Three years after the Surface Duo launched on September 10, 2020, Microsoft announced that it would drop official software support for the device.
However, this should come as no surprise to those who read the Surface Duo support page, as Microsoft clearly outlined on it that the device would only receive Android version and security updates for three years after its launch. Starting from now forward, the tech giant will not be sending out OS updates and security patches, making Android 12L the last version.
On top of that, the Surface Duo only truly received two major updates, which is even lower than what Android devices get on average. But it seems that Microsoft hasn’t been releasing any smaller updates like bug fixes or new features over the years either.
Luckily, there’s third-party support, which allows you to install a custom version of Android 13/14 on the Surface Duo devices. It's something that makes one of the best phones even better. As for the Surface Duo 2, Microsoft will offer support until October 21, 2024, which so far has only received a single update since its release.
This is surprisingly anti-consumer
The Surface Duo isn’t the only thing losing support, as Microsoft also recently announced that it would end third-party printer support over the next several years. But unlike the Surface Duo, printer support will instead switch to first-party which makes the best printers far more accessible to users.
However, that’s not the case with this Surface Duo situation. Looking at it, only three years of support is absolutely atrocious, and it seems that Microsoft didn’t even give proper one during those three years based on the lack of smaller-scale updates over the years.
This three-year cycle seems to now be the standard in terms of Android devices, but the tech giant doesn’t even seem to abide by that. The original Surface Duo only received two major updates, and the Surface Duo 2 has only gotten a single major update with one year remaining for official support.
Another anti-consumer action Microsoft has taken is killing off Windows 11 troubleshooters, which were sometimes helpful tools that diagnosed processes, automatically identified common Windows problems, and then resolved them. This was a baked-in Windows OS feature since Windows 7, which will be phased out over the next several years.
Seeing Microsoft engage in such behavior is disappointing to say the least, especially considering all the issues that Windows 11 already has.
We reached out to Microsoft for comment on the matter and a spokesperson sent us the following statement: "Microsoft has nothing to share beyond what is documented in the support page."