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Surface Duo 2 to receive three years of software and security updates from Microsoft

Surface Duo 2 Hero
Surface Duo 2 Hero (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is "committed to providing three years of OS and security updates" for the Surface Duo 2.
  • Microsoft also committed to three years of updates for the original Surface Duo.
  • Many have been frustrated with the slow update cycle of the Surface Duo, including the fact that it still hasn't received Android 11.

Microsoft recently announced the Surface Duo 2. The company said that it is "committed to providing three years of OS and security updates" to the foldable device in a statement to Android Authority. Microsoft promised three years of software updates for the original Surface Duo as well. Despite that commitment, Microsoft's slow rollout of updates has led to frustration.

The Surface Duo 2 appears to be a major step forward over the original Surface Duo in terms of both internal specs and design. The Duo 2 runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It also has a triple-camera setup that should be much better than that of its predecessor. Microsoft's new foldable will likely need to show a step up in terms of software support to convince people to buy it.

The original Surface Duo earned mixed reviews due to its hardware and software. After one year with the device, our senior editor Zac Bowden said:

This device should have received multiple bug fix updates a month, but Microsoft has only shipped one update every month, and it's even had the cheek to stop shipping bug fixes for the last four months as it waits to ship Android 11. It's just unacceptable, and it's not helped by the fact that Microsoft refuses to talk to its customers about this.

Microsoft still hasn't shipped Android 11 to the original Surface Duo. That update is set to arrive before the end of 2021, just in time for Android 12 to roll out to other devices.

The Surface Duo is available for preorder now, starting at $1,500. You can also order it from several countries outside of the U.S. through Big Apple Buddy.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

