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Surface Duo will receive OS and security updates for three years

Surface Duo Press Hero 2hands
Surface Duo Press Hero 2hands (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The Surface Duo will receive security and OS updates for three years.
  • The Google Pixel and several Samsung flagships have a similar update cycle.
  • Some manufacturers don't commit to three years of updates for Android devices.

Microsoft's Surface Duo will receive both security and OS updates for three years. Microsoft stated its commitment to updating the Surface Duo for three years to Android Authority. Microsoft had already committed to updating the Surface Duo regularly with both OS updates and security updates but hadn't specified how long the device would receive support.

Microsoft stated to Android Authority that the Surface Duo "Will be supported with OS and security updates for three years."

Microsoft's three-year commitment to updates for the Surface Duo lines up with the Google Pixel, and several flagship devices from Samsung (which was just announced), including the Galaxy S10, S20, Note 10, and Note 20. Many Android devices only get two years of support, by comparison.

The Surface Duo starts at $1,400, so people would likely be upset if Microsoft didn't commit to updates for several years. Some companies only ship security updates for three years, with less support for major OS updates.

Microsoft Surface Duo

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

57 Comments
  • It's a shame that a device from that price tag, for a company that cares for planet and one of the biggest companies in the world, only support the device for three years. Imagine if you buy this device in the next year and have two years left for support? In this matter, Apple is far ahead of Microsoft.
  • Ah I made the same point as you... You make an excellent point... The price should decrease pro rata bit it won't... Once the security updates finish you can just throw it in the bin...
  • That's just the OS level and at least it starts with Android 10. I'm pretty sure things like Microsoft Launcher and those Microsoft 365 apps which have their own Play Store listings will get their own updates beyond 3 years. What features are you looking forward to for Android 14?
  • The apps will be updated later than this. My concern is the support for device itself. What about security updates? It is not even a matter of new features. I've a Motorola Moto Z2 Play and my last security update was in September 2019. I bought it in February 2018. My hope was that, with an Android phone developed by Microsoft, for the "innovation" around it, it could has changed this downside of Android. If you have an iPhone 6S, the device is fully update. It has been launched in September 2015. The device is not attractive for the ordinary user. For the enterprise user... maybe.
  • A little fact check, while Apple does provide longer support, the iPhone 6/6s is not fully supported in iOS13 nor will it be in iOS14.
  • From what I've heard, the major reason why companies commit around 3 years is because Qualcomm doesn't provide long-term support the same way Apple does.
  • I've read it too. It's sad, of course. What about developing its own chipset?
    Maybe the life cycle could change in the next version.
  • That's what I hope happens to Android - it becomes less of an OS made by Google and distributed to other companies, and more of an OS that's contributed to by several companies, including Google. More companies making their own hardware could lead to much better experiences for everyone.
  • Gosh, that is soooo unfair of MS. How many years did they provide updates for the similar WindowsRT failures? Save money: buy a phone from a committed company and wait for the Neo.
  • I feel like you don't know much about Android phones. The average OS/security update commitment cycle is 2 years. Samsung only announced 3 years a week ago for select high-end phones.
  • "It's a shame that a device from that price tag, for a company that cares for planet and one of the biggest companies in the world, only support the device for three years."
    You do realize, on average, Android support only extends to 2 years. Three years was just announced by Samsung on August 6th, 2020 for specific flagships. In 2020, the average upgrade cycle for consumers for new phones is 2.8 years. No one in the Android space is doing 4 years. Yes, you may want longer update commitments, but in context, Microsoft is ahead of LG, OnePlus, Huawei, and the majority of Android devices. This is good news.
  • I caught your point. However, my wish is that, someday, Android devices could last longer with OS updates and fully support. But why the Android user couldn't use their phone up to 4 or 5 years with it is still working? I live in Brazil and, for anyone that I know, most people only change a phone just when it breaks. I thought that Microsoft, for the historic long-term support for Windows, could have done something different for Android.
  • Why is that Microsoft's critique? Address Qualcomm. If anything, 3 years is a point for Microsoft, not against it.
  • Why don't you compare it to Apple since that is what you always compare everything to. You guys love to compare surface to macbooks. How convenient this time around to just compare it to Android.
  • Apple controls their stack. It's literally apples to oranges at the engineering level. If you have a problem with the support, look at Qualcomm and unless you complain on every android central post on coverage of every other Android device, which you don't, Microsoft should be held it praise regarding this. . This is new for Samsung too. Microsoft is paying Qualcomm for extended support for the 855 chipset.
  • That's still a big shame. These devices don't just die after a few years, so why don't they get more updates? Why is 3 years above the status quo after 10+ years of smartphones?
