Although it has sold Android phones in the past, the Surface Duo is technically Microsoft’s first true Android phone, under its own name and without Nokia’s involvement. It’s not surprising, then, that it wants to put its best foot forward, and not just in the sense of being a unique dual-screen phone. It turns out, Microsoft is joining the rather exclusive club currently formed by Google and, surprisingly, Samsung, who are promising their customers three years of software updates, both for security fixes as well as major OS updates.
It is pretty much just a convention that smartphone makers promise two years of Android OS updates and three years of security updates, although Google does require that for Android One phones. Despite that, not all smartphone makers are even able to keep up with those promises but things are hopefully turning for the better. In fact, Samsung has surprisingly made that promise for its latest flagships and now Microsoft is doing the same.
The company confirmed with various news sites that the Surface Duo will indeed get three years of updates, both for OS and security fixes, and that’s definitely good news for a phone that costs $1,400. Of course, that doesn’t exactly translate to getting constant feature updates from Microsoft or even if the updates will roll out in a timely manner. Still, it’s still not a small commitment to make from someone that doesn’t do smartphones well.
That may give interested Surface Duo buyers some reassurance but will hardly be the clincher for most customers. The dual-screen phone is turning out to be one of the more divisive phones of late, perhaps even eclipsing the Galaxy Z Fold 2, its closest rival. The battle will boil down to the software experience and Microsoft just made sure they’d at least be on par when it comes to Android updates.
There are still a lot of open questions, though, particularly with the Surface Duo’s actual performance. There are also missing pieces from the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and those won’t fall into place until September 1.