Google and Microsoft Give the Dual-Boot Device Idea the Dual Boot

Carl Weinschenk
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The nascent trend to create devices with two operating systems seems to be fading before it really got rolling. Indeed, it is possible to say that OS makers are giving it the dual boot.

On March 13, Trusted Reviews posted a story in which Huawei Chief Marketing Officer Shao Yang extolled the virtues of a dual Windows Phone/Android handset as a way to encourage uptake of the former. He is quoted as saying such a dual-boot device will be on sale in the United States during the second quarter of the year.

That isn’t going to happen. FierceWireless and other sites report this week that Huawei has backed off from the concept, if it ever really had embraced it. It seems possible that Yang had misspoken. In any case, the vendor will not be introducing such a device. The quote from Huawei in the FierceWireless piece is unequivocal: “[A]t this stage there are no plans to launch a dual-OS smartphone in the near future.”


Another dual-boot device that isn’t meant to be is the Transformer Book Duet TD300 tablet from Asus. Android Community reports that pressure from both Google and Microsoft is forcing Asus to shelve the project:

The dual-booting device was set to go on sale the second half of this year, but Asus is now gun shy of running afoul of two major partners.

The story says that Asus will discontinue sales of two dual-boot devices that are on the shelves.

Gary Krakow, writing at The Street, described the Asus situation and the device that might have been. He suggested that both Google and Microsoft are afraid that dual-boot devices may help the other more than themselves. He ends the story by suggesting that this is not good for Intel:

It's interesting to note that Intel had just announced a brand new chip at CES expressly designed to handle two operating systems running at the same time. That processor's fate is now unknown. Same for the future of recently announced dual-booting smartphones.

Here is The Verge’s CES story on the Intel announcement. Even at that point, it was obvious that the odds were against the dual-boot concept being embraced.

It figures that Google would move to quash the projects. Perhaps it is a bit more interesting that Microsoft also would do so, since it could be expected to do anything to increase penetration – even ride on the ubiquity of Android.

In any case, the evolution of such devices undoubtedly offered interesting new functionality and approaches to security. The industry can only guess, since a dual-boot industry sector seems unlikely to happen now.



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