Intel and AMD are both pushing new technology that lets users run Android and Windows 8.1 on the same device without rebooting. AMD is doing that by partnering with BlueStacks, a company that’s been making software that lets you run an Android environment within Windows for the past few years. Intel, on the other hand, is pushing its own “Dual OS” solution that makes it possible to switch between operating systems with the tap of a button.

With the two biggest companies in the notebook processor space on board, it seems likely that the Asus Transformer Book Duet won’t be the only dual OS system launched in the coming months.


The ability to run Android apps on a Windows PC without rebooting means that users can access about a million touchscreen-friendly apps from the Google Play Store rather than the tens of thousands of apps available from the Windows Store.

It also means that if you have an Android phone or tablet, you can access the same apps and sync your data between your mobile device and your Android/Windows computer.

In some ways, this feels like a stop-gap solution. Either Windows will gain more touch-friendly apps in the Play Store or maybe one day Android will be a one-size-fits-all solution that can run instead of Windows on a laptop or convertible tablet.

Either way, I have a hard time seeing the dual OS solution as something users will be playing with 3 years from now. But it certainly seems a lot more useful than past attempts attempts to ship laptops with dual operating systems… which usually meant you’d have to wait for your PC to reboot before you could switch from one environment to the other.

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19 replies on “Intel and AMD are both pushing Windows and Android “Dual OS” strategies”

  1. So far I haven’t seen much in this category except the ASUS Duet. But supposedly Lenovo, HP, Acer, and other OEMs were expected to be showing Dual OS machines too. Have I missed them among all the “wearable computing trinket” noise or was the Duet about it?

  2. Outside of games, which I can’t speak knowledgeably about outside of the fact that I know Android is a big deal in that space, I see Windows beating Android for everything. I might be the outlier, but for me Android itself was the ‘stopgap solution’: the size and weight of Android tablets used to be far superior to Windows based alternatives. Microsoft’s stopgap solution: Windows RT.

    And then Intel changed the rules of the game by bringing x86 into ARM power envelopes.

    That’s likely why Google hasn’t abandoned its ChromeOS strategy, they too see “Apps” and “ecosystems” and “walled gardens” fading.

    1. I agree. For what I want to do, Android was/is a step towards what Windows 8 and Ubuntu Touch provide or at least what they plan to provide.

  3. Well 3 years out I expect that either Android will have buried and marginalized Windows, or will retreat back to its position as a mobile OS. I agree it seems very unlikely that Dual OS machines are anything but transitional. And they may end up as an experiment that failed to capture market share since the masses do not comprehend its significance. We’ll have to wait for 2015 to see how the concept panned out.

  4. Lame. Doesn’t seem useful at all. How about Intel work with Canonical on Ubuntu Touch instead. Maybe they can convince them to not use Mir or make it better.

  5. AMD will be the big loser, BlueStacks doesn’t really cut it. But they do have to make an effort to stay alive as the world changes.

    1. Depends on the application, if they can get actual dual booting to work then they could get close to 100% compatibility and there are custom Firmware available that lets both OS run concurrently and simply puts one into hibernation while the other is being used to avoid the normal pitfalls of dual booting.

      The Asus Duet is using that method and can switch between OS in under 4 seconds and neither OS needs to be closed or rebooted to make the switch…

      AMD does need to improve on power efficiency though, Intel is clearly pulling ahead in that regard and AMD can’t rely on price advantage in the mobile range as Intel prices their mobile SoCs to compete with ARM and that’s already really low, thus all the very affordable models coming out recently…

      1. But AMD appears to be betting everything on BlueStacks. What did I miss?

        1. AMD does have a partnership with Bluestacks but it’s not the only solution they can use… Keep in mind that the final setup is still up to the OEMs who make the final device and companies like Asus are using other methods to provide Android… AMD can just make it easier for certain configuration by providing the needed drivers and other support but the OEM can still use whatever method can work with the given hardware and running Android on x86 isn’t exclusive to just Intel hardware…

  6. I hate having to run more than one OS. It really seems like an act of desperation to me.

  7. With Intel getting so good with power usage and performance it looks like it is up to Microsoft to get Windows where it needs to be to keep ahead of Android maturing to the point where either or works just as well.

    1. True, but this does help keep MS foot in the door to the mobile market until they either can or can’t better develop the MobileUI app market ecosystem… Afterall, Android has a way to go to develop before it can be considered a desktop replacement as well….

      In the meantime, providing Android means people don’t need to worry about giving up anything to try Window devices at this stage of development and having it pre-installed covers all the non-technical people who never alter their systems from the way they bought them.

      So, it may be a stop-gap measure at this point but it’s a good move nonetheless.that buys MS much needed time… Along with increasing their exposure to users who may have otherwise opted to stick to just a standard mobile device and part of the battle to get a platform accepted is exposure to the masses…

      If all goes well then it can also help developers get convinced of the potential and start putting more effort into developing for the ModernUI app market…

      1. Hmm, I hadn’t looked at it that way. A breathing space for Microsoft? You might have a point.

      2. Seems there are two options:

        1. This stuff works well. Doesn’t anyone at Microsoft remember how well flawlessly running the dominant player’s apps worked out for IBM and OS/2 Warp? App developers will write to the lowest common denominator, Android.

        2. It doesn’t work well. Not much better, it does lock a few saps into Windows tech one more replacement cycle but reinforces the sense of frustration that is leading anyone who can escape the WinTel alliance’s grip to flee.

        So I can’t see this ending well for Microsoft regardless. Intel on the other hand….. and notice who is pushing it? Ah.

        1. 1) Unless ARM gets a lot more conflicting with traditional x86 markets then there’s no architectural conflicts like effected OS/2 Warp… Development tools are easy to use and easy to get, unlike the OS/2 Warp days when they tried to charge for everything… There’s no serious Kernel or hardware compatibility issues like there was with OS/2 Warp… MS is considerably more serious about developing the ModernUI, with a version of Office to be released for it this year to help get things rolling (OS/2 Warp lacked any killer apps)… MS doesn’t have to conflict with another company over ownership and developing of Windows like they did with OS/2 Warp with IBM… and most importantly, there’s no other mainstream desktop OS for the masses… So, no real comparison with what happened with OS/2 Warp…

          2) It’s not a WinTel alliance anymore… Neither Intel or MS have been really backing the other for the last few years. Intel has been steadily seeking to support other OS… The Meego and then Tizen project just being highlights of those efforts, supporting Linux and Android being the other examples, and MS is still trying to push RT for ARM despite the hard sell…

          I agree that MS risks the most but Windows 8 sales have improved since 8.1 was released and MS will release the 8.2 update before the end of this year that may actually win over some of its remaining detractors if it changes as much as the rumors suggest they will…

          Sure, the Modern UI has a long way to go but development has never stalled since it was introduced and with MS releasing Office for it starts the process of making it actually useful for productivity and not just casual mobile usages… Nothing is for sure until it happens but I would hardly say the outlook is very gloomy at all at this point, it just won’t happen overnight but it rarely ever does…

          Typically, you need to wait 2-3 years to know if a product, business, etc will be a success or was a bad idea and it has been barely over a year so far… So we got quite some time before we can be sure of anything…

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