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PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES 564

Velcroman1 writes "Fearing rapidly plummeting sales of traditional laptops and desktop computers — which fell by another 10 percent or so in 2013 — manufacturers are planning a revolt against Microsoft and the Windows operating system, analysts say. At the 2014 CES in Las Vegas, multiple computer makers will unveil systems that simultaneously run two different operating systems, both Windows and the Android OS that powers many of the world's tablets and smartphones, two different analysts said recently. The new devices will be called 'PC Plus' machines, explained analyst Tim Bajarin. 'A PC Plus machine will run Windows 8.1 but will also run Android apps as well,' Bajarin wrote. Another analyst put the threat to Windows bluntly: 'This should scare the heck out of Microsoft.'"
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PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES

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  • Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:37PM (#45800797)

    Who the fuck wants this? Sure, Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:40PM (#45800817)

      Probably won't be able to disable SecureBoot. That's what makes it better!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who the fuck wants this? Sure, Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

      Because choice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who the fuck wants this?

      Google, I'm guessing. It's the next step after Chromebooks, I'd bet the one after this will be pure Android desktops.

    • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:42PM (#45800855)

      Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

      Any movement away from a Microsoft dominated software market is probably a step in the right direction. As for the question of whether anyone will use these features, I will withhold judgment until I can actually see them.

      • Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

        Any movement away from a Microsoft dominated software market is probably a step in the right direction.

        Sure, but that's not what's happening; RTFS:

        unveil systems that simultaneously run two different operating systems, both Windows and the Android OS

        • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:15PM (#45801233) Journal

          That's just it. Mobile devices have already sent the message loud and clear. A PC that still pays the Windows tax? Not so scary.

          I find Android even more annoying than Metro on a real KVM setup - I can't imagine using it unless some app I really needed was Android-only (and I've yet to find an app I cared that much about). Android just isn't a viable threat on a desktop.

          Mobile computing is an entirely different landscape, of course, and clearly it finally hit home with MS that they weren't winning there with their past strategy, as their big reorg seems focused on fixing that - for sure it will at least change it.

          You know, I like C# and Visual Studio - if I could easily write code that would run across not just all the Windows platforms, but Android and IOS too - and with a UI that looks native on each platform, like QT does - that would be a wonderful thing.

          Come to think of it, I wonder whether there a nice C#/QT interface yet that works well in Mono - anyone know? Or have another good cross-platform UI approach using Mono? Xamarin seems proud of what they have - anyone know?

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:20PM (#45801303)

            Doesn't work. Microsoft doesn't allow the full support in Mono... Little things would work, but the more extensive support just isn't there.

            And it is under constant thread from Microsoft for lawsuits.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Measured by time or money, I have yet to find anything that even comes close to C#, Mono, and Xamarin for doing cross platform work. If you want code that runs well on Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, and probably even Windows Phone (although never done any windows phone tbh) nothing else even comes close.

            I've seen the Xamarin generated android code (mono-touch) run faster than native java (which is usually a fair comparison due to how similar c# is to java), and the exact same code run only slightly slo

            • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @11:53AM (#45805511)

              Now as for the QT comparison that's a slightly different beast. Most of the time (almost all the time in mobile) you're going to want to spend some time retouching your UI to match the base os' way of doing things.

              This raises the question - does your Mono UI look different on these platforms (in which case, why do you care about retouching your Qt UIs) or does it look the same .NET-based UI (in which case, why do you care about retouching your Qt UIs) or do you just not care about retouching your Mono UIs and are trying to spread a little FUD about how perfect it is compared to an alternative cross-platform toolkit?

      • by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:02PM (#45801067)

        It isn't necessarily better. For example, you have a lot of system level software under Windows that you can't even sell for iOS and on Chromebooks. And on Android, your users need root before using them, which very few people have. Not to mention the 30% cut of all revenue on both the big mobile stores. In people's rush to hate MS, everyone's promoting even more restrictive software and data being stored in the cloud which users have no control over.

        Linus says it best: Microsoft hatred is a disease []

        I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.

