Microsoft Drops Support for the Original Surface Duo

Pappi Hex

Microsoft has officially pulled the plug on support for the original Surface Duo, marking the end of the road for its first-generation dual-screen smartphone. This decision means that those loyal to this unique device will no longer receive software and firmware updates, officially closing this chapter.

Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo back on October 2, 2019, at a special event, alongside another ill-fated creation, the Surface Neo. In contrast to the larger Neo and its now-defunct Windows 10X operating system, the Surface Duo ran on Android 10, making it the lone non-Windows-based member of the Surface family.

Also Read: Windows 11 Isn't Even Out Yet But PC Users Are Already Furious Over The Design

However, it wasn't the software that distinguished the Surface Duo in a positive light. The smartphone sported an incredibly slim design, boasting robust hinges, impeccable build quality, and two generous OLED displays. Interestingly, its slender profile had an unintended consequence: the USB-C port was so snugly fitted that it led to reports of plastic material chipping around it.

Beneath its slender 5mm chassis lay a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, and storage options of either 128GB or 256GB, coupled with a split 3,577 mAh battery. The smartphone featured a solitary front-facing 11MP camera with an LED flash, which was widely panned as one of the worst cameras among modern smartphones in its price range (priced at $1,400 and above). What you couldn't find within the Surface Duo was 5G and NFC support, which contributed to its lukewarm reception.

However, the absence of 5G and NFC turned out to be the least of the smartphone's problems. Initially launched almost a year after the initial announcement, Microsoft delivered a well-crafted hardware product plagued by bugs. Although the situation somewhat improved over time, with Microsoft even releasing two Android upgrades, the monthly firmware updates for the Duo often suffered delays and left users disappointed, typically containing nothing more than Android security patches.

Also Read: How To Use Your USB Pen drive To Lock And Unlock Your Computer

Despite being a challenging recommendation for the average consumer, even with substantial discounts, the Surface Duo found its niche among enthusiasts. The WOA Project made it possible to replace Android with Windows 11, with most parts of the device functioning as expected. Additionally, an unofficial port of "clean" Android 13 emerged for those who preferred a mobile OS on their mobile device.

The first-generation Surface Duo represented a bold attempt to disrupt the mobile market with something fresh and unconventional following the decline of Windows Phone (though not forgotten). In 2021, the second-generation Surface Duo aimed to refine the formula with faster OLED displays, an improved chassis, significantly enhanced cameras, snappier hardware, and more. Nevertheless, the software aspect continued to be lackluster at best.

Now, four years after the initial announcement, the Surface Duo (get it?) is nearly impossible to find. There are rumors suggesting that Microsoft has ceased production of the Surface Duo 2. Furthermore, customers shouldn't hold their breath for further platform upgrades. According to a recent report, Microsoft has reassigned most of the Duo team to other projects, with no plans in sight to upgrade the smartphone to Android 13 or 14. The company is set to end support for the Surface Duo 2 on October 21, 2024.

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