47 Comments
  • Did the OG Duo really receive a year of support so far? mostly android security updates and a few tweaks to the launcher app, but what else? Regardless of the tweaks the launcher is gimped compared to other non Microsoft devices. and before the crowd says I have no clue. My wallet says otherwise
  • It has monthly OS fixes/patches/improvements plus security updates right up until June 2021 where it starting only receiving security patches. Thinking being that A11 was being finalized so further "fixing" A10 when it's all going to be undone for A11 is not a good use of resources. According to our sourcing, and confirmed by Microsoft, a lot of what MS had to do to get dual-screen support in A10 is not needed in A11 so coding needs to be stripped out. I'm curious if A11 drops on or around October 21 for Duo 1. I wouldn't be surprised if it does or doesn't. The current thinking is A11 to A12 is more smooth than A10 to A11 because much of the customization for Duo is been put into A code by Google.
  • Yep no meaning full support except fixing $hit they broke with previous "updates" for $hit they never had working right from the beginning. Oh, they did provide the security updates but... so des every other company. This is not the mobile device you are looking for, move along, move along.
  • Corporate minimum support.
  • You're right. This is not near good enough. I want, at the very least, five years of full OS updates. This past holiday I was able to upgrade my mother's iPhone 6S Plus to an iPhone 12 Mini on a no cost trade-in (30-month contract had to be signed though). The crazy thing was that the iPhone 6S was still getting OS updates. Yes, iPhone 6S Plus got iOS 15!
  • Guess what also is still getting updates....my Surface 3. When you're the manufacturer of the hardware and software is a lot easier. Name an Apple device that's running another OS? It's an independence that Apple enjoys. One of the biggest reasons they have transitioned to designing their own chips. The comparison and example is a little off base. Microsoft and Google has always had an amicable relationship at best, so is it realistic to expect a smooth process as if the Duo was running Windows?
    As for your wish list of five years of full OS updates, there's always Christmas..lol.
  • I still believe it is a mistake that Microsoft did not come out with two skus, one with the original camera and one with the bump.
  • Well technically that have. It's called the Duo 1 and Duo 2..lol. I know that's not what you were referencing, but it is accurate...lol.
  • Exactly has a SD1 daily driver and no other phone since last year I strongly welcome every change made to the SD2
  • Makes the Fold 3 better value for money then...
  • ... if you need what Fold 3 does. Not sure if you have handled Fold 3 or Duo 2, but Fold 3 is a brick in the pocket and that display still can dent/scratch easily compared to Duo 2's Invictus glass. Our Jez Corden is already complaining about that after one month with Fold 3. And let's be clear "value" here is relative and fleeting. Fold 3 will be mostly worthless in 3 years too, just like all high-end Android phones. Only iPhones hold value making the point kind of moot here.
  • I own both the Duo and Fold 3, I like both of them. I use my phones for business and as such would not use an unpatched phone and therefore the Fold presents better value for me. The Fold might be heavier but it is easier to use both in single and wide screen modes in my opinion. Both products are excellent and I would recommend both without hesitation. Just wish MS could match or exceed their rivals when it comes to support especially given the price...
  • > Fold 3 will be mostly worthless in 3 years too, just like all high-end Android phones. I will take your word on the Fold, but as far as "all high-end Android phones"... there are plenty of Galaxy S9 out there in the wild and non-negligible amount of Galaxy S8. I feel like people stick to their Galaxy Notes for even longer. Judging by how vibrant the custom ROM communities are, software and not hardware is the factor limiting the longevity of the device. My Pixel XL (2016) stopped being my daily driver this spring, after 3 years of running Google software and 1.5 years running Lineage, and still serves as the capable backup phone.
  • By "worthless" I don't think Dan meant "useless," I think he meant "won't fetch much of a price on the open market." iPhones do hold up in value better than Android phones.
  • I agree, I think Dan means "resale value."
  • This article is like a slap across the face to me while at the same time hearing the voice of Cher saying "snap out of it!" I briefly contemplated the Duo 2 over Zfold 3. I was ready to forget all the Windows phones, watches and other hardware I purchased from MS over the years only to see MS drop them like a hot potato. For now I think I will stick to the Company I know will properly support these very expensive devices.
  • SDKevind, Panos Panay products have all been well supported and he's now significantly more senior to MS than he was when he started making beautiful products. Don't confuse stuff from other teams with Surface products. None of those have been abandoned. Most are still actively in development. At worst, they've been folded into other products (e.g., Surface RT into Surface Pro X, Surface Book into Surface Laptop Studio).
  • How do you really figure with that logic? Surface Neo is bordering on dead these days. The Surface Book never ironed out bugs or kept up with the latest specs well. The Laptop Studio is only a replacement because of the price tag--the form factor and target markets are not really the same. SPX isn't an RT replacement either; the last one released 8 years ago and they're on a wildly different paradigm (hardware design, chip supplier, OS position, etc.). You also have the Hub, which canceled the 2X performance option. There's the Studio, which barely gets upgrades, even though it is woefully underpowered at $3K+ when it launches.
  • You're entitled to your opinion just like I'm entitled to mine. Surface Neo was reported over a year ago as being put on hold to fully integrate with Windows 11. This isn't new information. The Surface Book while I would agree was more of a niche product, had respectable specs. It was never intended to get a refresh every year. The Laptop Studio wasn't created just to justify the price tag and that line of thinking is simply lazy. It's a combination of the Surface Laptop and Studio, hence the name. I think MSFT is trying to expand the target markets, which is what every company should be doing right? I think you took the RT to SPX comment too literally. Obviously the RT transitioned to the Pro, but there are similarities from a OS function perspective between the RT and SPX. Ultimately I think Granites point was you can't just put Surface products (to include Surface Headphones, and Earbuds) in the same basket with other products like the Zune, Band, Lumina, and a host of others.
  • My point was to draw a clear distinction between Surface and non-Surface Micorsoft products for post-launch lifespan. Surface Neo was never launched and was therefore never a product. Neither was the Hub 2x. It would be ridiculous to treat concepts they considered and didn't launch to market as failed products, because they were never actual products, just prototypes -- the whole point of which is to test interest and function and possibly scrap or send back to the drawing board. The Surface Book and the Surface Studio were the basis for the Surface Laptop Studio. It merged the Studio's hinge design and was internally referred to as the Surface Book 4 for quite a while before the new name was set. Similarly, The RT created Windows on ARM, which is what directly led to the ARM-based Windows detachable we now call Pro X. Having said that, I would agree that the Laptop Studio and Pro X are not EXACTLY a continuation of the prior models, so they are more of a gray area than something like the Pro 8, but they still stand as a point that no Surface product has yet been abandoned. I don't doubt that one day, there will be an abandoned Surface product, but that day has not yet come. These stand in stark contrast to the other non-Surface Microsoft products.