          There are 'extremists' in the free software world, but that's one major reason why I don't call what I do 'free software' any more. I don't want to be associated with the people for whom it's about exclusion and hatred."

        • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:43PM (#45802645) Journal

          Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect. - Linus Torvalds

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:42PM (#45801517)
        This ISN;T a step in the right direction. Putting a shitty alternative OS on will just persuade people NOT to look elsewhere. They either need to do it right or not at all, this will help MS not hurt them.
        • What are your alternatives if every alternative OS is a shitty alternative OS ? Dont run software ?

          Last time i looked, there really are not that many OSes around that simultaneously a) do something useful b) avoid being shitty.
          A couple of open source RTOSes sort of fit the bill, but they dont run any applications apart from the one you embed in them.

      • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:14PM (#45802763) Homepage Journal

        I share that sentiment. To bad that it's happening about 20 years later than it should have. I have no sympathy for struggling PC makers. All of the top dogs in the industry cooperated for a couple decades in feeding that behemoth known as Microsoft. They have been happily paying that Microsoft Tax, and passing the cost on to the end users. I would be perfectly happy to see some of those big dogs go bankrupt. Smaller companies that have struggled to supply alternate OS's and no-OS machines may finally get a well deserved break here.

        Like yourself, I'll withhold judgement. When I'm ready to purchase new hardware, if I can buy good hardware and install Linux without a problem, I'll be quite happy. If it proves difficult to install Linux, I'll be less happy. My happiness will decrease with the amount of difficulty involved.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To top it off, it's nothing new. Systems like this were released and failed miserably a few years ago. It's a stupid "feature", nobody used it.

      I'm sure this really has Microsoft quaking in their booties. /sarcasm
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:48PM (#45800917)

      Sure, Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

      Because there are a LOT of Android developers now, who would be very tempted to write for this...

      But also from the user side, presumably you could play Android games, buying them at Android prices instead of Windows prices (or playing them for free, the dark unfortunate secret of Android).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Android would make for a decent lightweight platform, but one of the big advantages of the desktop are workflows. Pop a screenshot of one program, switch to Word to paste it, grab some results from Excel, fetch a picture from DropBox, crop it in Photoshop, then make a PDF and attach it, as well as another picture to an E-mail. This is doable on iOS and Android, but the workflow switching is a lot harder than on a multitasking, multi-window OS like Windows, OS X, Linux, AIX, *BSD, etc.

        What would be interes

      • playing them for free, the dark unfortunate secret of Android

        Which used to be the dark unfortunate secret of DOS and Windows' success.

      • Sure, Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

        Because there are a LOT of Android developers now, who would be very tempted to write for this...

        But also from the user side, presumably you could play Android games, buying them at Android prices instead of Windows prices (or playing them for free, the dark unfortunate secret of Android).

        And there are a few hardware-assisted breakthroughs thanks to a freshly designed Android mentality. We probably never stopped to think 10 years ago how much shareware, paid or even free software suffered due to the *fragmentation* presented by wintel PC *diversity*

        I just realized this: un-needed smartphone peripherals starting with the iPhone and Android era gave birth to a multimedia 2.0... different from the nineties' version in that there are no more drivers, sound cards, CD roms, modems, cameras and mic

    • Who the fuck wants this? Sure, Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better? In order to ship an Android tablet while not paying the Microsoft "Android tax" and while still receiving all the incentives involved in shipping Windows.

      If anyone doubts that the effective cost of Windows to OEMs is zero or very close (perhaps even negative), this is evidence in support of that proposition.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:09PM (#45801153)

      Maybe Steve Elop returned to Microsoft and told them that they are on a "burning platform" with Windows 8?

      That schtick of his worked wonders at Nokia . . .

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:13PM (#45801195)

      I, for one.. I'm running Slackware now since Windows 8 pissed me off over and over. Slackware isn't great either - but at least it's something worth learning. I don't see Microsoft continuing being the only dominant player in the future.

      Windows 8 has got to be the main reason laptop and PC sales have plummeted. Nobody likes the fucking interface on a PC and nobody wants to buy a new PC that forcefeeds you Windows 8 when they already have Windows 7.

