Cohabitation has never been easy, as anyone who’s tried it will tell you. And it gets even harder when you’re talking about tech, and particularly operating systems, which are generally about as incompatible as its possible to be
Or at least, that’s how things used to be. But that could be about to change with the news that both Intel and AMD are pursuing dual OS projects that aim to put both Windows and Android onto one, dual-booting PC.
As far as Intel goes, what it’s promising sounds pretty cool – it wants to run Android and Windows on a single chip, giving us the ability to instantly switch between the two operating systems at the push of a button. It’s supposed to be a seamless experience, and a secure one, thanks to Intel’s commitment to device protection.
Admittedly the idea isn’t new. Last year we saw Samsung release its ATIV Q, a kind of tablet-slider device that runs both Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and Windows 8, while just an hour before Intel made its announcement, Asus showed off its own Transformer Book Duet that also runs both operating systems simultaneously. The difference however is that Intel wants to put both systems on a single chip, offering a more seamless transition than we currently get with the aforementioned breed of hobbled-together Windows-Android hybrids.
It’s a pretty cool-sounding idea, and so it’s not surprising that AMD has exactly the same plan to run Android and Windows in perfect harmony on the same machine.
However, AMD is doing things a little differently, and it may just give it the edge over Intel’s design. According to The Verge, AMD is teaming up with BlueStacks to develop a way of running Android inside Windows, on the same chip, offering the same seamless transition between the two OS’s.
The Verge says that you’ll be able to run “individual Android apps from the Windows 8 Start Screen just like they were native Windows programs”, whilst being able to search for Android apps within Windows 8’s search charm.
The big difference though is the hardware. Whilst Intel’s plan involves running Android on its own architecture, AMD plans to run everything on an ARM chip – the same silicon that Android apps are built for, which means they should all run far more efficiently. It sounds ambitious, and the plans are only in ‘development’ right now, but if it works it would be super cool – for one thing it should lead to huge savings on battery life, because virtualizing Android on another system tends to be a huge power drain.
It’s not entirely clear how popular dual-booting Android-Windows machines would be, but with Intel and AMD both having their hearts set on the idea, it looks like they’ll be with us soon enough anyway.