Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
We are officially in 2022. Know what that means? That’s right: It means Microsoft has failed at its stated goal of bringing Android 11 to the Surface Duo by the end of 2021.
Attentive readers may recall that Microsoft said the following this past September: “We remain committed to providing updates to Surface Duo, and we’re working to bring Android 11 to existing customers before the end of this year.” Okay, so the company wasn’t exactly promising Android 11 by the end of 2021 — but that was the heavily implied intention, and it likely gave some Surface Duo users a lot of hope.
As Windows Central first reported, Duo devices still haven’t received Android 11. While this may be disappointing to the owners of those devices, it’s also not without precedent. Update hiccups are par for the course with Android — all kinds of manufacturers consistently fail to get them out in a timely manner. “The story on upgrades is the same today as it was a decade ago: first-party Google devices get updated quickly, everything else takes months or doesn’t get updated at all,” summarized Verge executive editor Dieter Bohn in a 2019 newsletter.
Microsoft also needs to make Android work with additional controls and functionality in order to accommodate the Duo’s two screens — Android, as an operating system, is “woefully unprepared for devices like the Surface Duo,” Bohn noted in his review of the device. One might expect such a product to take a bit to roll out. Still, Duo users haven’t received major software improvements since the device launched 15 months ago — and that’s a long wait.
Microsoft has not yet responded to a request for comment, and Windows Central claims to have gotten a “useless no comment” in response to their inquiry. Fortunately, Windows Central has heard from sources that “the Android 11 update for Surface Duo is in fact done and should begin rolling out once the update has been certified by Google and AT&T.”