Arch tinkerer Gustave Monce has demonstrated Windows 11 running on a first-generation Surface Duo.
The Duo is famously an Android device but, fresh from showing that Windows 11 could be coaxed into running on a Lumia Windows Phone, Monce has worked his magic on Redmond’s first effort at a foldable handset.
While Monce’s work on the Lumia 950XL was more of an intellectual exercise, getting both screens working on the Duo is undeniably impressive. His adventures have been well documented on Twitter, with the engineer observing: “I think there might be a performance ~~gap~~ ocean between this and the Lumia 950 XL. Crazy what 4 years did in terms of SoC performance. Oh and thermals are very good.”
A bit glitchy, but here we go pic.twitter.com/gyiZsSdzeD
— Gustave Monce (@gus33000) May 1, 2022
“This SoC is more performant than any Snapdragon 850 official laptop,” Monce remarked.
Sadly, we lack a Surface Duo 1 in order to try this out (it doesn’t work on a Duo 2), and getting it working is not for the faint of heart, judging by the repositories. It certainly takes a bit more effort than that expended by this writer to get Windows 11 running on Raspberry Pi-400.
It is also a work in progress. That all-important second screen only came to life over the weekend, and touch wasn’t functioning (a mouse and keyboard was needed). There also appear to be some display glitches, although nothing that looks like a showstopper. Otherwise Windows 11 appears happy in its new home.
Other bits not working include the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and the Windows Subsystem for Android. While the hardware, according to Monce, would be capable of running the platforms, Qualcomm has elected to disable the hypervisor. The result is WSL1 or nothing.
We asked Monce about power management and adding a dialer (or using mobile data) so the phone could be a phone as well as a neat technology demonstration. We’ll update should the developer respond.
In the meantime, when Microsoft next complains about the hardware requirements for Windows 11, it might be worth whipping out a Surface Duo to demonstrate just how arbitrary they appear to be.
Windows Phone is dead. Long live Windows on a Phone. ®