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Surface Duo with Windows 11 seems like dream device for Windows Central readers

Surface Duo Windows 11 Gustavemonce
Surface Duo Windows 11 Gustavemonce (Image credit: Gustave Monce)

What you need to know

  • An independent developer recently managed to get Windows 11 to run on both displays of a Surface Duo.
  • The project inspired a discussion online about running Windows on a foldable mobile device.
  • In our poll, over 82% of voters would like to run Windows 11 on the Surface Duo.

Last week, independent developer Gustave Monce shared images of Windows 11 running on a Surface Duo. The photos brought back memories of Windows Phone for many of our readers. While the concept of running Windows 11 on a foldable mobile device was intriguing, we wanted to know if our readers would actually use such a device.

In our recent poll, over 82% of voters said that they'd want a Surface Duo running Windows 11, leaving just under 18% saying they wouldn't want such a device.

"Hell Yes! I want a duo running W11 or 10X or whatever as it's running Windows that would be a good start as at least then there's ARM64EC and I'd finally be heck load more productive on my phone," said TechFreak1.

"Voted yes. If I could have a single telephony device that runs Android apps (through Windows 11) while on the go, but productivity full Windows applications while docked to mouse/keyboard/monitor, that would be my dream device," added CSJr1.

While the vast majority of voters expressed an interest in Windows 11 running on the Surface Duo, many of the commenters disagreed.

"It is a fun project, but Windows 11 as it is? Well nah. Thing is Windows 11 Shell isn't really optimized for such a small screen, not even meant for dual-screen type of devices either," said aXross. "Each screen is basically treated as two monitors on regular PC, not like how it behaves on Surface Duo or Neo was."

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).

