Based on reports coming from Chinese blogging platform Weibo the internet is abuzz with rumours today that not only is Huawei looking at entering the every more crowded convertible PC market but that they will be doing so with a dual boot Windows 10/ Android machine.
The details are a little thin on the ground, however, this is not the first time we have heard of a device in development that was intended to dual boot Android and Windows, along with several other combinations. According to ‘reports’, these previous devices were stopped by either or both of Microsoft or Google flexing their positions over hardware vendors and/ or through the use of sub-clauses in the various OS licensing agreements.
Licensing issues for larger OEMs seems to be the issue here, with several Android/Windows combo tablets available on sites like GearBest etc. but larger names in manufacturing such as Asus have previously announced and then pulled products running these combinations in the past.
I haven’t been able to find conclusive reporting of any theory, so it’s hard to tell if Huawei would face any such resistance from Microsoft or Google or if any such device if it saw the light of day would run an “approved” version of the OS (ie perhaps no Google Play Services).
If the report is to be believed the convertible laptop/ tablet hybrid would feature a detachable keyboard, dual boot OS and be based on an Intel processor. The idea of a dual boot device seems appealing, you have the best of both worlds, a traditional “productivity” mouse and keyboard environment with multi-tasking, historical applications and a windowed environment as well as a touch first content consumption environment and “app” based ecosystem. However, the devil is in the details.
If I sync my Google Drive or Dropbox on one partition is that immediately available to the other? When I provision my limited token music account on the Android side do I have to use another token to provision it on the Windows side? There a many more scenarios such as these, and it is this kind of user experience that we haven’t seen real world tested with different classical and touch-first OSs on a single device. If such a device does come to market I would be very interested to see how all of these issues will be handled.
What benefits or pitfalls do you see with a dual boot Windows 10/ Android device?