Surface Duo is Coming to 4 New Countries in 2021

Posted on December 15, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Microsoft Surface, Mobile with 31 Comments


Microsoft today announced that it will bring its Surface Duo folding Android device to four additional countries starting in 2021. For some reason.

“Since introducing Surface Duo in August 2020, people have asked when we would make this product available outside of the US,” Microsoft vice president Pete Kyriacou writes. “We’re pleased to share that in early 2021, we’ll be offering Surface Duo in Canada, United Kingdom, France[,] and Germany.”

While Surface Duo inexplicably landed a spot on Time’s list of “Best Inventions of 2020,” an incredible feat given the more sophisticated folding display-based devices in the market, it’s unclear that the product has generated any excitement with customers, let alone sales. Microsoft vaguely cites the product’s “incredible potential” while offering up a vague list of how some customers can enjoy two different kinds of content at one time.

More tangible, of course, is a list of applications that takes advantage of the Duo’s two displays. Here, Microsoft cites just two specific examples, one available at launch—Kindle—and one new entry, TikTok.

“TikTok has released an enhanced app that brings entirely new experiences that light up on Surface Duo,” Kyriacou says. “Optimized for two screens, you can discover videos customized for you while, at the same time, exploring relevant hashtags, the latest trends[,] and more.”

Most incredibly, Microsoft claims that it is somehow “the third-largest Android ISV in the world,” citing data from App Annie. I’m not sure what that means: Microsoft has never made the list of top 10 handset makers in the world or in any market, at least that I’m aware of.

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Comments (37)

37 responses to “Surface Duo is Coming to 4 New Countries in 2021”

  1. aemond

    Hi Paul,

    ISV is about software. I'm not surprised that MS is in the top 3 on Android.



  2. jlv632

    Good to see the self awareness not to release the "Microsoft Surface Dud" down under. Keep it away Panos.

  3. jchampeau

    Paul, thanks for adding the Oxford comma.

    I'll take the liberty of making one more correction: “Since introducing Surface Duo in August 2020, two people have asked when we would make this product available outside of the US,” Microsoft vice president Pete Kyriacou writes. “We’re pleased to share that in early 2021, we’ll be offering Surface Duo in Canada, United Kingdom, France[,] and Germany.”


  4. Vladimir Carli

    nice. I was really looking forward to shell out 1,400 dollars to be able to enjoy an entirely new experience on tiktok

  5. jrock

    Finally!!! Canada all the way - We are the closest to Santa... I've been bugging the Windows Webstore every month since they released it.

  6. angusmatheson

    As I remember it the scandal at the time of release was that the chipset was not the newest - a year out of date - so 6 months later the chip in in is going to ancient. Why not wait to release the refresh in more markets.

  7. rmlounsbury

    I am curious to see if Microsoft does annual updates to the Duo or if it is a every-other-year update cycle. Since it is oriented towards business/productivity it doesn't necessarily need to be updated annually. I don't imagine you'll have a bunch of folks yearning for the newest iteration of the Duo.

  8. John Craig

    If we get to a version 3, my money in yours Microsoft

  9. openmisere

    But when will the Surface Duo be available for sale in Australia?!?!? :-(

  10. remc86007

    Paul's constant negative slant toward the Duo is weird. Has he actually tried using the thing for a week or two? The formfactor of the Surface Duo is way more practical than the current crop of folding phones. My wife loves her Surface Duo. After the first two major patches, it has been virtually flawless. She came from an iPhone and I honestly didn't expect she would like it. Her iPhone's battery was regularly at 0% by the late afternoon. The Surface Duo doing the same thing has never ended the day with less than 40%. Her battery life seems to be almost double what my Note 10 gets.

  11. IanYates82

    ISV is independent software vendor - not hardware maker.

    I can see them being near the top of software vendors for Android - Outlook mobile and Word mobile would put them right up there, plus Teams would've received a huge boost this year.

    SwiftKey probably isn't that popular (I'm a fan since before MS acquired it) and other things like solitaire and wordament wouldn't contribute that much.

    Maybe edge mobile is doing OK, although I suspect it's not a huge contributor given chrome is pre-installed.

  12. redstar92

    Not sure why you are hating on this device. I am using one and I really like it despite the annoying bugs...

  13. StagyarZilDoggo

    ISV means "Independent software vendor", right? They do have a lot of Android apps with a lot of downloads. Of course this has nothing to do with the Duo...

  14. kingv84

    Too late for me in Germany. Am now waiting for Duo 2 if they make one.

  15. olditpro2000

    3rd largest ISV is probably true; they have plenty of popular Android software (Outlook Mobile, Office, Xbox, etc.).

  16. Travis

    Paul, folding glass and two separate screens are entirely different device categories. You seem to lump them together and categorize two separate screens as inferior. I see two screens being better for productivity and folding glass to be better for consuming content like videos and books.

    • Paul Thurrott

      A folding device is just an inferior version of a folding screen device and are, to the system, the same kind of device.
      • SvenJ

        In reply to paul-thurrott: How is it inferior? It is certainly different. Look at your header picture. You have a TEAMS meeting on one screen and a PowerPoint on the other. How do you do that on an Android foldable. Does the Android OS automatically understand dual (two) apps? Size them properly? (I honestly don't know, though I am aware of some support of split apps). Can I close and replace one of the apps without affecting the other? If I open GMail on a Fold does it allow a mail list on one side and selected e-mail content on the other, or is it just a wide version of what you get on a regular phone? Can I pick which way I want it to display easily? Seems like a foldable Android device is an Android tablet you can fold and put in your pocket. The Duo is not that. I'm not saying it's MSs gift to mobile productivity, but it is a different approach, not an inferior version of something else.

      • JCerna

        In reply to paul-thurrott: I disagree I own both devices and I enjoy the form factor of the surface with two separate screens. However battery life and camera are much better on samsugn devices. I think it was a mistake to go with android also, it has so many limitations that hold back the surface that Microsoft could fix with their own operating system. Anyway as things stand right now its a hobbyist device that unfortunately wont gain many users. Hopefully they keep making new versions for at least 5 years or they wasted everyone's time.

  17. scovious

    This is following the same slow release cadence as Zune. A lack of confidence? Or are they setting up their distribution for a wider next gen release?


    If Telus offers it for $0 down on a phone plan then count me in.

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