The myth of Andromeda, it seems, will not rest among the Microsoft faithful. Months after the fabled device was purported to have been shelved by Microsoft due to issues with the OS components necessary to make it a reality, new information has resurrected the rumours of its return.
Language packs obtained by Aggiornamenti Lumia from the Microsoft Store were found to contain references to the alleged foldable phone, alongside elaborations of the capabilities of the device. There are various references to 'Andromeda' and 'AndromedaOS' in both the names and contents of said files.
A file pertaining to calling behaviour refers to the ability to flip the device over to send an automatic message asking the caller to text. In another document are references to the Andromeda Composer Control, referring to the various states the device could be in, such as if one of the two screens is off. It seems Microsoft was also toying with support for external screens on the device to further augment its multitasking credentials.
The folks at Aggiornamenti Lumia seem to, as far as we can tell, believe that not only are these files proof that the project hasn't been cancelled but also that Microsoft is releasing the first 'public tests' (as per Google Translate) of Andromeda.
Many questions do remain regarding the fate of the so-called Surface Phone, however. For one, part of the suggested reasoning behind the alleged cancellation of the whole project was Microsoft execs' ambiguity as to where the new form factor would fit in the current tech landscape. There haven't been any developments in the months since that would affect this variable.
There is also the possibility that the language packs found are simply remnants of previous work done by Microsoft engineers that simply slipped through the cracks, and that the project is, for all purposes, still shuttered.
On the other hand, soon after the initial reports eulogising Andromeda, a follow-up report by Thurott.com's Brad Sams suggested it was still being worked on by Microsoft, and that the company's tight-lipped demeanour was simply a result of its apprehension about not tarnishing the Surface brand with a half-baked product.
Regardless of the truth of the matter, one thing we do know is that many parts of Core OS have been behind schedule, and the company is said to have even pushed back marquee products like the Surface Hub 2 as a result. Thus, the only thing we can be sure of at this point is that even if the Surface Phone is still alive somewhere in Microsoft's labs, it is unlikely to see the light of day for quite a while.