The DuoWOA team recently announced the release of a new set of Windows drivers for the first and second-generation Surface Duo devices. These drivers include numerous updates, the most significant of which is preliminary support for Surface Dial, providing an infrequently used Microsoft accessory with newfound compatibility.
DuoWOA is a project that aims to provide Windows ARM64 ports to the Surface Duo family of devices. It is a part of the WOA Project, which also supports Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL devices. DuoWOA allows users to run Windows 10 or Windows 11 on their Surface Duo devices, either as a single OS or in dual-boot mode with Android.
Surface Dial Syncing with Surface Duo: Major Feature of New Release
Microsoft's Surface Dial has been somewhat overlooked since its original launch in October 2016. The accessory, meant to offer users a novel way to control tools and functions in compatible apps via pressing and rotating a dial directly on the device's display, had seemingly fallen by the wayside. The latest Surface hardware no longer supports the accessory, and it hadn't received any significant upgrades or improvements since its reception of on-display support in 2018. However, this new Windows driver update highlights preliminary work-in-progress (WIP) support for the Surface Dial.
Fixes and Improvement: Other Highlights of the Release
Accordingly, the changelog for the driver version 2310.45 indicates comprehensive improvements, specifically with regards to the Dial integration. Other updates encapsulated in this release include solutions to an issue causing a delay in device shutdown/reboot and preventing operating system upgrades from working in the Windows Insider Canary Channel. The release additionally features several general system stability enhancements meant to augment user experiences.
Regarding the Surface Duo 2, the upgrades are mainly proof-of-concept solutions, but can still be accessed via GitHub. This comes as Microsoft's Surface Dial still retails on Amazon for $75.99, representing a 25% discount from its original price. Consequently, this enables the dial's potential integration with the Surface Duo – a device that was not designed to work with such peripherals or desktop functioning systems.
Uncertain Future for the Surface Duo Line
Microsoft has recently confirmed the end of software support for its dual-screen Android device, the Surface Duo. This decision came last month, approximately three years after the smartphone was released. The strategic move aligns with Microsoft's declared product lifecycle for their Android-powered devices. As emphasized on their official product lifecycle page, a three-year support tenure is the normal.
Even so, it calls into further question the future of the Surface Duo series.