Surface Duo Hero 2020Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Microsoft has today provided an update on the status of the Android 11 update for Surface Duo V1. The company had initially stated that it intended to ship the update before the end of 2021, but that never happened. Now, Microsoft has issued a statement to Windows Central that explains why the update never arrived and when users can expect to see it begin rolling out.

The statement comes from Kimmo Lehtosalo, Senior Director of Program Management at Microsoft who provided the following:

We're finalizing the validation and certification for Android 11. We originally planned to deploy Android 11 as an update for Surface Duo in December, but we needed a few more weeks to ensure a great experience for Surface Duo customers. We expect to begin Android 11 rollout in the next few weeks, beginning with unlocked devices.

So, the good news is the Android 11 update for Surface Duo V1 will begin rolling out within the next few weeks. Original Surface Duo customers have been left without a major Android OS update for over a year, which has meant critical bug fixes and stability improvements haven't been delivered.

According to our own sources, the Android 11 update for Surface Duo V1 has been done for a handful of weeks, but never began rolling out due to the holiday break. Now that the holidays are over, Microsoft can resume preparing the update for rollout, pushing it through "validation and certification" with partners such as Google and AT&T.

Microsoft says the update will begin rolling out to unlocked Surface Duo devices in the next few weeks, meaning it may take a little longer for locked AT&T models to receive the update. The good news is that if history is anything to go by, it won't be more than a couple of weeks wait between unlocked and locked devices getting the update.

Hopefully we'll begin to see more updates roll out for Surface Duo 1 and 2 once Android 11 is shipping on both devices. We know the next update for Surface Duo 2 will include support for customizing the Surface Pen's shortcut buttons, as well as add support for Your Phone's "Apps" feature. Perhaps the Surface Duo 1 will get similar improvements in the next few months now that it will also be based on Android 11?

Microsoft's next major Android release is also now in development internally, and our sources say Microsoft has opted to skip Android 12 and jump straight to Android 12L for the next OS upgrade. This is good news for Duo users, as the Android 12L release has significant improvements for devices like Surface Duo and other foldable and dual-screen devices. Hopefully we'll hear more about that in the coming weeks.

For now, it's good to see Microsoft being more transparent with its customers about the whereabouts of the next major Android update for Surface Duo V1 customers. The wait is almost over.