Microsoft ends support for original Surface Duo

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  • Microsoft ends support for its Surface Duo starting September 10, 2023.
  • This means no more major Android releases or security updates. 
  • Users can continue to use the device and apps at their own risk.

Microsoft officially dropped support for the first generation of its Surface Duo on September 10, 2023, the dual-screen device running Android with Microsoft software. According to a new report from Windows Central, the company has not only stopped updates for Android but also security updates.

The original version of the Surface Duo was released in September 2020 with Android 10. Since then, the device has received two major Android updates, the last being Android 12L, which came out in the fall of 2022. In total, the device received three years of software updates, as the company initially stated.

The first release of the Surface Duo was the first attempt for Microsoft to build a foldable phone with two screens using Android as the main operating system instead of Windows. Although the idea was promising, the device never gained any popularity. In part because the device was expensive (with a starting price of $1399) and included older hardware and a mediocre front-facing camera compared to other high-end phones in that price range.

In addition, the software available with Surface Duo was a problem since it launched with an older release of Android that was not optimized for dual-screen devices. Microsoft tried to get developers to optimize their apps, but similar to previous attempts, the company failed to convince developers, making the experience challenging for users.

The Surface Duo will continue to work despite the device being no longer supported. However, since there won’t be any more security updates, it’ll make the device more vulnerable to security risks. As the report points out, the company wasn’t working on new features or bug fixes for a long time, which means that users won’t be missing a lot aside from fixes for security. Android apps will continue to work and receive updates, but eventually, they may stop working as the operating system becomes obsolete.

On the other hand, the Surface Duo 2 is still supported, and the company will continue to support it for one more year until October 21, 2024. The second version of the dual-screen device thus far only received one major Android update, which means that another major refresh is still expected.

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