The Surface Duo launched with Android 10 two days after the Android 11 rollout commenced last year. Following the unveil of the Surface Duo 2 yesterday, Microsoft is now committing to bringing the year-old operating system to its original Android Foldable by the end of 2021.
Over the past year, Microsoft’s monthly updates have been primarily bug fixes and security patches. Last year, it said the foldable would get three years of OS and security updates. Android 11 was first rumored to be arriving “mid-year” 2021 before moving to sometime in the “summer.” With fall officially beginning yesterday, the latest deadline has passed.
Microsoft now tells the Verge that it “remain[s] committed to providing updates to Surface Duo, and we’re working to bring Android 11 to existing customers before the end of this year.” The lack of a firm date feels telling. Releasing a solid date yesterday would have been a good consolation for existing Duo owners. The further-out nature of the statement seems to rule out the October security patch as bringing the big OS update.
This comes as the Surface Duo 2 is set to launch with Android 11 late next month. It’s widely expected that Android 12 will launch on Pixel phones by then, thus resulting in a repeat of last year’s timing.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has yet to detail what the Android 11 update brings to the Surface Duo. We saw a new camera app and hardware-based screen notifications, but nothing too new on the software front yesterday.
One possible reason for this delay could be that Microsoft was entirely focused on refining the Duo 2’s experience as to address a big complaint of the original, buggy launch period.
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