Surface Phone image
Image Courtesy: PCMag.com

Microsoft has been making several major changes to Windows 10 operating system in Redstone 5, due in the fall. The company has also added back the phone-related API, which suggests that the Surface Andromeda (still-called Surface Phone by many) is still being developed.

The change in Windows 10 Redstone 5 build hints that there’s a future for phones capabilities in the next version of the operating system as well. The phone APIs are added back in Windows 10 build 17650, which is currently available only for users enrolled in the Windows Insider program.

Microsoft removed the phone-related APIs back in 2017 but the new Redstone 5 build comes with the phone-related APIs. It’s not really a big surprise as Microsoft has always removed and added back the APIs in the past. The removal of the APIs suggested that Microsoft no longer planned anything new on the phone, but the comeback made many people think that there’s a future for phone support in Windows 10 operating system.

Needless to say, it could be an indication that Microsoft isn’t done with mobile capabilities yet, and the company is reportedly working on a mobile type device called Surface Andromeda but still referred to as Surface Phone on the web. It is worth noting that the comeback of the phone-related APIs doesn’t mean that Microsoft is working on a new smartphone.

Microsoft might be testing the phone-related APIs for its Always Connected PCs. The company’s Always-Connected PCs are powered by Windows 10 on ARM with the aim to deliver unbeatable battery backup. While these devices are promoted as mobile-PC, the operating system powering the PCs doesn’t really support the phone capabilities regardless of the fact that these systems are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile processor.

In other words, Microsoft might be looking into ways to bring the phone capabilities to the Always Connected PCs with next version of Windows 10. The change also suggests that the Andromeda project is advancing and the phone capabilities would be ready when the next major Windows 10 feature update is available.

Microsoft’s Surface Andromeda is a long rumoured device, it could create a new form factor that may replace your laptop, tablet and smartphone. Windows Core OS could power the mobile device, though once again, this is just a rumour for the time being.

  • WPJ

    I kind of missed this one: so the always-connected PCs didn’t feature LTE connectivity? Not a single one?

    • WPJ

      So Ars reports that Windows had cellular data API for quite some time, it’s the _calls_ API that is present now.