  • Ask Qualcomm. You're asking the wrong people but Microsoft shouldn't be criticized for it
  • People have to add on the fact that Microsoft is already paying Qualcomm for an extended support period for the 855 chipset which is included in the $1400. Name another android oem supporting their devices for 3 years other than Android's 2nd top manufacturer, Samsung (and that's new for them) . Android's top manufacturer isn't even doing so.
  • Apple FTW... That is if you buy it on day one... Buy it in 6 months and you have 2.5 years support etc etc... Buyer beware...
  • Apple updates can screw the old iphones. Deactivates bluetooth, reduced battery life etc. They are not designed to last yrs. Designed obsolescence.
  • My 4 year old iphone 7 Plus disagrees with you. Still getting updates and everything works. Deactivates bluetooth? Since when?
  • Didn't apple just lose a court case for throttling devices down?? Lol
    Apple's "updates" have been well documented
  • The 5S was only unqualified for updates last year with iOS 13. It came with iOS 7. Until other phones get updates for 6 years the planned obsolescence argument is moot. Bluetooth deactivation was never thing. All batteries degrade, and what happened was not reduced battery life but throttling of the SoC to preserve the health of the battery and usage time of the phone, which decreased performance. Feel free to not like Apple but what you said is just false.
  • I just read that as we'll give it 3 years until Surface Duo V2 drops
  • I'll stick with my $120 Galaxy A10e, thanks though. LOL And it looks like two Microsoft Kin's with a hinge - I think most of the surface products look nice, overpriced, but nice looking. Not sure I understand this one though.
  • For a second there I thought you were talking about Apple..lol.
  • You're Galaxy A10e only gets 2 years of security/OS updates.
  • And in 2-3 years I can get a new one or even get a cheaper one. LOL Surface as a product line is usually pretty good but this doesn't really make sense even in enterprise. Corporations sometimes don't even upgrade people's phone for 4-5 years, usually when they can get their users free upgrades or $99 upgrades. Not sure what this product is suppose to be. (Don't take offense, I'm a debbie downer to any consumer or even mobile products Microsoft has, the surface lineup isn't bad, generally speaking, just over priced.) I'm assuming Microsoft really doesn't care if they sell many, just to probably try and show OEMs proof of concept.
  • I think you're overthinking this, tbh. I'll do a separate piece on this, but Panos has been very clear: Surface Duo is for Surface fans who live in the Microsoft ecosystem. Maybe in a few years, dual screens will expand to regular consumers. But that's not the expectation right now. It's nothing more than that. All of this 'Why would grandma or Jimmy buy this?" is really missing the point.
  • Oh I basically agree, test to see if there is a market... I just don't see a market for this in the the consumer or enterprise market. I guess I just don't get it, most of the places I do business with or for deploy iOS phones, the ones that need a bigger device like a tablet get a iPad or iPad Pro. I mean, if you;re going to do real windows works, you need a full display, you than either let them remote into their full desktop or provide a virtual desktop from their tablet. I just don't see what the two screens really do, I mean the added space is maybe equivalent to a little smaller screen than an iPad... but it just doesn't seem real useful being split up. Just my take, but I haven't physically touched it. I seriously doubt the enterprise customers is going to ditch iOS, it doesn't really eliminate anything. (we''ll see) Everyone wants to get rid of devices but this really doesn't solve anything.
  • Wrong. No company produces something for a small number of fans. There is only 1 goal in companies and that is profit.
  • That's true but when you have big corporations with lots of cash its not always about the short-term results. Basically, Nadella is moving his... if you're going to compete in a market already being dominated by someone else than you have to bring something new. I just don't think there is anything "new" about this, I mean functional new. Microsoft has lots of money to burn, that is basically what he is saying - see if there is a market.
  • No device has brought anything functionally new for years. Why criticize Microsoft for it but talking about corporations buying ios devices? That's biased af. It's about the totality of the experience. with the duo, Microsoft sets out to provide a very unique one within its ecosystem as Apple provides a unique one with its ecosystem. I'd argue these three (along with Samsung) are the ONLY ones who do so with their interoperability at their level.
  • May be only 2 years update, but it also only costs $120
  • Feels like that is about standard for Android phones, maybe a little better, but I feel like we should demand more longevity from devices. If Apple can support their phones with updates for 5+ years, there's no reason that Google or the Android OEMs couldn't do the same. These aren't little scrappy companies, after all.
  • The iPhones are built with Apples own processors so they have a lot more control while OEMs that are building phones that are running Android are subject to for the most part Qualcomm's standards. This is one reason why they have transitioned to building there own CPU's for devices running the MAC OS/OS X Operating System. They are one of the only real self-containing ecosystems that exist. They are the only manufacturer to build their products, using core hardware that they design. You can set whatever update parameters you want when you do that.
  • "Feels like that is about standard for Android phones"
    Actually, no! Two years is the average. Samsung only committed to three years literally a week ago, but only for some of its high-end phones. Up until now, only Pixel phones had 3-year commitments. LG, historically, has been one of the worst for updates. Motorola too.
