Google pressuring Asus to cancel dual-boot Windows/Android hybrid tablet

Tech giant Google is reportedly pressuring Taiwanese tech company Asus to abandon plans to release a dual-boot Windows/Android hybrid tablet.

The device, the Transformer Book Duet TD300, was a tablet that could be transformed into a laptop by attaching a keyboard dock.

Demonstrated by the company at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during January, the device was noteworthy because it could run both Google’s Android operating system and Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

In a statement issued at the time, Asus promised that users would be able to switch between their Android and Windows apps at the touch of a button.

“ASUS Transformer Book Duet (TD300) is an extremely capable device that is able to function as an Android or Windows 8.1 tablet or notebook. Users can simply switch operating systems with a single push of the Instant Switch button or a virtual key on the tablet.

“Transformer Book Duet features a powerful Intel Core i7 processor with Intel HD graphics and 4G DDR3L 1600 RAM, giving it performance that’s twice as fast as existing tablets powered by ARM processors.

“The patented ASUS technology that powers Instant Switch offers many performance and productivity benefits over other dual-OS solutions, such as fast, smooth and seamless switching and the ability to resume each OS from where the user left off. As it does not use OS virtualization, Instant Switch also allows each OS to harness the full power of the Intel processor.”

However, according to a report in Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes, Asus has come under pressure from Google to abandon the device over fears it could lead to increased penetration by Windows into the tablet market.

While Android is an open source operating system, many popular apps, including the Google Play app store, Google Maps, Hangouts and YouTube, are owned by Google.

This means that although Google could not prevent Asus from building a dual-boot Windows/Android device, it can prevent a vendor from shipping a device with its apps or app store.

According to the report, other device makers are also reconsidering plans to release dual-boot devices with Windows and Android.

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