Pressure from Microsoft and Google reportedly led Asus officials to shelve plans to roll out a system that could run both Windows 8.1 and Android.
Asus officials at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January showed off the Transformer Book Duet TD300, a 2-in-1 device that would run the Windows operating system when used as a notebook PC, then would become an Android system when used as a tablet. The dual-OS device generated a lot of buzz at CES, and was featured on stage during the show by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich as he spoke about the chip maker's efforts to enable such capabilities through its system-on-a-chip (SoC) products.
The Transformer Book Duet TD300 was expected to appear in stores in the first half of this year and to be a hit among consumers, who by simply switching the device between PC and tablet modes could have both major operating systems to use.
However, a report in the Wall Street Journal indicted that neither Google nor Microsoft was happy with the idea of PCs sharing the operating systems. Citing anonymous sources familiar with the talks between the companies, the news site said Google was only interested in "all-Android" devices and Microsoft had a similar view about Windows sharing space with Android on the same device.
The software makers' objections come at a time when the idea of dual-OS systems seems to be gaining momentum. Asus already sells two all-in-one PCs—the Transformer AiO P1801 and P1802—that can run both Windows and Android, though the Wall Street Journal reported that those systems may be taken off the market due to the objections of Microsoft and Google.
In addition, Samung officials in June 2013 unveiled the Activ Q, a convertible system that also can run Windows and Android—though the device reportedly has yet to be launched—while similar devices were being talked about at CES.
And officials with both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices announced during CES efforts to enable dual-OS devices. Intel's Krzanich said the chip maker was working on putting capabilities into its SoCs—including its low-power Atom chips—that would let users move from one OS to another simply by tapping a button. Such capabilities make sense given the way people are using their devices, he said.
"There are times you want Windows, there are times you want Android," Krzanich said while demonstrating the technology on Asus' Transformer Book Duet. "[Users] wanted more choice—Windows for some usage, Android for others. … Intel SoCs are the only ones that can offer that capability to seamlessly switch between OSes. You don't have to make a choice moving forward."