What you need to know
- Microsoft has pulled the plug on the first-generation Surface Duo, stating on its support page that it will no longer ship new operating system updates or security patches for the device.
- Android 12L, which arrived for the dual-screen smartphone late last year, was the last major Android OS update for the Surface Duo.
- Surface Duo fans can still use their phones without any problems for now.
The original Surface Duo will be put out to pasture after picking up just two major Android OS updates since launch.
Microsoft unceremoniously announced on a support page that it ditched software support for the three-year-old smartphone on September 10, as spotted by Windows Central. As a result, the first-generation Surface Duo will be left to fend for itself, which means it will be a sitting duck for security risks and annoying bugs.
This comes as no surprise given that Microsoft previously announced that it would only release software updates to the device for three years after launch. The Surface Duo last received a major update in October of last year, when it was treated to Android 12L, a special version of Android for foldable phones and tablets.
Nonetheless, the Surface Duo will still work as it is, but it won't get any new features or bug fixes from Microsoft. Apps will still be updated by their developers, but the Surface Duo may be more vulnerable to security risks without the latest security patches.
Microsoft released the Surface Duo in 2020 for a whopping $1,400. It was a unique phone with two screens that could be folded together. The company marketed it as a productivity device where you could run two apps side-by-side for multitasking.
While the software giant promised to provide three years of support for the Surface Duo, the company didn't really deliver. There were very few smaller-scale updates over the years, and the major update to Android 11 was released way behind schedule. By the time it was rolled out, Android 12 was already out for other phones.
This lack of software support is a major letdown for Surface Duo owners, who paid a premium for a phone that was supposed to be a productivity powerhouse. Meanwhile, the more expensive Surface Duo 2 is set to bite the dust on October 21, 2024.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
That's why, despite loving my Surface Go (a laptop-tablet hybrid which I have both Windows and Android installed onto), I can't recommend the Surface smartphones. They're 1000 USD, and they only get security updates for three years from the phone's first release. Three years of security updates is not worth 1000 USD!Reply