Ask Windows Central: Will there be a Surface Duo 3?

Surface Duo 2 Paired Apps Security
Surface Duo 2 Paired Apps Security (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Welcome to the 10th episode of Ask Windows Central, a show where we answer our community's most asked questions around Microsoft, Windows, Surface, Xbox, and the general tech industry. In today's episode, we answer questions about Windows 11, Surface Duo, Your Phone, and more!

This week's episode features the following questions:

  • Do you see Microsoft launching a non-Surface branded PC line?
  • Will the original Surface Duo get Android 12L?
  • Which do you see as more useful: Android apps support in Windows 11 or the new "Apps" feature with Your Phone?
  • What are the chances of another OEM making a dual-screen Windows PC with a 10-inch screen size?
  • What features could Microsoft implement in Windows 11 to entice users to upgrade?
  • Will there be a Surface Duo 3?

If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show, be sure to submit them in the comments below, or email with "Ask Windows Central" in the subject line! You can also join the Windows Central Discord and ask questions in the dedicated #ask-wc channel.

If you're on Twitter, you can tweet your question with the #AskWindowsCentral tag included, and make sure you tag either @daniel_rubino or @zacbowden so we can see it.

If you have any feedback about the show format, please let us know. We're building this show around you, so if there's something you don't like or think we should change, we're all ears. We hope you enjoy the episode, and look forward to getting back to your questions in the next one.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Yes. and the short answer is Yes.
  • How will they justify selling a device that was poorly reviewed, had poor sales, and has no advantages compared to competitors? With Android 12L concentrating on making large screens better, especially for multitasking, what is the point of the Duo compared to the Galaxy Fold? In 2023 Duo 3 will be launching into Fold 5, safely assuming they will launch a Fold 4 this year. Competing is going to be near impossible in 2023, as the Fold will be more refined in two generations and it is already embarrassing the Duo in sales and acceptance. The only chance I think they have is on the budget side if they can fix all the other issues. Make Duo 3 a normal aspect ratio that folds flat so you can use it as a single screen device with zero compromises. The second screen is available when needed, but isn't a nuisance in normal day to day use. Cut the price in half. Pixel 6 is $599, Duo 3 shouldn't be much more. Adding a second screen and hinge isn't that pricey. Even after all that, why? What does pushing Google's operating system do for Microsoft? Do they just want to sell phones? That is why Duo will eventually die. It brings nothing for Microsoft.
  • Aaand there you are. Like clockwork.
  • Yep, kind of wonder what is the point of launching Surface Duo 3 this year or next. It’s lukewarm at best.
    Die hard SD fans will justify and defend the separate screen over folding, no cover display
    but only convince themselves and which there are too few. Microsoft could offer 2-3 skus of the Surface Duo/Trio line to satisfy different budgets and demands on top of the popular requested features. The elephant in the room is of course have Windows 11. Its very difficult to get Windows 11 running on the device and I believe them, but if there are multi-trillion dollar corporations that can do it, it is Microsoft.
  • Why do you people constantly harp on about an outer screen? Why do you feel it's so necessary to have? If you actually had a look around you and saw how many people have covers on their slab phones and, shock horror, had to open them to do something, you would realize how silly you sound bleating about the Duo having to be opened.
    As an actual Duo 2 owner I can tell you it is very satisfying closing the device after doing something. There is a finality to the task that you don't get from a normal slab phone without a cover.
    What works for you doesn't necessarily work for others and vice-versa. I love the engineering of the Samsung z fold but I don't like it as a user. I don't like the crease, I don't like the aspect ratio and I don't like the thickness. I love the dual screens of the Duo, just like I love the dual screen set up I have for my work computer. For me, multi-screen is better.
    One final point, I have far less missed swipes and actions on my Duo 2 than I have on my (new) work iPhone so your argument about better user experiences elsewhere doesn't hold for me.
  • So if as you stated something may work for some but not for other you have just answered your own question...
    And yes, I do own a Duo, I will skip the Duo 2 and wait to see what the 3 will deliver... if it will happen of course.
  • They said that because they will silently kill It instead of an official failure announcement. No Duo 3 is coming. This project will be scraped like Windows Phone.