  • Welcome to Apple my friend.
  • Three years of software update but with upgrade to only one version of android.
  • Maybe. There's a difference between their goals and what they offer. I think it's fair to give MS some room here as Duo 1 is its first Android device. While experienced companies like LG, HTC, and even Huawei struggled with OS updates too. MS can't just turn into a pro-Android phone business overnight this stuff takes time. Of course, whether consumers should take that risk is another question.
  • Well said. I'm guilty of expecting Microsoft to be able to do huge things with Android overnight, but it's most likely not reasonable. Seems like with the resources Microsoft has they would invest in bringing in as many experienced developers as possible to "get caught up", and for all I know they did.. I guess the thing to remember is even experienced engineering takes time when dealing with a new way of doing things. Microsoft most likely would have had an mature version of Android had they made a typical single screen device, but Duo isn't typical... Of course, those could (and most likely are) be excuses. 🤷🏾‍♂️
  • Giving Microsoft some slack would be easier if they earned it. They're the ones who promised support and went totally dark on A11 for months. Tell the people the plan in a timely fashion and you probably get more sympathy. Plus, it's a company that clearly did the bare minimum to get the Duo out of the door, in terms of hardware. You paid a sky-high price for barely any software support and a bunch if compromises on features. I gave them the benefit of the doubt on missing some hardware until they showed up asking $1,500. They marketed the Duo as a much more refined package than it was. In that regard, they brought the negative sentiments on themselves.
  • Agreed, but whose fault is it that some customers bought a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) from a company that has never made any kind of Android device before? Customers need to do some research. 5 minutes at Windows Central would have informed people that the first Duo was essentially an MVP.
  • I felt Microsoft did support the duo 1 for one year, and with the promise of two more years hopefully android 12 I hope that the bug fixes will be resolved.
    That said if the duo 2 has the same bug fixes (regardless if its less then the original) people will be turned off by it.
    Its good to see Microsoft committed to their duos for this long. Many companies except pixel, samsung, and Apple do not even support their phones for up to a year.
  • Yeah, I think the post-launch support has been imperfect with still some lingering software issues, but still well beyond industry norms. On net, I think MS has done a good job on that front.
  • I think the frustration is not with the amount of updates Microsoft gave Duo, because that was fine,, rather the effectiveness of the updates Duo has received. Doesn't feel like much "tangible" progress the past year.
  • Duo 1 is still on Android 10, while Android 12 is being released, and Android 12.1 with support for foldable phones getting close. I am sure 12.1 will be for folding screens and not dual screens, but how long will it take Duo 2 to get it, let alone Duo 1? Microsoft support of their $1,399 phone has been terrible.
  • Be quiet. You don't even have a foldable, and don't even know what it's like to use one on a daily basis. Your opinion doesn't even matter in the conversation.
  • Gonna wait for the Duo 3. There is still nothing in this phone that clearly identifies it as a Microsoft product. Say what you will but it should of had 10x. It has no Continuum which dosent make sense to me. All microsoft users center around the Windows desktop.its just an Android phone with a bunch of Microsoft apps.
  • Yeah, but what about apps??????????????????? 🤔
  • Michael, while not the same as Continuum (which had the phone replace a PC), I use my Duo with YourPhone on my various PC's all the time. It's seamless and automatic. I do text messaging from my PC, drag and drop photos to email or other programs directly from the Duo picture library in YourPhone. It's great. And with the dual screens, it's far more functional than single screen phones when I'm not sitting at a PC. I can actually do work on it, type a real email, really review and edit documents. It's a game changer.
  • well maybe duo 3 will have windows 11 since it will have android app support. I think thats the goal or so I hope
  • "Support" = Intern working in the basement
  • They should support 3 major os upgrades, not 3 years support.
  • I often wonder if people who make comments actually own and use a device as a daily driver. This would enable an objective assessment. My Surface Duo works smoothly and gets the job done, though I agree that things could and should improve. In fact the multitasking capabilities of the Duo are superior to the Fold with its cramped space even when I use the Fold's dual screen. Simply doesn't cut it. But to each his own,after all its your needs, and your money.
  • In fact from my experience thus far, the Huawai XS with its 8.1 inner screen hits the sweet spot with that form factor. 7.3 inch. Nah. But its just my opinion after using the Folds and the Huawei. The Surface is another form factor, nearer to the Lg V60--dual screen.
  • I highly doubt most people who crap on the duo actually used one.
  • Had one from the very beginning of this horror show and I have taken my 800.00 loss (yes because resale value is at best 500.00 new in box) and went to a new 13 Pro for 200 (AT&T promo after I turned in my Xs I got for 1 dollar a month for 30 months (promo)) RIP Window Mobile OS and Windows Phone Micro$haft will never produce anything close to those great products ever again.
  • did not see this feature anywhere this last year? https://twitter.com/i/status/1209859008934248448
  • I'm also a day one SD1 user and the harsh wording is not justified I went from a Note 20U5G to this as my only device and I understand the quirkiness of the device but it isn't unusable as a daily driver. Very capable for. My daily needs
  • quit pandering to the corporation, they held expectations out like a carrot to early adopters and at years end they got nothing but fixes for crap they broke updating crap that did not work from the beginning and only substance they actually provided was requisite security updates....THE BARE MINIMUM!!!!
  • You are wasting your time talking to drama queens who just like to complain as a means a gaining attention. Good thing they didn't buy that piece of hot garbage called the first iPhone... Lol
  • yep bought that and fortunately it was light years ahead of and droid and windows mobile at that time even with its limitations. Yet with android being as mature as it is and M$ dropping its own OS in favor of the "mature" android, their support has been **** and killing the value of the original less than a year after release and only giving 1/3 value as trade in is unforgivable, I bet you 3/4 of the buyers still own over 800 on the installment plan great trade in plan Micro$hit. Especially when they new what kind of upgrades were in store and nobody will care to purchase the "beta" oops "alpha" device.
  • Well i guess the duo craze has finally ate $hit HAHAHAHAHAHA, Not a wink about it in over a week and the last article we could not even comment on it. AWWWWW sad we are making fun of such a weak company and a even weaker product with a unbelievably horrible alpha product release a year ago with the worse support model to come from a business (makes Samsung look like a saint). Hears to more great Duo articles sans fanfare.