back to article Microsoft releases kernel for unique (but critically panned) Surface Duo phone

Microsoft has published the kernel for its new Surface Duo smartphone to GitHub, making it easier for third parties to develop their own custom ROMs for the unusual, yet critically panned dual-screen blower. This, by itself, isn’t much of a surprise. Android uses the Linux kernel, and under the terms of the GPL licence, …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Wow! Brilliant

    I have to admit that it is unique but is it of any use in real life.

    MS really has gone over to the Dark Side (that's and oxymoron if ever there was one) to use Android. Windows is such a great Operating System isn't it? Why didn't they use it?

    Oh, and the camera?

    Will this become Zune Mk 2? Place your bets please.

    1. RM Myers Silver badge

      Re: Wow! Brilliant

      Personally, I preferred the Windows Phone 10 OS to either Android or IOS. I got 5+ years of OS monthly updates, versus the 1+ years of quarterly updates on my Galaxy. Windows phone also didn't have nearly the bugs that IOS has, which seems to get worse with every update. IOS 13.7 has taken my iPhone from 2+ days on a charge, to less than one day, for example. I guess this is Apple's way of telling me I need to upgrade from my iPhone 11 to the iPhone 12.

      As always, YMMV.

  2. Randall Shimizu

    It's quit bizarre that MS has chosen to used dated hardware on such a leading edge phone......! Personally the sky high price and the lack of 5G makes this phone a no go for myself.

    1. DS999

      The only thing "leading edge" about it is the price. Its a dual screen gimmick to follow the folding phone trend when most consumers have already lost interest in that particular gimmick.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      My guess would be that it's taken them so long to develop that they actually started off five years ago with cutting-edge specs.

  3. PhilipN Silver badge

    High end hardware needs high end design skills

    and high end logistics management, QA/QC and inventory control (cf. Ballmer's plaintive "we built too many Surface widgets"), adept promotion and retail ... not to mention advance market research etc etc

    Let's face it, whatever anyone here thinks about Apple they are very very good at all the above. MS ain't, because it always had too much money to bother with such niceties, and a different ethos. So what is this - a hobby (rather like what Steve Jobs used to say about the Apple TV)?

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I guess it goes to show that MS releasing a phone isn't news worthy, as I didn't know it was actually out until I saw this story as none of the mainstream news outlets mentioned it. Yet if this had been a new Apple phone it would have been a top story news.

    The phone does seem way over priced, its MS thinking they are a premium brand again, when are they going to realise they don't have the 'cool factor' that Apple has.

    FYI Before someone thinks I am an Apple fan boy, I don't own any Apple devices as although they are usually well made pieces of kit they are overpriced and just like buying a designer clothes you are paying for the label, and i am happy to go for a none premium brand.

  5. Daleos

    click bait.

    Critically panned? The Reg going into full anti-MS mode here making stuff up. Yeah it's obviously a niche product and yeah some bits of it are a bit underwhelming but I haven't seen a single review that said they hated it, just that it needed more work. Personally rather have one of these than a flexible screen fold out anyday. Not that I find the whole idea of fold outs compelling in the first place. I'm more happy that someone is trying out new things than the usual boring full screen rectangle.

  6. Robert Grant Silver badge

    No wireless charging? Who cares?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      No inefficient wireless charging? Who cares?

      Fixed it.

  7. Steve K Silver badge

    You can’t polish a turd..

    There’s an old saying: “You can’t polish a turd.”

    But you CAN roll it in glitter

  8. skotl

    > You can take a look at the code yourself over on GitHub. ®

    Err, nope. That repo just consists of four markdown files, and the has "build instructions" that point back at the 4 x .md files

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This quick publication of building the kernel possibly hints to the outdated HW.

    The kernel customization had to use something as a baseline HW. By releasing the source, perhaps it might become amenable to future platforms shortening the release cycle?

    I suppose this is what the lack of standardised interfaces on mobile platforms is restricting - if the kernel source provided by the manufacturer for the next mobile chipset does not support a feature, you lose pace with the other vendors who are mostly tweaking the components spec/choice and design/materials alone.

  10. Name Withheld

    Nice but

    I quite like the device format, I’m just not sure why any one would want one, too small to replace a tablet whilst not feature rich enough to replace a similar priced premium phone. Size wise I want my phone to fit in my pocket, I don’t mind carrying a tablet in a bag.

    Also noticed in few reviews that the hardware struggles when the device goes through its various screen transitions, I’m guessing it took a bit too long to get this to market.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No 5G

    Oh no, disaster, what with all the 5G network coverage that exists and the speed they will fill in any gaps.

  12. StuntMisanthrope

    Stand in the corner.

    Look at the wall. My bad, it’s true. I quite like my Lumia. I soon as it was EOL, I was interested. Payment for an upgrade and yes the UX is strange, but it’s simple, really simple which is a change. Everything still just about works, and as a 4th or 5th travel phone with a throwaway SIM card and a long battery life. #stillinthebag

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