  • While that could happen, as of now, Surface Duo 3 development is occurring and planned for next year. If they cancel it, we'll let you know. Someday, we'll share the reasoning behind these moves and it'll make sense in light of the reception for Duo 2.
  • what was the overall reception for Duo 2? Better than expected? Didn't meet expectations?
  • "the only chance they have I think is on the budget side"
    Nope. As much as you want a cheap phone, it ain't happening.
    The biggest chance is on the business side and I believe this is where it's heading.
    Consumers don't care about productivity. Those who do will see the value in the Duo line.
  • I don't care about cheap phones, but this isn't about me. Why will they spend $1500 for a Duo when the Fold is the same price and much more productive? Duo can only open two apps, Fold can do three. Fold can also open one document or drawing on a large display, something the Duo cannot do either. Productivity isn't the answer for Microsoft. They can only compete on price.
  • Unless you use the Duo, you won't understand.
    I bought the Duo because I thought it was cool.
    I had the Fold for 3 months or so.
    I sold the Fold and will never look back.
    I'll also never go back to a slab.
    Once you use the Duo for a while, it does become a productivity beast.
    That's just how it is, at least for me.
    I wouldn't take a Fold over the Duo if you paid me.
  • See, you think it is about you. The rest of the world sees that having a black bar down the middle of the screen is a negative, not a positive. In reality, you just see the logo on the back. If the Fold had a Microsoft logo, you would be saying the exact opposite and you know it.
  • Thinking Microsoft will cancel Duo because the Fold exist is ignorance. Listen to yourself.
  • But how will they compete with it? How will Duo 3 have any chance against Fold 5 unless they sell Duo really cheap?
  • Looking forward to the hardware and software advances. I traded in my Duo 1 for the Pixel 6 Pro (regrets) and just now picked up the Duo 2. I'll wait awhile until I have some concrete feedback, but yes a smaller or integrated camera bump would be nice, but not a deal breaker.
  • I still use the OG Duo, as a secondary device, and will definitely get the Duo 3, this year if Microsoft releases it, I'm hoping that with generation 3, Microsoft nails everything, Form factor, and software just like the Surface Pro computers.
  • Just as I did with all my Surface devices, I got the Gen 1 Duo, will skip the Gen2 and will buy the Gen3.
    My SD1 is still going strong and has been my daily driver for over a year now. I'm looking forward to what the 3rd generation will bring.
    As a business user, there's just no better phone than the Duo and i believe the "prosumer" segment is Agee this device will eventually make the biggest impact.
    I meet with business people all the time and have yet to come across anyone who wasn't impressed with the Duo. The only reason I didn't recommend is that the SW in Gen1 just wasn't stable enough for the average user. With 12L, I expect this to be fixed and this I when it expect it to find broader acceptance in the business segment.
  • Why didn't you use the Axon M? Wrong logo on the back?
  • No. It was too bulky, battery life was less than a full day and the aspect ratio wasn't appealing to me.
    Also, I work in Office 365, so something opfimized for that was a natural choice.
  • But you still had the productivity of two screens, something you couldn't get anywhere else back then. Maybe it was the logo on the back that was your real issue?
  • The aspect ratio is a big deal for use, though. It's why the Fold is a fantastic entertainment device, but doesn't work well for 2 app productivity. The niche(s) the 2 phones fit are consumer vs business Android phone.
  • I think I prefer the Your Phone approach too since it allows easy access to phone images and notes (which I believe are send locally over wifi and not necessarily over the Cloud in contrary to eg Onedrive?).
    Otoh the Android apps on W11 might be handy for games or other 'heavier' apps. Your Phone also could use some further tweaking, like app windows are now very tall (probably because of the phone's tall screen aspect ratio).
    I also wish MS will add the option to transfer multiple pictures at once instead of dragging them one by one.
  • Dan, I may be asking too much here but are you going to review the new case from Otterbox, that WS uploaded a article about recently? A phone case is very important, i just wanted to see if it makes device extremely clunky.
  • Here's a question: When will MS put LTE in any of their notebook-form computers? So far, LTE is only in 2-in-1 devices (Surface Pro and Go). In this age, with more people working away from protected WiFi's, the Surface Laptop Studio should CERTAINLY have LTE, and I'd love it in the Surface Laptop, which is an otherwise beautiful device in every way! ;-)
  • In Windows 11 will they bring back the super useful click on the clock and show your shared calendars and create a new appointment function?
    The drag to the right calendar widget is pathetically useless in comparison.
    I now have to resort to Outlook to see all my appointments.