India’s Karbonn Mobile may not be the only company planning to launch a smartphone that runs both Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone software. Speaking to TrustedReviews, the head of marketing for Chinese device maker Huawei said the company plans to sell a dual-boot phone in the US in the second quarter of 2014.

Update: Or maybe not. A Huawei official tells Fierce Wireless that the company has no plans to launch a dual-OS phone anytime soon.

android and windows phone

Most of Huawei’s phones currently run Android, and the company is working on upcoming Windows Phone devices. But according to a spokesperson, bundling Android and Windows Phone on the same device could make phones more attractive.

Users of a Dual OS device would have the option of using the Windows Phone software and user interface — but if they want to run apps which aren’t yet available for Windows Phone, they could switch to Android.

It’s not clear how the two operating systems will co-exist. If you have to wait for the phone to reboot before you can fire up an Android game or app, you might find yourself rarely actually switching. But if there’s a way to quickly switch between Windows and Android environments without rebooting, a Dual OS approach could offer the best of both worlds… or at least that’s what Huawei and Karbonn seem to be hoping.

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16 replies on “Huawei could launch dual-boot Android, Windows Phone device in Q2 2014”

  1. Windows phone isn’t the same as full win 8 right? Then what’s the point really?

    1. The point is, this is a phone. You don’t normally run full Windows 8 on a phone.

      1. That’s not much of a point. a few years ago you would say that you don’t have apps on your phone

        1. It’s mainly to help promote WP, due to the still limited app market, but like dual booting on a PC, it gives more flexibility and options to consumers…

          So people don’t necessarily have to give up anything with the option to use either OS on the same device and both OS do have their advantages and disadvantages that switching between them can help mitigate… and it’s likely lower cost than getting two devices, especially for those who may be just seeking to try out both OS and compare through actual usage…

        2. What I’m saying is that you’re asking for something this phone never claimed to do and afaik no other phone does either.

          1. I know, I mean if they did something other phones didn’t do it might actually be an innovation, scary.

            I believe people have setup their phones to boot or run Ubuntu Arm when plugged into an external display.

          2. The ability to run a full desktop class OS is something they’ll eventually shoot for but keep in mind traditional desktop OS aren’t optimized for mobile devices… Scaling for one thing, so only really makes sense when docking and that limits use situations… there is also the fact desktop OS aren’t usually optimized for mobile power efficiency and usually require more resources than a mobile OS needs and thus would pose a fairly serious power and resource drain on a mobile device, most of which are still well behind the performance range of even low end PCs…

            Running even GNU/Linux distros like Ubuntu have been tried before but they tended to be very limiting, partly because of the lack of performance and because ARM devices are so hardware fragmented that you pretty much had to re-optimize a distro for every new device and that was never really practical… even solutions like a webtop only managed to run a desktop Firefox by running a custom Ubuntu emulation just to run the browser but performance always suffers with emulation…

            Even devices that promote being able to run GNU/Linux often aren’t 100% compatible out of the box and require a fair bit of work getting everything to work properly…

            Sure, it would be nice if this changes soon but it’s been an ongoing experiment for years now… So it’s reasonable to curb enthusiasm for now until something really changes for the better…

            Besides, the hardware still needs to improve… as even with a mobile OS they’re still running into issues like performance throttling when they get too hot… and if they can’t push their performance limits then they can hardly be asked to run more demanding OS yet… though, larger devices, like tablets, are less limiting and more likely to get to that point first… barring any 3rd parties making it harder to get out…

  2. Honestly if I were google I probably would change agreements to disallow such phones to be google play/market certified. I don’t want a precedence set allowing for a windows tax finding its way onto mobile devices and google shouldn’t stand for that either.

    1. Very anti-consumer stance there, options should not be blocked for those
      consumers who want them just because someone else doesn’t like the
      choice!

      Besides, Android really isn’t free… Google just makes
      profit off alternative revenue sources like selling user information,
      meaning you have less privacy, along with ads and all sales through their Play
      Store… While MS may go the Google route and change their revenue
      source away from the OS and into services… There’s already
      indications with a discounted option possibly coming out soon for
      Windows 8 and Bing for a lower cost upgrade for users of previous
      Windows and that could easily go to free for the OS… and MS has
      already adopted Apple’s system for OSX in which updates are given for
      free and put out annually!

      1. I normally wouldn’t mind the choice and good competition, but after the “secure” feature of most uefi laptops, I would really like to see google give ms some of its same medicine!!

