Microsoft's brand spanking new Surface Duo
is an Android device like no other on the market today, but while the Redmond-based tech giant worked closely together with Google
to ensure a seamless, fluid, and stable dual-screen experience across a number of key apps at launch, this thing runs a pretty "conventional" version of the world's most popular mobile OS at its core.
As such, you can download whatever you want from the Play Store and it will just work, with Android 10 pre-installed on the Surface Duo alongside an extensive list of productivity-centric Microsoft tools and services.
Given the uniquely versatile design and unconventional productivity focus of the Surface Duo, as well as Microsoft's unproven track record as far as Android updates are concerned, we never expected much in terms of the handset's long-term software support. After all, this is largely an experimental product meant to test the waters for a potential paradigm shift further down the line, and those types of devices don't tend to receive many major OS updates.
But surprise, surprise, Microsoft has just told the folks over at Android Authority
that the Surface Duo "will be supported with OS and security updates for three years." While that wouldn't be an impressive timeline by iOS standards, given that the next big version of Apple's mobile platform
will be compatible with everything from the iPhone 12 family to the five year-old 6s and 6s Plus, a three-year update commitment remains a rare event in the Android landscape.
The best you can hope other companies to pull off is three years of security updates and two major OS enhancements, so it's definitely awesome to hear the Surface Duo will officially support Android 11, 12, and 13, at least according to Microsoft's current plans.
Unfortunately, there are no words on how quickly the company expects to roll out the Android 11 update, let alone the pace at which future software tweaks and improvements could be delivered over-the-air.