce the foldable phone, it won’t support the Polaris version 2. However, the support for Polaris version 2 will be added in the next update stated to arrive in 2019.

It’s also worth noting that Polaris version 2 will support Win32 applications through virtualization, the power consuming applications could run with its full efficiency, all because of cloud power. However, the foldable phone will ship with an early version of Polaris that will lack virtualization support for Win32 programs. The foldable phone will be updated in 2019 with support for virtualization, but until then the device will be locked to Microsoft Store applications.

RAIL (Remote Application Interface Layer) and VAIL (Virtualized Application Interface Layer) will add support for the Win32 applications in Polaris version 2. Microsoft needs more time to get RAIL and VAIL work flawlessly in Windows 10 operating system with Polaris. Everything’s still in the rumour stage but it’s likely that the foldable Windows 10 might see the daylight in 2018. The foldable device is also likely to the long-promised Microsoft’s ultimate mobile device which will offer a number of features, from portability to productivity.

  • arun

    I believe most people have misunderstood what Polaris is. Polaris does not strip Windows 10 off Win32. It is merely the desktop implementation of CoreOS. It has win32 subsystem, though as a loadable component. There are no ‘polaris apps’. Also the expectation of Andromeda running win32 apps is unrealistic, although they may run via the centennial bridge most likely when connected to an external display.

    Finally, the foldable device is likely a small tablet, not a smartphone.

    • Tengo Gachechiladze

      it’s both Tablet and Smartphone

      • arun

        If it is both it becomes a calling tablet and the market for such tablets is quite small.

        • Ashish Awasthi

          I think you have an excellent point here.

        • JAC

          Nonetheless, a phablet market exists.

          • arun

            A phablet (in popular terms) is nothing but a large sized phone and this term is getting obsolete as most high end phones today are large sized.

            Although I do agree that an actual phablet should be a calling tablet.

  • Ashish Awasthi

    But at the end of the day it would be abandoned and the handful of people who get the hold of that brick would justify their extravaganza by transforming into mindless “fan boys” only later would accept their defeat.
    I know that’s a negative jargon by me but I still can’t believe what I was thinking piling up windows pricey flagships including 1520 and 950 on my desk only regret the it later. The updates are only worsening the situation and I am in a dire need of battery replacement. No MICROSOFT for me.

  • Minesh Patel

    If available, I will ditch my surface pro 3, and will opt for foldable surface phone for its portability.