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Force desktop mode: Microsoft's new plans for the Surface Duo

Force desktop mode: Microsoft’s new plans for the Surface Duo

Microsoft launched this a few days ago Android 12L update for Surface Duo. By itself, this might be uninteresting given the relative insignificance of a foldable smartphone – but Microsoft has brought an exciting innovation on board.

Because Microsoft is introducing an experimental feature to force desktop mode with Android 12L on the Surface Duo. This works with that SurfaceDockExternal monitor, keyboard and mouse.

The duo remains fully usable as a “smartphone” and also provides a cloud desktop display on the external display (via MSPower User). This was discovered by Shane Craig, among others, Surface Duo enthusiast. He showed his discovery in a video. After updating to Android 12L, there is a hidden feature that allows the Surface Duo to access your Windows PC via the RDP (Remote Desktop Program) app.

However, the function called “Force Desktop Mode” currently only works in developer mode, so users can’t access it regularly. But now you can ask yourself where the trip is headed. Microsoft has big plans for the Surface Duo, but it hasn’t yet dared bring a Windows version to the foldable device. But this is exactly what many hoped to be able to work seamlessly with smartphone, tablet mode and desktop computer.

Activate via developer mode

The desktop mode option can be enabled by first heading into developer mode and going to Settings > System > Developer options. There is now a new “Force Desktop Mode” option, which describes the functionality as “Force experimental desktop mode on secondary displays”. Once you’ve completed these steps and connected your Surface Duo to your monitor, keyboard, and mouse via the dock, Duo can still be used.

An RDP application icon will appear on your computer screen, which can be used to launch the desktop mode. Then you can connect to a Windows PC on the network or in the cloud. This also allows adding more computers and connecting other applications.

The job is exciting but not mature yet. According to Shane Craig, it does not work reliably and not all Surface Duo users have been able to get it to work.

See also:

Microsoft Surface, Surface Duo, Microsoft Surface Duo, Duo and Dual Screen
Microsoft Surface, Surface Duo, Microsoft Surface Duo, Duo and Dual Screen