Surface Duo can run Windows 11 but there’s a catch

When Microsoft unveiled their strange dual-screen Surface Duo, many people were disappointed by the choice of OS. Other devices from the Surface family come with Windows onboard, and sticking to Android on the Duo was seen as a missed opportunity.

Microsoft planned to turn things around with a Windows 10X-equipped model – the Surface Neo, but the launch was canceled and the device – postponed indefinitely. There is a way to get an original Surface Duo with Windows 10 or 11 onboard but it comes with a catch.

First – the whole thing is one big DIY project by a guy named Gustave Monce, who decided to try and port Windows to various Android devices (Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, and the aforementioned Surface Duo).

And, as you might expect, getting Windows to work on the Surface Duo is not a walk in the park. There’s a complete guide but it requires several tools, and some tech savviness and bravery. The latest build fixes some issues and enables Wi-Fi, Cellular, GPS and eSIM functionality on the Duo but a lot of things still don’t work.

Here’s the changelog:

  • Wi-Fi is now functional (2.5Ghz/5Ghz). Mac Address retrieval is not yet here, however.
  • Cellular Data is now functional (LTEA/LTE/HSDPA+/HSDPA/EDGE/GPRS).
  • Cellular Texts are now functional. Use the Chat application to send and get messages.
  • Calls, VoLTE, RCS, and more are coming soon in a later release.
  • eSIM support is now enabled in this release.
  • GPS is now functional.

Now let’s talk about the things that don’t work. For one, you can’t make calls (this is coming in the next release), and the camera doesn’t work. There are some rendering issues, orientation problems, bugs with the USB, etc.All in all, this DIY project is just a fun way to see what might’ve been, and if you have a spare Surface Duo (that you’re willing to sacrifice), you may as well try this at home (but seriously, don’t).

Hopefully, Microsoft will recognize the nostalgia-driven need for Windows-equipped compact devices and come up with something more… official. Fingers crossed.

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