Those who are brave enough can now update to Windows 11 on a Surface Duo 2, but there is still much to do.
- Gustave Monce, a developer, has provided the first program to make Surface Duo 2 compatible with Windows 11.
- As of this writing, Windows 11 on the original Surface Duo can be gotten operating thanks to tools given by Monce in the past.
- The release is still in its infancy, with only one SoC core operational and no touch capability for the two screens.
- You can see the entire thing on GitHub.
I admire folks who are willing to risk ruining expensive equipment by installing software that wasn’t designed to work on it. One such device is Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2, a dual-screen Android smartphone that is now receiving preliminary support for the entire Windows 11 operating system.
Using the handle @gus33000, Twitter user Gustave Monce has posted drivers for the Surface Duo 2 in version 2211.16. In case you’re feeling brave, the complete project, together with instructions on how to make it work, is available on GitHub. This is just one of the Surface Duo-related projects that Monce has been working on.
The two devices are compatible with Windows 11 on ARM because they both use Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. The sensors, cameras, touch screens, cellular, GPS, and other hardware causes issues because it needs drivers and extensive testing. Even though it’s still very early in the project, “there are also some fascinating things working,” as Monce puts it.
You can see that the left display screen, thermal sensors, lid hall sensor, Modern Standby, USB C, buttons, and charger are all functional on the project’s status page on GitHub. Despite the fact that the CPU is functional, only one of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888’s eight cores is active at any given time.
When it comes to what is broken, there is a lot of it. Connectivity options include cellular (voice, data, text, LTE), GPS, touch, pen digitizer, Wi-Fi, vibration motor, Bluetooth, camera, NFC, and more. As a result, Windows 11 on the Surface Duo 2 is not an adequate system for regular usage. As an additional warning, Monce adds:
- You must back up your information before proceeding with the installation.
- Without a locked bootloader, you can’t use your phone for contactless payments.
- You shouldn’t use it in the wild just yet (no touch etc).
- Absolutely no implied guarantee.
This last point is particularly important because there is limited official help available if you somehow manage to render your Surface Duo 2 useless. However, if you have any problems, Monce is happy to assist you through his Telegram channel or Twitter.
It’s a little humorous to get Windows 11 on a Surface Duo 2. From what we know about the original Surface Duo’s backstory, Microsoft planned for these machines to run an unreleased version of Windows codenamed “Andromeda OS.” However, the initiative failed because of unmet deadlines.
Instead of abandoning the hardware entirely, Microsoft decided to install Android 11 with Google’s approval. This project is interesting to see progress on because Surface Duo was never meant to run full Windows 11. The small screens make it unclear whether or not such a gadget would be useful in daily life, but it is illustrative of the flexibility of Windows.