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Asus Reportedly Axes Windows-Android PC Plans

PC maker Asus is shelving its plans to release a dual-boot tablet PC that runs both Android and Windows, according to Digitimes.

Asus unveiled the multi-mode Transformer Book Duet TD300 at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The device had stood out for being one of the few offerings that could be converted from a laptop to a tablet, and for its ability to switch between operating systems. The device had what Asus called an "Instant Switch" that allowed users to quickly switch between Android and Windows, rather than rebooting.

At the time, Asus said the Transformer Book Duet TD300 would ship sometime in the first half of 2014. However, Digitimes reported last week that Asus was putting the release on hold.

Samsung also announced a similar device, the Ativ Q, last summer. But as noted by BGR, Samsung never released it and has removed all references to it from its Web site.  

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich demonstrated the Transformer Book Duet TD300 in his CES keynote as the type of new device Intel sees as boosting demand for its system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors. "There are times you want Windows, there are times you want Android," Krzanich said in the keynote. Intel's 64-bit SoCs "are the only ones that can offer that capability to seamlessly switch between OSes," he added. "You don't have to make a choice moving forward."

According to The Wall Street Journal, however, Asus may be facing backlash from both Google and Microsoft, who would prefer not to see their rival operating systems on the same machine.

Android is available to hardware makers for free, so Google technically can't stop Asus from releasing the Transformer Book Duet TD300. However, Google does have to approve what is sold in its Google Play app store. Analyst Patrick Moorhead told WSJ that Google has no incentive to approve dual-OS systems since it would also benefit Microsoft.

For Microsoft's part, it also has little incentive to give laptop users an additional entrée to the Android marketplace, though Digitimes believed Microsoft had more to gain from the Asus device.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.