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RIP to the Microsoft Floor Duo’s assist window, an unmitigated catastrophe Categorical Instances

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Enlarge / The Microsoft Floor Duo.

Ron Amadeo

RIP to the Floor Duo 1. As noticed by Home windows Central, Microsoft is killing off assist for its first self-branded Android telephone. The gadget was an unmitigated catastrophe, and now the “three 12 months” replace plan, which solely featured two exceedingly late main OS updates, means the Floor Duo will go down in historical past because the worst-supported premium Android telephone ever. The $1,400 gadget by no means ran a present model of Android.

Issues had been bizarre with the Floor Duo from the very begin. Microsoft unveiled the telephone in October 2019 and did not ship it till September 2020. After a protracted wait, the telephone debuted to principally unfavorable evaluations. Android could not make the most of the ultra-fat 4:3 shows, and having two of them did not assist a lot when it made issues like typing extraordinarily tough (there was no break up keyboard). An enormous quantity of software program points made it the buggiest gadget in current reminiscence and, coupled with the sky-high value, the gross sales pitch was not nice. It was fairly to have a look at, although.

The fireplace sale began nearly instantly. The telephone had a $200 value drop a month after its launch, then a 50 % value drop to $699, and finally a 70 % collapse to $409—an unbelievable $1,000 off the MSRP. Inexplicably, a second model was made, and assist for that gadget ends in October 2024. It seems to be like a 3rd model, a minimum of following this way issue, just isn’t within the playing cards.

Microsoft’s capacity to replace Android was simply as a lot of a catastrophe. The Floor Duo 1 launched in September 2020 with Android 10, an OS that had come out in September 2019, and at a time when Android 11 had already launched. The Floor Duo 1 received its first main replace 16 months after launch when Microsoft changed its 2-year-old OS with a 1-year-old OS and at last shipped Android 11 in January 2022. Android 12L arrived on the gadget in October 2022, at which level 12L was additionally a 12 months previous and Android 13 was transport.

That was it. That and a few month-to-month safety updates are what Microsoft is looking “three years of updates.” Corporations on the margins prefer to maintain these Android replace guarantees imprecise through the use of “years” as a substitute of an precise variety of main updates, so are you able to ever technically say they did not reside as much as the promise? Normally, three years of updates means three main OS updates, not two, and it normally means you get OS variations when they’re new, not a 12 months previous, and never even the newest model. Even within the dangerous previous days, Samsung, at its very worst, took six to 9 months to replace a tool, and that was years in the past. At the moment, Samsung takes round three months.

As somebody who repeatedly tracks these things, that is simply the worst replace plan any premium Android telephone has ever acquired. Even many finances telephones do higher than this.

Microsoft can provide excuses as to why the Floor Duo 1 ended up like this. It wrote its personal UEFI from scratch when this was initially meant to be a Home windows gadget, and pivoting that to Android in all probability brought about many issues. It was outsourcing its Android OS improvement and solely introduced improvement in-house (by buying the outsourced firm) two months earlier than the gadget’s ship date. On the finish of the day, although, Microsoft nonetheless selected to ship this gadget for $1,400. In return, prospects acquired a barely practical gadget and a worst-in-class replace plan.


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