Microsoft Surface Duo will get 3 years of OS and security updates, will have an unlockable bootloader
Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced the Surface Duo, their latest attempt at a mobile smartphone. It is a super cool looking dual-screen device running Android, which will also be known as the first Android device from Microsoft. With Android devices, one of the most important questions has been how many years of Android updates the device will receive, as this is crucial to the overall experience. Until recently, most Android OEMs only provided 2 years of updates. Now, Google and Samsung have promised 3 years of Android updates for their flagship devices. Microsoft is now also joining that three-years-of-update group with the Surface Duo.
Earlier today, a Microsoft representative confirmed to us that the Surface Duo would be receiving 3 years of both OS and security updates. The device is launching with Android 10, which means it should receive up to Android 13 in OS updates. Microsoft did not specify the frequency of security updates, but for the first year, they are required to provide quarterly security updates. In comparison, the most competitive dual screen to the Surface Duo is the LG Velvet, and LG has only committed to 2 years of updates which will historically take years to get released.
Further, Microsoft also confirmed to us that the Surface Duo will have an unlockable bootloader. This means you will be able to easily root it, mod it, or throw a custom ROM on there. Personally, I am waiting for a stereo speaker mod since the device only has a mono speaker. The interest from the community will dictate what custom works are available, which is where the $1,399 price tag might hurt a little. There is no information on whether unlocking the bootloader would void the warranty — but if we had to take a guess, we would say that it would not void the warranty. We’ll update the article when we get more information in this regard.
All around, Microsoft is showing it is serious about the Surface Duo and the product line. Committing to three years of updates is a big deal, and is starting to become the standard for flagship Android devices. Hopefully, Microsoft won’t become the next LG in delayed updates Committing to providing the updates is a good first step, and bootloader unlockability will help it gain favor among the enthusiasts and meta-influencers.