Microsoft won’t say if Surface Duo is getting any more Android OS releases

Surface Duo
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft won't say if it plans to deliver any more major versions of Android for Surface Duo users.
  • Development on new features for Surface Duo was halted late last year as resources were pulled to other projects.
  • Now, the company won't say if the device has been discontinued. 

If you’ve been holding out hope that Microsoft was gearing up to ship a big update for Surface Duo at some point this year, I think it might be time to let that boat sail. The company has seemingly gone radio silent on all things Surface Duo, providing “nothing to share” responses to any questions asked about the product.

This week, I asked Microsoft if the company had discontinued Surface Duo 2, and a company spokesperson said it had nothing to share. My own internal sources say that the Surface Duo 2 has been discontinued, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering it’s a smartphone coming up on two years old, and makes no financial sense to restock.

It’s important to note that discontinued doesn’t mean unsupported, though it certainly feels that way. Existing Surface Duo 2 customers will continue to get monthly security updates between now and October 2024, but whether or not the company plans to deliver any more major Android OS versions is another question entirely.

In fact, I also asked Microsoft if it was planning to deliver any more major versions of the Android OS for Surface Duo customers. This would have been a chance for Microsoft to reassure existing users that they hadn’t been abandoned, but the company decided to issue yet another “nothing to share” comment.

My sources say that a majority of the Surface Duo OS team has been moved to work on Teams Rooms on Android, which has been a big focus for the Android Microsoft Platform & Experiences team (AMPX) this year. As a result, I’m told that as of a few months ago, there were no plans to deliver Android 13 for Surface Duo.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Now, while it's possible that the team could 'circle back' to Surface Duo at some point, I think it's unlikely. Before active development on Surface Duo OS stopped, the company was working on a handful of new features that would have shipped on top of Android 12L.

These new features included a new Windows 365-powered Continuum mode, which would let you log in to a Cloud PC when plugging the Surface Duo into an external display. Microsoft also had plans to deliver AI-based camera eye-correction at some point, as well as inking on the lock screen for quick notetaking.

Development on all these features has stopped, showing no signs of movement for months now. This all points towards a product that has been abandoned, similar to how Microsoft treated Windows 10 Mobile in its final years. Sure, it was still 'supported,' but there was no active development taking place.

I would love to be wrong about this, but I think Microsoft is done with Surface Duo. I reported at the beginning of the year that the Surface team had scrapped plans for a dual-screen Surface Duo 3 and had instead pivoted over to working on a true foldable phone instead. It's my understanding that if this thing ever ships, it won't be a 'Duo' product.

Users on Reddit have reported that Microsoft is now issuing refunds to Surface Duo owners who have been trying to get their devices exchanged under warranty. This is because Microsoft is all out of Surface Duo replacement units in most regions and would seemingly rather refund you than fix it.

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 and Threads

  • Iamdumbguy
    Why would you even ask this? They're done with Android phones, on to the next boondoggle.
  • GraniteStateColin
    So sad. Still my favorite phone currently available. No other phone provides a form factor I like, now that I'm accustomed to the Duo.

    I hope someone, even if not MS, comes out with a 360 degree folding phone with a wider (16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio) when folded to single screen mode. I love many features on Samsung phones including the better Windows Link integration, but can't stand their pencil thin vertical screens. TOO NARROW!

    The 360 degree fold is needed to put the screens on the outside. I don't want the added thickness of an extra external display (a terrible hack of a solution). I also don't feel that I can go back to living without Tent mode or without the ability to wrap the phone around my hand for stability (the Duo is effectively undroppable in single-screen mode, if folded around your hand).

    The fact that the Duo had 2 screens instead of 1 folding screen was almost never an issue. A single foldable screen would have been even better (for a few games or video watching where a larger single screen would be nice), but I would gladly settle for 2 screens and a 360 degree fold over 1 that only folds out to 180 degrees.

    The Duo's biggest problems for me were:

    1. Missing Qi charging. This was a daily annoyance for me.
    2. The update to Android 12 broke a few apps that never recovered, including The Weather Channel and the Pulsar music app. Neither of these works properly on Duo since Android 12 (you can't swipe up to minimize or multitask as other apps do, just locks up the whole screen). Overall, because of those bugs, which will probably never be fixed now, I preferred Android 11.
  • Diego Rico
    I made the decision a few weeks to sell my Surface Duo 2 on Ebay. It ended up going for slightly less than $1K, but better to jump ship now while it still had a reasonable resale value.
  • bleached
    This was obvious from the start, they didn't sell anywhere near enough to care about supporting them.

    Haven't been to this site in a while, since it became so terrible, and it has done nothing but get worse. Endless loop of bad ads and blocking normal use of a back button. Terrible.
  • gergh34
    I was just looking at the fold 5 and Pixel fold, neither seem to offer a trade in for a Duo. Samsung will give £150 off "any" android phone which isn't great!

    Has anyone found a decent trade in for Duos?
  • Diego Rico
    gergh34 said:
    I was just looking at the fold 5 and Pixel fold, neither seem to offer a trade in for a Duo. Samsung will give £150 off "any" android phone which isn't great!

    Has anyone found a decent trade in for Duos?
    Your best bet is to sell it on Ebay.
  • Steelvictory7
    Unless you've lived under a rock on another planet for the last 15 years or so, this shouldn't surprise you. If you purchased a Surface Duo or Duo 2 and are feeling like you're being left for dead, then shame on you. Microsoft doesn't need to say anything, their pattern of conduct historically speaks volumes. I've purchased both the Duo and Duo 2 with the mindset that MSFT could very well leave that experiment in the dirt. I use my Duo 2 as my daily driver and am completely fine with it. It's an amazing piece of hardware with software functionality that satisfies my daily requirements.

    The larger question is what is Microsoft's end game with Duo and Duo 2? They pulled some of the Duo team to help with the Microsoft/Android project, which one could ask why. Maybe Microsoft realized that when they shipped both Duo and Duo 2, it was the software that was the biggest issues. If you're going to release another variant of the Duo, wouldn't it be worth the extra emphasis on ensuring the software which isn't your native software, runs as smoothly as possible? Also, why even have an Android/Microsoft division if you're not invested in the operation of some duality between a Microsoft Device running Android software? What other devices are made by Microsoft and run Android? I think the Duo was a test bed for an even bigger endeavor, and those who owned one were the test subjects.

    I fully expect to see Android running on a device manufactured by Microsoft in the future. Will it be the newest rendition of the Duo lineup, like a single screen folding device that functions like a dual screened device like the Pixel Fold, or will it be something more like what the Surface Neo was designed to be? We won't know until Microsoft provides some information. What I'm pretty confident about is they are pretty invested in integration with Android, and that's not changing anytime soon.
  • negative1ne
    i just switched over to surface duo, and it works well enough.
    i hate android, but thats the price to pay.

    i don't care if they drop support for it. as long as the 4g networks
    are up for the next decade, i'm good.

    switching over from a lumia 650 windows 10 phone.
    (and previously a windows 7.5 phone)

    || | | || | |
    ne gative1
  • naddy69
    It’s been bloody obvious that this thing has been abandoned for months now.

    By saying “nothing to share”, MS is - in fact - saying that it is dead.
  • naddy69
    negative1ne said:
    i hate android, but thats the price to pay.

    Yeah, I hated Android too. 7 years ago when I gave up on Windows phones. I put up with Android for 2 years, a Samsung Galaxy S6 and then an S7 Edge.

    Then I moved on to an iPhone. Today, I no longer hate my phone.

    Exactly what price are you paying? Life is too short put up with something that you hate using.