The problem with an Intel push for an Android Windows marriage

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Android and Windows running in harmony on the same machine isn’t something new. Whether it’s by dual-booting — choosing which OS to boot when starting a device — or virtualisation — think BlueStacks — we’ve seen companies like Samsung and ViewSonic take a stab at the idea with the Ativ Q and ViewPad 10Pro, respectively. But now, Intel is said to be poised to throw its weight behind the idea.

Just as the world’s largest consumer electronics show is about to begin, rumours are surfacing that we are about to see a flurry of Intel-blessed devices emerge from International CES 2014 that can run Android apps inside Windows 8.1, through some form of Intel-optimised virtualisation — no reboot required.

Chances are, it could very well happen. Asus has teased its Windroid tablet pre CES and an FCC filing for the device mentions “Dual OS,” reportedly the name Intel is using internally for its x86 Android optimised project. Also consider that Intel has designed its Bay Trail tablet chip to play nice with both operating systems.

Is this what consumers want? Maybe. Is this what Google and Microsoft want? According to reports, the answer is resounding, no.

It looks like the idea Intel is putting forward to stifle slumping PC sales are at odds with Microsoft and Google’s vision. Microsoft wants a Windows plus Windows Phone marriage, and Google is staring another fragmentation conundrum in the face.

This week me might see a whole bunch headline seeking Dual OS devices emerge from CES, but if Google, Microsoft and Intel can’t play nice, we won’t hold our breath for a Windroid future, yet.

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