Intel is reportedly working with PC makers to put Android apps on Windows computers

January 3, 2014

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With PC sales continuing to decline, players in the industry are frantically looking for ways to rekindle the interest in PCs that consumers have begun to lose with the rise of modern smartphones and tablets. Chief among them is Intel, who along with Microsoft, has dominated the PC industry – with the profits to show for it – for decades.

According to The Verge, Intel’s latest move is to bring to Windows laptops one of Android’s biggest draws – apps. The chipmaker is said to be working with some PC makers to put Android apps in virtual machines that would run on regular Windows touch-enabled devices. The effort is reportedly known as Dual OS, though that might be just a codename; Tim Bajarin writes on Time that the project will be actually dubbed PC Plus. Regardless of its final name, the initiative will probably be introduced at CES next week.

The idea of running Android and Windows on the same device isn’t new – Asus has the Transformer Book Trio (though the device has two processors, so it’s more like an Android tablet and a Windows PC fused together), while Samsung announced – but never released – the Ativ Q, which let users start up Android with a push of a button. Also, there are a number of emulators available for Windows that enable a more or less full Android experience, the best known being BlueStacks and Genymotion. It’s not clear yet how Intel’s idea differs from these products.

Google or Microsoft could kill the project

The biggest issue that may stop the Dual OS project in its tracks is the fact that neither Google nor Microsoft have given their blessing so far. According to The Verge’s sources, Steve Ballmer’s company isn’t keen on the idea, because it would send out a confusing message to the developers that are so crucial for Microsoft’s unified operating system ambitions. On the other hand, Google could kill the whole project by denying emulated Android instances access to the Play Store, thus taking away its only reason for existence.

We should learn more about Dual OS when Intel makes an official announcement about the initiative next week at CES. Stay tuned.

Comments

  • Guest123

    pass

  • jup68
    • MasterMuffin

      There are lots of projects like this, Windroy being another one

  • wmsco1

    Forget WINDOWS PERIOD, make laptops for Android. I’m pretty sure Google Services can provide all that is needed to replace Windows. Just my opinion.

    • MasterMuffin

      If you only play light games and surf the web, then Android can replace Windows. Otherwise no way

      • TjaldidTjaldid

        If you combine it with Steam Os then there is a chance

        • mustbepbs

          What about the plethora of applications people use on a daily basis on Windows? Games aren’t the only thing Windows is good for.

          • TjaldidTjaldid

            Video editing, Drawing and app making is the only thing i can think of on Windows but for the average person everything else can be done on Android/SteamOS/UBuntu

            But I’m not saying that there is no need for Windows… yet, but loosing market-share and having it more even is only a good thing when it means more competition and hopefully that they lower the OS cost down from $140 (if I remember correctly)

          • V.A.N.

            But what kind of video editing? Is your grandmother of GF gonna create the latest Star Trek epic? There are already online video apps that anyone can use to create a simple to complex movie. Before, people needed Photoshop or Paint to fix red eye in photos. Today, the majority of people are using INSTAGRAM! For Android “Pixlr Express” or even Photoshop Touch.

            There will always be some use for Windows/Apple machines…..but for the rest of the world, they don’t need it.

      • alphaflare

        That’s pretty correct.
        Android can’t replace my Visual Studio, Unity, Cinema 4D, Nero, Sibelius, Eclipse, and even Android SDK!

        That’s right. Android can’t even produce apk on its own platform. You will need at least a PC to build Android app.

        Even Google released Android SDK/ADT/NDK on Win, Linux, Mac, but none on Android platform itself.

        • MasterMuffin

          Well there is AIDE

    • mustbepbs

      For most consumer uses, I agree, but businesses can’t get things done on Android. It’s just not possible.

      • A googler

        That’s crap I work for a huge company and all the employees use customised android devices including tablets the good thing about Android is its easily customisable for individual business needs unlike ios

        • http://www.theveboy.com/ Mehdi

          Oh. doesn’t your ‘huge company’ need paper works? and a server ? you HAVE to use Windows or a linux distro on business.

      • V.A.N.

        Of course they can. A business can run on two things: Apps and the Web. Those two can run separately from Windows and would cost an organization minimal dollars to run. IT Departments are on the decline, but Web and App developing is on the rise.

    • Bomj

      In Architecture/CAD/Interior Design industry there is no substitution for Windows. Some people still use computers for serious work.

      • V.A.N.

        How many is that? 10?

