Intel’s secret weapon: PCs that seamlessly run both Windows and Android

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It seems that Intel is working on new hardware that could run both Windows and Android at the same time — without the need to reboot or partition to use either operating system’s software or apps.

The idea, which is being called Dual OS right now, is similar to an idea Samsung has been working with in their Ativ Q, which is a laptop which runs Windows , but is also able to bring up Android through an app. There are also rumors that Asus is working on a product like this as well.

Having both OSes on the same computer and being able to use them side by side or in a way that offers easy transitions is definitely an interesting idea. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like Windows or Google are that fond of it. One of The Verge’s sources claims that “they each have their sensitivities to this.”

“Microsoft does not want this to happen,” Patrick Moorhead said Moorhead works as a principal analyst for Moor Insights and Strategy. “This sends the wrong message to  developers.” He goes on to add that Microsoft could make things difficult for the Dual OS to become a reality. “Just imagine what this is like right now,” he said. “You can just imagine the pitch: anything we pay money for or reduce your sticker license may be gone if Microsoft is against it.”

“[PC Plus] could get millions of consumers more comfortable with Android on PCs,” Moorhead also added. “Just imagine for a second what happens when Android gets an improved large-screen experience. This should scare the heck out of Microsoft.”

I personally have my own reservations about this. No, not because I don’t think it is possible; in fact, I think it is very possible, as proven by BlueStacks. Rather, I question the usefulness of Android apps on desktop computers and laptops… especially non-touch ones. Android apps are designed for use on mobile devices, I just can’t see how they will be too useful on non-mobile devices. Games are just about the only thing I feel that would work in this scenario.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

[via The Verge, Fox News, Computer World, Time, image via closari's flickr]

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3 comments

  1. Attila

    I am already using Bluestacks and I am wondering why all these big names are trying to reinvent the wheel….

    And now, about the surprising question in the last paragraph – why is this useful? Why should anyone ask this? IMHO the more choices you have, the better.

    During some years of extensive travel I started to love the “all-in-one” devices, due to the fact that they allowed me to pack less stuff in my computer bag. Not only the devices themselves, but there could be plenty of incompatible chargers, cases, accessories, stuff… So why carry around a laptop and a tablet with all their related stuff, when one and the same device can be both?

    Furthermore, there are already many apps that simply do not exist for Windows and do exist for Android (of course the opposite is much more painfully true :) or the Windows app is not free and the Android one is, or simply some apps are more simplified and easier to use on the mobile device – especially in the “fun” category. I am having in mind the 500px.com app, which is very neat on Android and is much more fun to use than opening the page in the Windows browsers, but there are many others.

  2. Mike S.

    Microsoft doesn’t like this? Then it should re-double its efforts to get developers to develop and port apps for Metro–otherwise, it’s delivering its Windows users over to Android and iOS, for lack of Metro apps.

    @Jeff– Of course Android apps would be fine on desktops and laptops, as well as Windows-based tablets. Umm, why not–why should they be restricted to phones? And if it’s a matter of screen size–although remember, tablets running the full Windows operating system can be found, nowadays, on as small as 8″ screens–the iOS world successfully moved from the iPhone over to iPads, the later-comer.