Microsoft and Intel team up to shape the future of dual-screen laptops

(Image credit: Future)

A new report seems to indicate how serious Microsoft is about pushing forward with dual-screen laptops, claiming that the company has partnered up with Intel to develop common standards and shape the future for such devices.

This comes from DigiTimes, which claims that Microsoft and Intel have recently begun establishing standards for dual-screen notebooks, and these are standards which will also be extended to laptops with a foldable screen (in other words, just the one flexible display which folds in the middle using some kind of nifty under-screen hinge).

We have, of course, seen plenty of patents and concepts from Microsoft as well as other laptop manufacturers showing off potential devices along these lines. Indeed, Lenovo already has its ThinkPad X1 foldable tablet prototype, Dell’s roadmap indicates a dual-screen XPS machine coming next year, and of course we’ve been hearing lots about Microsoft’s Surface Centaurus dual-screen laptop.

However, we have to be somewhat wary about this DigiTimes report, as it isn’t always the most reliable source, and the article is rather short and sketchy on details – essentially providing nothing other than the above info. That said, it does make sense that Microsoft might want to hammer out some firm details in terms of standards that these machines should adhere to.

Furthermore, we’ve already heard that Microsoft is working with Intel on the aforementioned Surface Centaurus, so a broader partnership also makes sense.

Guessing games

As we’ve mentioned, the report doesn’t go as far as actually defining anything regarding what the allegedly incoming standards may be, but it’s easy enough to make a few guesses.

There may well be certain baseline performance requirements for the devices, with Intel’s input on the processor side, of course. And ensuring a smooth-running dual-screen experience could mean requirements concerning the way in which the two screens must fit together to provide a suitably seamless experience (vanishingly slim bezels or other methods may be used in this respect).

We’ve already seen a Microsoft patent for technology to ensure that the two screens don’t have any inconsistencies between them and are suitably uniform when displaying content. This would likely be a key consideration, given that if there were differences between the dual displays, they would stand out like a sore thumb when an image, app or web page is shown across both screens.

Moreover, Microsoft may want to stipulate a version of Windows that the devices should run – potentially Windows Lite – and we already know that the software giant has been looking into exactly how its OS should be presented over two screens.

Other requirements might possibly include stipulations for the quality of the touchscreen(s), which would also be a key aspect here.

Enough with the guessing, though – if there is truth behind this report, we will likely hear about these standards soon enough. Microsoft has a big Surface event coming up at the start of October, and who knows, we might just see Centaurus unveiled there.

Via MSPowerUser

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).