Report: Google objects to Android/Windows hybrids


— 6:00 AM on February 25, 2014

Remember the Transformer Book Duet convertible Asus announced at CES? The 13.3" system runs Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.2 on the same Haswell hardware, and it's supposed to be capable of "seamlessly" switching between the two operating systems. The concept sounds intriguing, especially if it can be applied to smaller Bay Trail devices with better battery life than the Duo's claimed 5-6 hours. However, Chinese site Economic Daily News reports that Google objects to Android and Windows running on the same machine. The English translation is a little rough, but it sounds like Google may prevent the hybrid Transformer from ever being released.

Asus' Transformer Book Trio also combines Android and Windows, and that system is still available on the market. Unlike the Duet, however, the Trio's operating systems run on separate processors. The system's tablet component runs Android on an Atom SoC, while the Haswell-based keyboard dock handles Windows duties. The dock is basically a standalone PC, albeit a headless one without its slate sidekick.

If Google has no problem with the Trio, its objection may be specific to Android and Windows sharing core system hardware like the processor, storage, and memory. Asus' proprietary OS switching mechanism could also be the culprit, though the Economic Daily News also mentions Lenovo being affected. We've asked Asus to comment but haven't heard back yet.

Running multiple operating systems on the same hardware is certainly more elegant than the Trio's dual-system approach—and it should be a lot cheaper, since it requires only one set of components. Combining Windows and Android on a convertible device has some definite appeal, too. Windows is better for productivity, but Android has a deeper catalog of tablet-optimized apps. I'd love to be able to run both on the same Bay Trail convertible, even if rebooting was required to switch between them. Thanks to DigiTimes for the tip.

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