19 Comments
  • I know this is a site largely frequented by Microsoft and Windows enthusiasts, but still excited to see such a strong interest for Windows back on a mobile device. I know it remains a long shot, and probably nothing coming soon if ever, but polls like this certainly make it more likely rather than less likely. For me, more than wanting Windows 11 in its current state, I want MS to come back with a mobile device that runs some mobile-oriented OS or UI from Microsoft (whether it's Windows or something else), and doesn't have to run a Google OS. I assume in there that if the OS is by MS it will integrate perfectly with the rest of a Windows network and MS ecosystem. Mostly I use my systems for work, but on the consumer side (which matters to many of us even if work solutions are our primary need), this would require well thought out solutions for music, gaming, and video. Xbox services (plus new improved mobile options) and Movies & TV should be extended for 2 of those. Without the Groove service, music could be handled by third-party for streaming, but please also give us a way to sync music and playlists we already own w/o requiring use of a third party service. Currently the old Windows Media Player does do this, so absent a more modern solution, that should at least remain capable if handling music syncing with this future Duo device.
  • When I watched a video of the improved version of the homescreen UI, Launcher 10 for Android, it showcases what could have been for a Microsoft foldable/dual screen device running Windows. Not a perfect solution but its pretty darn close. I use it on my phone and it seems to fit perfectly for my needs. Live tiles light up from the notifications from apps I have pinned on the homescreen. I would love a dual screen windows mobile device. I have OneDrive installed, and the XBox app to sorta feel like I am still using WP. I wish Microsoft would have ported the old Windows Media Player into a modern app. I found that it had the best sound reproduction, more advanced controls, and I love the visualizations when playing tracks. I always like my music more bass heavy and I never found a media player that came close to how I like my music. WMP seems to fit that. If they do that and have it independently update it via the Store, they could keep it up to date with latest video/audio codecs, and the Store could offer add-ons to expand the sound or install visualizations like I used to do 10+ years ago. Lastly, I wish they never turned off the cloud streaming from OneDrive. It seemed like a no-brainer to keep online music streaming within their Groove music app but alas they took the one good and useful feature away. If they ever port the old WMP to a modern app and get rid of Groove, they could, hopefully, add online music streaming back.
  • Geez, I remember the days when all we could do is +1 a comment, read an article for one app that was updated, and the pandemonium of W10 Mobile update list not including the 1520 even though it was used to demo the new version. Really miss those times. Windows Central was lucky enough to pry the name away from whoever had it before them, we saw the evolution of WC to include Android and occasional Apple centric articles with glorious comment sections demanding to know why to a more rounded WC that we have today. I really miss being able to use my red 1520 as a daily driver and it still remains my favorite phone.
  • Been there, got the T-Shirt. The 1520 was just awesome!
    Right now though, I would really miss my SD2. It's a helluva piece of hardware - love it!
    I've tried so many Launchers on the SD2 and always come back to Launcher 10, but a proper Windows OS would be pretty good too - but can't see it happening anytime soon :(
  • I dream to be able to have a device running WM xx; personally, I would also be perfectly satisfied with Groove music, Photo, Calendar Email etc. apps as I had on my 950XL; said that I also believe that there are, at least with the actual status quo at Redmond, zero chances that this will happen. Also, MS would have to integrate the ecosystem with a sport/health device of sort to present potential buyers with a complete solution.
    Of course, the irony is that MS had all of the above and both the phone OS and, although not as advanced but with a lot of potential for the time, the Band with the Health and Fitness app for the PC.
    Sadly, all gone in the wind...
  • Same people clamoring for it would be complaining about the poor experience if it ever came to fruition. Because realistically, it would take years, if ever, to build a proper UI around it.
  • I would like it to have Windows 11 on it as long as there is WSA with play store support.
  • For Neo, yes...Duo, no!
  • Yeah, I would like to see Windows properly updated with a UI to run on the Neo. If I could justify the cost, I'd love to have that device.
  • But you would run into the same issues as Duo. What Windows app would you want to run on a 9” touchscreen that Android doesn’t have? There really are none.
  • bleached, I think that's probably true right now. The apps I run most are MS apps, which are also available on Android. However, I'd prefer to run them on a Windows OS. So on a mobile device, that's most likely Outlook, OneNote, and Word. I use Excel a lot, but I don't think I'd be willing to do too much spreadsheet work on small screen. But email, notes, and writing? Those would be great to do on the go and a small screen, while not as effective as my multi-large monitor config on my desktop, would be fine for those activities. I would also argue that it's in MS' long-term strategic interest for users to run those on an MS OS, because that gives them more control over the UX. That includes allowing MS to protect itself against Google doing something anti-MS or using the Android system to push users (whether subtly or aggressively) toward Google Docs over Office apps.
  • I've always dreamed of a really portable device that could run windows and android apps; my laptop is getting close but not as portable as I would like. My ZF3 is great for the android part and I guess if I had Windows in the cloud, that would pretty close.
  • I would like it if was dual boot, Android and Windows. Other than that it would not be a good experience, because Microsoft wouldn't be dedicated enough to provide basic smartphone utilities, and well,,, apps. 🤷🏾‍♂️
  • Surface Duo with Win11 torch is now working
  • https://youtu.be/9CgRmcYRvW4 Android apps on Win11 on ARM..Surface Pro X Next thing to try on Surface Duo with Win11 (on ARM) is to install Android apps and run.
  • This is better than dual booting
  • That does look like good performance. Would be great if that helps bridge to Windows being appealing on smaller screens. Unrelated, but why is that video in portrait mode? Is that some Instagram or TikTok thing? I don't care, displaying a landscape screen for a demo in a portrait video is not good, whether watching on a PC or a phone.
  • I would really love a Surface Duo Pro, that ran some flavor of Windows. Let's face it, if you're heavily using Microsoft products, Windows is the cornerstone. Edge has come a long way since the WinMobile days, and can fill in quite a bit of the app gap with PWA. I just miss the consistency of of using apps like Groove, Bing maps, Cortana, on all my devices and integration between them. All this is lost with Android and is a step back, especially for corporate users IMO.
  • It seems duo boot to Android and Win11 in surface duo1 is happening soon