        It will be better for the public that Windows be the new Mac or the new Linux. I would say 90% of the world population has no need or no care for Architecture/CAD software.

        • Bomj

          Are you serious? Nothing more frustrating than using Mac to get a real job done (going through it right now). Most of the programs feel like “Light” versions (or simply don’t exist), with A LOT of key functions missing. And I’m not talking here only about CAD, but lots of other professional software. 10%? Really???

    • AndroidBoss

      We already have Chromebooks.

      • A googler

        Android is far superior to chrome and it would sell fast better if they simply released a desktop version

        • V.A.N.

          I think all that needs to be done, is for Google to replicate the Chrome desktop experience to the Android/Chrome. For example Android/Chrome doesn’t even support extensions yet.

      • alphaflare

        You can’t build Android app on Chromebooks.

  • andrew

    Great idea and agree with MasterMuffin.
    Windows is still the way to go for serious
    business productivity, but it would be nice to simply push a key or tap the screen to get into Android apps.

  • A googler

    The sad thing is if Microsoft had simply released an upgraded version of Windows 7 yearly and not fxxxxd about with how it works due to poor management and general stupidity then people would be still buying laptops and desktops with it preinstalled but I only know of one person with Windows 8 and they took the machine back!

    • needa

      8.1 isnt that bad. its a great improvement over 8. much better usability all the way around.

  • Cal Rankin

    If Google didn’t allow Play Store access to these virtual machines, one could download apps to the computer from the Google Play website, and then load them into the virtual machine.

  • V.A.N.

    I hope Google kills this.

    I hope everybody wants this idea killed. Believe me, I don’t hate Microsoft at all, but I want them and their Windows product to stand on their own two feet against the up-and-coming Android juggernaut. This will only make Windows a better product and more importantly a CHEAPER PRODUCT.

    People may be Google/Microsoft/Apple fans, but you know what? Those companies don’t care about you. They just want your money, which of course, they have every right to earn.

    We all know what happens when a Microsoft product is allowed to exist unscathed. We get 7 year Operating Systems (XP), and Internet Explorer 5 for the longest period of time. Google is doing something, Apple arrogantly has failed to do: make quality products for the masses. Apple is too expensive, too boring, and too closed. As for Linux distros…they’re horrible. Linux distro developers are smart and talented, they just don’t have the resources to makes a sell-able product that everybody can use. They THINK everyone can use Ubuntu or Mint, but the truth is, not everyone can.. Fortunately Google/Android does know how to make a product for the masses. Hopefully, they and their partners can drive the cost of computing lower, lower, and lower. To hell with Microsoft’s bottom line…to hell with it!

    • armeabi-v6

      I only have one thing to say: Let people have choice.

      This feature is important, it lets people to choose whether they want to run android app on their mobile ARM device, or on their powerful x86 computer.

      Competition is good. Having choice is better.

      • mobilemann

        you’re mistaking @V.A.N. for a lover of technology. He’s a fanboy pretending to be impartial. It’s easy to see with instant dismissals of entire other platform, and his “google has the only idea of the way forward” attitude.

        but that’s 50% of the people who post here, because android sites can’t exist without elitism.

        meanwhile, the most hardcore MS, Apple, and Google fanboys tend to only use their phone for candy crush and Facebook, instead of doing something fun.

    • Kos

      “Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel” source: wikipedia.org

  • symbolset

    What a great idea! Now you can get an Android device that costs as much as a Windows device. That can decide your license is invalid if you have to reflash it. That needs drivers and antivirus, firewall and admin accounts, monthly patch Tuesday and weekly zero days, registry hacks, Metro interface and service packs and a 40GB install size, an OS tailored to not work for apps that compete with Office or IE. An Android device with integrated IE and Bing.

    Whose idea was this? He deserves some sort of award for thinking so far out of the box he must have violated causality.

  • pallu

    BlueStacks?

    • cherry

      not really useful, you can’t sideload apps.

  • Rushan

    Same story happened with Samsung Ativ Q and it never came to the market because of bold patents from Microsoft and Google. I think the patent issue comes when both OSs runs on a single processor.

  • Randy Scott

    Most people I know have both, a computer and a tablet of some kind. I don’t think anyone would really want to do without either. In the opinion of most people I’ve spoken with, the PC is not dying due to lack of apps, it’s dying because nobody likes Windows 8! I haven’t met anyone yet who likes it, and some have bought macs or switched to win 7, Vista, or even XP after buying a new machine. Microsoft should just admit their mistake, dump the garbage, and start offering machines with a better op system on them.