Microsoft just gave buyers a reason to avoid the Surface Duo
When Microsoft announced the existence of the Surface Duo running Android and its Windows-based sibling Surface Neo in 2019, there was a lot of enthusiasm for the unique design and proposition of the two. They were finally making the Courier concept dream come true, at least they hoped so. The reality, unfortunately, was not like that, and the Surface Neo was all but canceled. While the Surface Duo is now in its second iteration, Microsoft’s alleged claims of a delayed update could give potential buyers doubts about this particular product line.
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The Surface Duo and Surface Neo both embodied Microsoft’s vision for the future of productivity. Two screens made multitasking a no-brainer, and the Surface Duo would have been the mobile companion of a Surface Neo. Unlike the Windows dual-screen PC, the Surface Duo managed to launch after a few delays. However, his reception is mixed.
For its price, the first Surface Duo almost looked like an expensive prototype. While the hardware looked nice, it lacked a few things like 5G support or, more importantly, cameras. The Surface Duo 2 improved on these but added a few complications of its own. For example, you can no longer fully fold the device due to the shock of the camera.
Both versions of the device, however, were plagued by software glitches. Even after many updates, there are still reports of instabilities and issues with the apps. For owners of the first Surface Duo, one of the biggest gripes is the version of Android they’re running on. It turns out that they will have to wait until next month to get Android 11 on their device.
The Surface Duo launched in September 2020 and ran Android 10 from 2019. Considering the timing, that was a bit understandable, but not so much the delay. Microsoft has promised that the dual-screen device will get Android 11 before the end of the year, but that obviously won’t. For its part, the manufacturer of Windows puts the fault on the feet of Google.
According to SurMsftMicrosoft reportedly said the update has already been tested by its internal team and ready for deployment. However, Google does require devices that ship with the Google Play Store to undergo certification testing before releasing major updates. With both companies already on vacation, this would not have been possible before the end of 2021.
This raises the question of why Microsoft did not prepare for the update sooner. The company had over a year to work on it, even with the development of the Surface Duo 2 on the side. The second-gen device ran Android 11 out of the box, so it wasn’t as if the company had no experience with this version of Android.
The situation, however, suggests that Microsoft has very limited resources allocated to its Surface Duo devices, especially for the software experience. It also casts doubt on Microsoft’s ability to meet the demands of Android software development, especially if it plans to release more Surface Duos in the future.