Microsoft made a promise a couple of months back that it was going to update its $1,400 Surface Duo device to Android 11 before 2021 ended. Unless something changes over the next several hours, they will fail to do so. That’s both unsurprising and pathetic.
I don’t think I need to remind you of the history of the Surface Duo, a device with a cool hinge system and also one of the worst software experiences I’ve ever attempted to use. You know how poorly Microsoft’s first Android effort was delivered, if not from our review then from others as well. There’s no need to rehash this disaster.
That’s still no excuse for Microsoft to have failed owners of it this massively. The Surface Duo runs Android 10, a 2-year old version of Google’s operating system, while the rest of the industry is moving onto Android 12. Samsung, who makes dozens and dozens of phones each year and continues to support older phones for up to 4 years, has already updated 5 or 6 device families to the newest version of Android. We are talking about hundreds of millions of phones. Microsoft now has two (2!) devices and neither run Google’s latest offering, with one (the original Duo) still a full two (2!) versions behind.
A rumor from the Windows Central crew suggests that Microsoft has had Android 11 ready for the Surface Duo internally for weeks and that the update probably got lost in some approval process over the holidays between it and Google as tech companies are notorious for taking extended vacations during this time. Come on, man, that’s not even remotely close to being acceptable. Android 11 was promised over the summer and never arrived, only to then get a before-2022 second promise.
Microsoft sucks at Android.