Dual-booting Android with Windows Phone is a bit of an odd concept, but one that we’ve been hearing about for a while now. At the beginning of the year, Intel talked about its quick switching technology, to enabling Windows and Android to run side by side on tablets and laptops. Earlier this month, Indian smartphone manufacturer Karbonn Mobiles announced its own plans to release dual-boot devices as early as June. Now it seems that such a feature is destined for smartphones in US as well, courtesy of Chinese manufacturer Huawei. The handset could arrive as early as Spring this year.
Speaking with Trusted Reviews, Huawei’s chief marketing officer, Shao Yang, briefly talked about the company’s interests in different operating systems, particularly why it wants to dual-boot Windows Phone with Android. No details were mentioned about the handset’s hardware or pricing, but we do know that the smartphone will go on sale in the US in Q2 2014, which conveniently means that it will arrive at around the same time as Microsoft’s updated Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.
“Compared with Android, the priority of Windows Phone is much lower but is still one of our choices of OS. We are definitely using a multi OS strategy.” Shao Yang, Huawei Chief Marketing Officer
But why would anyone really want a dual-boot smartphone? According to Huawei, it’s all about giving consumers more choice, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, but one comment in particular is quite telling about how Huawei views Microsoft’s efforts in the mobile space, and perhaps reveals why Huawei is opting for a dual-boot handset.
“If it is Windows only, maybe people will not find it as easy a decision to buy the phone. If they have the Android and Windows together, you can change it as you wish and it is much easier for people to choose Windows Phone.”
It seems that Shao Yang doesn’t believe that the Windows Phone operating alone is enough to shift handsets, and you can’t exactly blame him when you look at Microsoft’s market share. The interesting part is wondering how much of this is actually Microsoft’s idea, as the tech giant seems to be targeting lower price points and weaker hardware specifications with Windows Phone 8.1, a market segment where Android has typically excelled.
Towards the end of last year we received reports that Microsoft was in talks with both Samsung and Huawei, regarding dual-booting. Given that Huawei also released a Windows Phone in the US last year, perhaps the two companies have formed a cosy relationship over the past few months. Then there’s the new Nokia X range too, it all seems to point at a new Microsoft strategy to persuade budget conscious consumers to start using its services.
Do you see any point in a dual-boot smartphones, could Microsoft’s software bring anything useful to Android?