Friday, January 03, 2014

Intel plans CES push for 'Dual OS' hybrid Android / Windows PCs

It you can't beat 'em, incorporate their functionality into your devices. The PC industry is losing ground, and that means bad things for Intel. However, since Intel processors can run Android, there's a dual OS bandaid coming to CES next week, The Verge reported Friday.

The idea is a hybrid Android / Windows device. This, of course, assumes that neither Google nor Microsoft puts the kibosh on the idea.

It wouldn't be a dual boot device. Internally known as "Dual OS," Intel's idea -- and the chip-maker is the one pushing the idea -- is to use virtualization to run Android inside of Windows. That would mean you could run Android and Windows apps side-by-side; you wouldn't need to run one particular OS "only."

Sources close to the matter said that Intel is working with PC manufacturers on a number of new devices that could be announced at CES.

Again, that is, of course, if neither Google nor Microsoft get in the way. Google could, naturally, withhold the core services most Android users have come to know and love: Gmail, Google Maps, and other proprietary applications, along with the Play Store itself. It's for this reason that's Kindle Fire has its own Appstore.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has a more blunt message. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, said:
Microsoft does not want this to happen. This sends the wrong message to [Windows] developers.
The message that Microsoft wants to send is for developers to write for Windows desktop and Windows Phone.

The Intel scenario would push Android, not Microsoft's mobile OS.

Microsoft has a lot of leverage, too, perhaps more than Google. Moorhead thinks that Microsoft may be trying to convince PC manufacturers to cancel their plans for a "Dual OS" device by threatening a number of moves. The Redmond, Wash.-basedc giant ould withhold co-marketing budgets, or even hurt a partner's bottom line by reducing the discounts it gives OEMs for the copies of Windows 8 that are pre-installed on new PCs.

There's another reason that this sort of move may not come to fruition: This sort of functionality has already existed -- more or less -- for a while. Users can run Android apps on their Windows (or MacOS) PC by using BlueStacks. While it has its problems, it has gotten progressively better, and now even has access to the Play Store.

While that software has been around for years, it has not proven to be a significant game-changer.

So will Intel's "Dual OS" sink into the morass of failed projects? It is, after all, unclear that the reason that Windows desktops (an tablets) are losing ground is that they cannot run Android.

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