Microsoft dual-screen folding device shown in latest patent

Hinged device has two screens and a pop-up button.

A new Microsoft patent filing shows a twin-screen folding 'hinged device' about the size of a smartphone.

While the patent is mostly concerned with the hinge that connects the two screens on the device, it's further evidence that Microsoft is still interested in new form factors for its hardware.

Most recently it has been claimed that Microsoft is working on a larger dual-screen device called Centaurus, which may be part of its strategy to take on Chromebooks. There have also been persistent rumours that Microsoft has looked at a smaller foldable device called Andromeda, although it is not clear whether this is ever likely to appear.

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Microsoft's patent features this device.

Image: United States Patent and Trademark Office

The latest folding device patent from Microsoft has a few intriguing features like a pop-up feature which allows the user to open the screen with a button on the outside.

This 'user controllable lock' can be used to open the device enough to read a message displayed on the edge of the screen - the patent uses the example 'Meet you at 5pm' and then close the device again, or open it further if they want to respond to the message or carry out another action.

The patent notes that the closed device can be very compact and carried in the user's pocket. As with all patents, this latest one doesn't mean that a device is likely to reach the market any time soon, but at least it means that, for those who like the idea of a Microsoft device that can fit in their pocket, there is still hope.

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