  • That's pretty lame. My iPhone 7 Plus is still going strong 4 years and will still get the new update this fall.
  • This has always been the defining wall between Apple and Android phones, which, on average, only get two years of updates. For reference, according to Statista, the average upgrade cycle for smartphones by consumers in 2020 is 2.8 years.
  • Good point but I suspect that may increase substantially in the next few years. The only reason why I haven't updated is because costs have gone way up. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
  • My phone is stuck on Android 9. But it works just fine for its design. Apps update monthly, so not a big deal at all.
  • In retrospect none of these companies should be charging what they are for their high end phones, yet they are. Why, because people will pay for them. It's quite simple. It's business. What Microsoft is doing regarding support is pretty standard, at that would include all cumulative updates, security patches and everythiing else related to software updates. What I'm interested in is the inner details of how Microsoft and Google are going to working together to implement those patches. Could we expect all Mobile OS Android updates to hit this device the same time it hits others? I've already ordered this device and am anxiously awaiting to experience it...not for it to honestly overwhelm me now, but to allow me a glimpse into what might be two years from now when I'm looking to upgrade again, and expecting the next generation of the Duo to build off and learn from this one.
  • Microsoft doesn't even release their own software updates to their own hardware at the same time. Zero change they do that on Android.
  • iOS 14, due to be released later this year, will support the popular iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which was originally shipped on September 26, 2015. This means that Apple will support their phones up to 6 years or more. This is another reason to avoid Android phones, sorry (they're consumer unfriendly).
  • To that I say, install iOS 14 on an iPhone 6S and enjoy your experience... Yeah.
  • iPhone 7 Plus here and going strong. Planning to get the 12 this year as that would be a huge leap from the 7 for me.
  • A single-camera from 2012
    Horrible 3550mAh battery
    Missing any external screen
    SD 855
    Thick bezels
    Single mono speaker
    Regular 60hz screen
    Only 6g of RAM
    No WiFi 6
    No NFC
    No Wireless charging
    No 5G With these outdated specs, it shouldn't be priced over $800.
  • Not sure what any of that has to do with a three-year commitment for updates.
  • John. We get it, you've copied/pasted this a few times. Please don't get in the habit of this or I'll be forced to start deleting what would be spam. It's not for you, we get it. You're not buying it. Why not use your time and energy to talk about things you can afford/do want instead and be positive? This is off topic to the article here as we're talking OS updates.
  • #1 is only telling the truth. That's not spam. It's people like you that take away our liberties little by little.
  • This is all I hear from all the antagonists of this device. I get it, and I too wish it had a couple more features and higher end specs for the camera and processor (camera more so than processor). But people, not to be a Microsoft fan boy, have you asked how in the world did they get that tech inside that miniscule frame that has that weight and worth feeling? The thing looks thinner folded than the Fold 2 open (yes 2nd gen device). Even C-Net gushed over the build and feel of the device, and those dudes are almost anti-Microsoft. I'm impressed with the build, and the fact that this is a new approach to mobile computing and communication development. The Duo shows dual interface coordination for a single app. Super efficient in what is also a phone. The Fold 2 basically switches to the tablet version of an app when opened. The Duo's approach allows developers to create separate interfaces working in tandem to offer extremely user friendly app experiences - on something that fits in your pocket. If they can continue on this path, it will be what Panos is selling - a new approach to mobile devices. Oh yeah, I understand also it's not for everyone (where you fall in).
  • What is the problem people are having with this announcement? They are "committing" to 3 years. That doesn't mean or read that they are limited to 3 years. This is a vote of confidence for the device in case buyers are wondering/worried about a device dud. Stop lying about Apple's unending support. I'm surrounded by iPhone and iPad users that have older devices that have iOS issues, and they consistently release devices that use unsupported functionality for older devices. I'm with Rubino, this is a good thing, and shows me that Surface devices are truly entering, not testing, the mobile atmosphere.
  • to those that keep complaining....STFU! this is a proof of concept version one model to show where mobile communications and mobile production can head. three years is more than enough time for OS & Security updates. People are constantly changing along with their Surrounding and The Idea with this product it to show interest in form and function and the improvements for version 2. If you dont like the product or are not interested in its design, look elsewhere and keep your opinion to yourself instead of tearing down a new product.
  • for that ridiculous price, microsoft should really be providing updates for 10 years ...
  • I literally just bought a Surface Laptop 3 and a refurb Surface Pro 6, for $1700. Two computers. Two very capable computers. For slightly more than the phone. The price is absurd.
  • Microsoft always keeps its commitments to consumers.
  • I remember that Microsoft said to be committed to Windows Phone and then just killed it... It did the same with other products... Maybe its commitment is not worth... For sure I'll not buy this device...