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It’s been a few years since Microsoft stopped developing Windows-based operating systems for smartphones and ended support for existing devices that shipped with Windows 10 Mobile. But if you want to run Windows on a Microsoft-made smartphone, now you can.

Earlier this year developer Gustav Monce succeeded in installing Windows on the 1st-gen Microsoft Surface Duo and released an initial set of instructions anyone could follow to do the same. At the time it was best described as barely functional. But now Monce has released an update that adds support for WiFi, cellular data, and GPS functionality, making Windows on Surface Duo devices much more usable.

The Microsoft Surface Duo is a dual-screen smartphone that ships with a suite of Microsoft apps running on top of Google’s Android operating system. But thanks to Monce and the work of the WOA Project, which has previously ported Microsoft’s desktop operating systems to run on phones like the long-discontinued Microsoft Lumia 950XL, it’s now possible to run Windows on the Surface Do as well.

This is possible because while Windows used to be an operating system that required an x86 processor, Microsoft now makes builds for ARM processors as well. Most people who want a Windows on ARM device will have to buy a laptop or tablet with a Qualcomm processor that ships with Windows pre-installed, but the folks behind the WOA project have been hacking together their own Windows on ARM (WOA) devices.

The project now allows you to install Windows 10 or Windows 11 on a 1st-gen Microsoft Surface Duo, effectively replacing the phone’s mobile operating system with a desktop OS. At this point, there are display and graphics drivers, support for touchscreen input on both displays, and support for pen input on the left screen only.

In addition to WiFi, GPS, and cellular data support, there’s also support for Bluetooth and Miracast wireless display technology, integrated sensors, physical buttons, and CPU frequency controls. And while you cannot yet place or receive phone calls on a Surface Duo running Windows, Monce says he’s working on that and hopes to add support soon. Support for using the Surface Duo’s USB-C port to connect external displays is also on in the works.

That said, there are still a few other major things that aren’t yet working. You can’t use the Surface Duo’s camera with Windows yet. And audio isn’t working… so you can watch movies or play games… you just won’t be able to hear them.

Also, in order to install Windows on the Surface Duo, you’ll have to wipe all of your Android data. So make sure to back up anything important before starting.

Still want to give this a try? You can find everything you need to replace Android with Windows 11 on the original Surface Duo at the WOA-Project page on GitHub, or if you just want to see what’s new in the latest release, you can check out the changelog in the latest release notes.

With that out of the way, here’s everything you need to replace Android with Windows 11 on the original Surface Duo:

Not a fan of Windows, but intrigued by the possibilities of running something other than Android on the Surface Duo? Monce notes that the UEFI firmware can also be used to boot mainline Linux on the phone.

via Neowin

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7 replies on “Now you can install Windows on the Microsoft Surface Duo dual-screen smartphone (updated)”

  1. Damn, can it run the Windows for ARM version of WoW ? It is possible on Snapdragon 845 devices so this should be an improvement.

  2. I loved Win 8 and 10 on my Nokia phones. I was really disappointed when MS gave up on mobile. I wonder whether they’ll re-enter the market once WOA has matured?

  3. I just picked up a 128gig (unlocked) Duo in 9/10 condition from eBay for $300 bucks. This is the time to get one at a rock-bottom price before the supply dries up.

  4. It’d be nice if MS actually officially supported desktop Windows on the Duo 1/2 or, even better, come out with a more powerful version meant to run desktop Windows. Did MS ever make a UMPC back when the UMPC was more a thing?

    These community projects are nice but they usually end up not going that much further than the “early preview” stage. I’m sure it’ll still be fun to play with for the tinkers and devs who could contribute.

    1. I agree. I’d love to try this, but I worry it will never really be ready. As impractical as it sounds -I would love a pocket “laptop”, and everything I would use it for runs on ARM. I’ll keep watching, hopefully it gets more stable.

    2. It’d be great if MS officially releases an updated Duo with desktop Windows support.

      I agree about these community projects. They’re fun for tinkering around but rarely beyond that.

    3. I’d be down for a Duo 3/Duo D (Desktop) that has official desktop Windows support from MS. I’d bet that’ll actually sell more than the Duo 1/2.

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