A new patent filed by Microsoft hints that the highly-rumored Surface Phone will have a hardware-based laptop mode.
According to U.S. patent application US20180059735, the upcoming device, if it ever sees the light of day, will be pen-enabled and will have dual-screen. It will have the capabilities of that of a cellular phone. Based on the patent's images and descriptions, tech experts assume it will also have a laptop mode that will run on "Project Andromeda." This is an upcoming version of the Windows 10 that changes the user interface depending on device design and capabilities.
The new photos also show that one side of the dual-screen can be used as a virtual keyboard. Just like an actual laptop, one side of the screen will be used for visual purposes, while the other one will be used to import data, an important feature for when the device is used in more official purposes.
This recent patent supports previous reports and rumors about the Surface Phone. What is a bit different though is the "determinative hinge assembly," which apart from allowing the device to lay flat and create one large display, also lets it stand on a certain angle. This makes it seem that the device's hardware will have a laptop mode.
The previous patent applied for a "live hinge" that seamlessly connects the two screens and makes them appear like one whole device when connected side-by-side.
It was also earlier reported that the Surface Phone will be able to run desktop applications like a computer and will act like an always-on extension of the Windows 10 operating system.
Despite the number of patents applied by Microsoft in recent months, however, it should be noted that many patents never really come to life for various reasons.
In case the Surface Phone really makes it to production though, this will revolutionize the battle in the competitive mobile industry, where recent releases have been leaning toward the bezel-less design. This will put Microsoft on a league of its own in the mobile game.