Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo runs a heavily forked version of Android with a generous dose of Windows inspiration, but an enthusiast has managed to run Windows 11 on the foldable device alongside Android, with some caveats. The latest enthusiast experiment is a serious tech nostalgia callback. Microsoft originally developed Project Andromeda as a dual-screen device that was supposed to run on a custom build of Windows that was internally going by the name Andromeda OS.
Andromeda OS, in turn, was developed on top of a barebones version of Microsoft’s operating system called Windows Core OS (WCOS) that could be modified to run on a wide array of hardware. However, after being in development hell for a while, Microsoft eventually put those plans on ice. As for the Andromeda hardware, it became the Surface Duo and came out running a customized version of Android, with no official Windows support to be seen. It was a disappointment to see such as promising project turn out to be a device with a non-enviable record of software bugs.
Related: Windows 11 Can Run On A Windows Phone, Sort Of
However, an enthusiast has managed to dual-boot Windows 11 alongside Android on the Microsoft Surface Duo. Gustave Monce, an engineering student, has shared full details of how to dual-boot Android and Windows 11 on the Surface Duo. Now, before hopes get high, here’s a standard disclaimer. Microsoft hasn’t rolled out official support for Windows 11 on the Surface Duo or its successor. This is an independent modding project and requires a generous dose of technical know-how. And even with the proper knowledge and willingness to take the risk on expensive hardware, many essential features simply won’t work. For example, the touch screen interface is rendered useless after the deed is done. Of course, it is also advised to back up all the stored data before embarking on the journey.
— Simone Franco (@Simizfo) March 10, 2022
Impressive Achievement, Massive Caveats
All the details have been shared on a GitHub repository and can be replicated on a Surface Duo with 128GB of storage. Now comes the part about actual operation. The foldable device will run Android as usual, but a PC is needed to boot the second operating system to run Windows 11 on it. It is interesting to note that users can’t replicate the trick on the Surface Duo 2. Or maybe, someone just hasn’t dared to try it yet. However, the guide says that the Surface Duo 2 is not supported, not yet, at least.
Also, the Windows 11 build in question is the version tailored for ARM chips and not the regular build that runs on Intel or AMD-based machines. Coming back to the limitations, as mentioned before, the touch screen interface doesn’t work. Moreover, the network connectivity system is obstructed, the cameras are rendered useless, and a few other key hardware-driven functions also don’t work. In simple terms, the Windows system doesn’t work on the Microsoft Surface Duo as one would expect from a regular PC.