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

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When Microsoft unveiled their strange dual-display Surface Duo, many people were disappointed with the operating system choice. Other devices from the Surface family have Windows on board 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’s a way to get an original Surface Duo with Windows 10 or 11 on board, but there’s a catch.

First – the whole thing is a 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 no walk in the park. There is a complete guide but it requires various tools and some technical knowledge and courage. The latest build fixes some issues and enables Wi-Fi, Cellular, GPS, and eSIM functionality on the Duo, but many things still don’t work.

Here’s the change log:

  • Wi-Fi is now functional (2.5 Ghz/5 Ghz). However, the retrieval of Mac addresses is not yet available.
  • Mobile data is now functional (LTEA/LTE/HSDPA+/HSDPA/EDGE/GPRS).
  • Mobile texts are now functional. Use the Chat application to send and receive messages.
  • Calls, VoLTE, RCS and more 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. First, you can’t make calls (this will be in the next release) and the camera doesn’t work. There are some display issues, orientation issues, bugs with the USB, etc. All in all, this DIY project is just a fun way to see what could have been, and if you have a spare Surface Duo (which you’re willing to sacrifice), you might as well try this at home (but seriously, don’t).

Hopefully, Microsoft will recognize the nostalgic need for compact devices with Windows and come up with something more… officially. Fingers crossed.

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