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Asus Halts Android/Windows Tablet PC Production

Asus reportedly has put on hold plans to release a tablet PC that can switch between Android and Windows just two months after introducing the multi-mode device.

The company introduced the Transformer Book Duet TD300 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas back in January and said it would ship in the first half of this year. But Digitimes last week reported Asus was shelving the release. It stood out as one of the few unique tablet PCs at CES because users can convert the device from a laptop to a tablet and switch between operating systems.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich demonstrated it in his CES keynote as the type of new devices the chipmaker sees as boosting demand for its system-on-a-chip processors. Samsung also has announced a similar device, Ativ Q, last summer.  But as noted by BGR, the company never released it and has removed all references to it from its Web site.  

"There are times you want Windows, there are times you want Android," Krzanich said in his CES keynote. Intel's 64-bit SoCs "are the only ones that can offer that capability to seamlessly switch between OSes," he added. "You don't have to make a choice moving forward."

Well for now you do.  But according to The Wall Street Journal, Asus may be facing backlash from both Google and Microsoft, who seemingly would prefer not to see each other's  rival operating systems on the same machine.

While Android is available free and hence Google technically can't stop Asus from releasing the device, the search giant does approve what is sold in its Google Play app store. Analyst Patrick Moorhead told The Journal Google has no incentive to approve dual-OS systems since it would also benefit Microsoft. For its part, Microsoft also has little incentive to give laptop users an additional entrée to the Android marketplace but Digitimes research believed Microsoft had more to gain.

The now-postponed TD300 was appealing because it was a hybrid tablet PC and offered what it called an Instant Switch, allowing users to quickly switch between Android and Windows, rather than rebooting.

If Microsoft can release Office on the iPad, which  Mary Jo Foley reported in her ZDNet All About Microsoft blog will happen next week, surely Google and Microsoft could find a reason to stand out of the way of OEMs releasing a device that lets users switch between two operating systems.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/19/2014 at 11:31 AM


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