        1. You mean secure boot?

          It was never really much of a issue, but more of a annoyance… There was some fear when it was first introduced but those concerns proved unfounded and it turned out it would be no more annoying that say getting a Android device with a locked boot loader… Most device makers are free to leave the option to optionally disable it, and no one is stopping anyone from purchasing their own public key to work with Secure Boot…

          The Linux Foundation did exactly that and released a Boot Loader that can work with Secure Boot enabled, it only requires a system with 64bit UEFI… So, aside from drivers and working with UEFI instead of traditional BIOS, you can fairly easily run anything you want…

          It’s actually harder to get around a Google Chromebook… The Developers Mode gives limited option to use 3rd party Linux based distros and mainly only because Chromebooks use the Linux kernel… The SeaBIOS is a bit more flexible but it’s hit or miss and not available on all Chromebooks… and you’d have to be a really advance user to mess with the firmware for anything better, like actually changing the firmware to a more traditional BIOS and being then able to boot anything you want…

          Besides, UEFI is vulnerable to boot based attacks… So it’s not like there’s no reason for Secure Boot… It has advantages to traditional BIOS but it also has disadvantages that would be foolish to ignore…

          Anyway, it seems you already got your wish as according to Digitimes and CNET Google is actively trying to delay the releases of these new dual boot products…

          Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen… but we’ll know if no devices are released by the third quarter…

          1. That’s what I meant,secure boot. May be I was just scared of all the fud about it,
            because to be honest, I didn’t bother to read a whole lot about it, so to be fair, I don’t really know much about how it works and just to be sure, when I decided about a new laptop, I went for an acer aspire v5 with win7 and what it seems to me a more traditional bios.
            This could be an exception to the norm or maybe it’s related to a whole different thing, but why is so hard to install a linux distro on the asus transformer book t100? Anyhow, I would like to see what google pulls out, because even if I would really like to see somebody doing one of the M$’s tricks to them, like to ask them to buy a public key as you mentioned or something similar. Due to the open nature of android, other than not letting them get the play/market certification, I don’t know what can google do.
            I hope, what I just wrote makes sense, I’m really sleepy 🙂

          2. Issue with the T100 was Asus fault in that they gave it the 32bit version of the UEFI instead of the 64bit version…

            The 64bit Linux Boot Loader can auto recognize UEFI and it’s a lot easier to set up and use… along with being the only version that has the Secure Boot key for working with Secure Boot…

            While very little work had been previously done to make it work with the 32bit UEFI, besides which it forced having to do a lot of manual configurations that the 64bit version could have done automatically and they of course could not use what was already developed to work with the 64bit version…

            Hopefully, Asus will fix their mistake and release a 64bit version of the firmware but we may have to wait for them to release a model with 4GB of RAM before they finally make 64bit UEFI standard…

            Btw, there’s a valid reason to charge for the Secure Boot key… it’s only secure if the keys are limited in availability and access… While purchasing also means the keys can be tracked… So harder for someone to use the key in malware without it being tracked back to them! Along with many malware writers preferring free options to develop their malware…

            Anyway, Android isn’t really completely open… Google doesn’t allow any 3rd parties to help in the development before releasing a new version, for example, and the license it works under allows 3rd parties to make proprietary changes once it is released… So it may be technically open source but isn’t entirely treated as such in practice…

            Though, Google has relaxed things like the previous extremely strict control over the Google Play Store a lot from when it was first started but they still keep final say and don’t allow the use of the Play Store on devices that don’t meet their, now more lax but still limiting, requirements… So running Android doesn’t mean you necessarily get full access to everything…

            Along with heavy use of closed drivers that effects the majority of mobile devices and is one of the reason we don’t already see wider usage of GNU/Linux (aka desktop Linux) on mobile devices… this despite years of engineers and other experts trying pretty hard to make it happen… which combined with the hardware fragmentation of most ARM devices is at least a good part of the reasons why Android devices don’t get official support for very long…

            Besides, Google makes most of its revenue from alternative sources… They even make more money off iOS than they do Android, which they mainly push to give them market leverage and help ensure their place on other platforms with their other services and products like the Chrome browser…

            Anyway, Google has already hurt MS in the past… like MS failed attempt to compete directly with Google is the reason for the big write off they had to their annual budget report a few years ago…

      2. considering that MS patent trolls android vendors with very questionable patents it seems like could be another leveraging of vendors by MS. they declared war first let them live with the consequences and miniscule marketshare.

        1. MS didn’t start patent trolling… That has been going on for nearly as long as patent laws have been in the books…

          Like the main reason Google bought Motorola was to gain control of that company’s patents…

          Thing to understand is none of these companies are angels and they’ll all leverage whatever they can to maximize profits and try to gain advantages over their competitors…

          Patents don’t last forever, though… Fortunately…

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