The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that PC manufacturer Asustek Computer has shelved plans to sell a dual-OS hybrid laptop/tablet after getting pushback from Google and Microsoft. The gadget, which would run both Android and Windows, was unveiled at CES in January and was scheduled to hit the market in the next few months. But the two massive software developers apparently exerted pressure on Asustek to forestall a device featuring both platforms.
Interestingly, the news comes just one day after a TrustedReviews report that Huawei plans to bring a dual-OS smartphone to the U.S. market by the end of June. The handset would run both Android and Windows Phone, presumably allowing users to switch between operating systems with just a click or two.
Just as Google reportedly pressured Asustek to postpone its PC, it is highly unlikely to support Huawei’s planned smartphone. Android is an open source OS, of course, so Huawei is free to use the platform as it likes, but but much of what makes Android so attractive to consumers — things like Google Play and Google’s branded apps — are, in a sense, proprietary. And a recent series of agreements with Samsung demonstrates that Google is willing to play hardball to regain some control over its mobile operating system.
I think a dual-boot smartphone is highly unlikely to appeal to consumers anyway, as I told TechNewsWorld yesterday, and one that runs a stripped-down version of Android would almost certainly flop in the U.S. Microsoft likely supports such a device because its share of the U.S. smartphone market is so small that it’s worth the risk. But if Google exerts pressure on Huawei — and I think it will, if it hasn’t already — it will be interesting to see whether the China-based vendor launches the phone in the U.S. anyway.