      Windows 8 is an asshole operating system. It was designed by a guy that decided to be an asshole and only have asshole programmers join him. It was designed so that you can only multitask when Windows 8 decides you can multitask. Did you launch 'full screen' Internet Explorer? You did? Ha! There's no way to move it back to a window. Because fuck you! Guess what? Here's a start menu. And, it only launches bullshit by default. Oh, you have a PC? We will go ahead and optimize it for a tablet anyway. Oh, you don't have a touchscreen monitor? We'll continue to act like you have a touchscreen. You have a sound card issue? You and like 10,000 other people? We will continue to act like you don't know how to update the drivers for the sound card and we will continue to act like it's your fault. Windows 8 crashed on you? We will continue to act like it never crashes and is the most stable piece of software marvel ever.

      Fuck Windows 8. I've never had a piece of software piss me off more so quickly.. and I deal with old industrial software and IT for my career. I would love to see a revolt.

      And, if you're a programmer for Windows 8, fuck you too.

      • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:39PM (#45801499)

        I completely agree. Got a new netbook with Win8 and tried to make it dual-boot with Linux. After that proved to be difficult, I had a look at Win8 and decided it was really not worth my time to try to keep it. The netbook now runs Linux only and works nicely as Internet terminal and media-player, and in addition I can use it as a proper Linux machine as well. There is absolutely no need for Windows anymore, except for Gaming (holding my thumbs that Valve will be able to make a dent in that) and editing MS Office documents.

        • CrossOver (Score:5, Interesting)

          by emblemparade ( 774653 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:50PM (#45802937)
          The MS Office requirement used to be a big deal for me, until I recently gave CrossOver a whirl. It supports "only" Office 2010, not 2013, but I found that it works perfectly well, no bugs yet (and I use it a lot). So, for me, CrossOver solved the last hurdle requiring Windows.
        • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by csumpi ( 2258986 ) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:46AM (#45803129)

          There is absolutely no need for Windows anymore, except for Gaming and editing MS Office documents.

          Or making money using Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Inventor, Autocad, Altium, VS, Vegas, etc...

          There are uses for computers other than browsing the internet, watching movies and playing games.

      • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TrollstonButterbeans ( 2914995 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @08:53PM (#45802065)
        Windows 8 is very irritating as Windows 7 is close to perfect for a Microsoft operating system and Windows 8 the reverse of perfect.
      • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mr0bvious ( 968303 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @09:28PM (#45802277)

        Windows 8 has got to be the main reason laptop and PC sales have plummeted

        While I'm no lover of Windows OS's (I not a big user, Linux has been my staple for 10 - 15 years) I'm not convinced it is the major cause for the drop in desktop sales. I see other reason as being greater contributors.

        1) A good proportion (I speculate) of former PC sales were to people who used the PC to "consume", being media, Internet, email, games and whatnot - these PC are obviously overkill and cumbersome for the task (locked to the desk). The rise of tablets and mobile devices that are plenty capable of performing this role has caused this echelon of users to dump their PCs and migrate to their phone or tablet (a better and more convenient tool for that job (consumption) IMO).

        2) There is another echelon of users who are not 'power users' their 5 year old PC is just fine for the tasks they perform. PC's are very over powered for a good lot of users, as long as their machine boots and they can get to their browser then their PC is still good enough - no need to replace. This may have been the case for many years so I expect this has less influence than (1).

        But I don't believe people are as fussy about their OS as the vocal ones would suggest - most are happy if their browser will open.

        I am by no means giving a vote for or against Windows 8 (or any OS) I don't have strong feelings either way. But I strongly doubt that it's a major contributor (perhaps a minor one).

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Informative)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:53PM (#45801613) Journal

      Well if they do it right it can be damned nice and useful. I have a EEE netbook that has both Win 7 X64 and Expressgate and I have to say that when i just need to check my email, find out some quick fact, do a price check on a part for a customer? Having an OS that is ready to go in under 6 seconds is pretty damned handy.

      So don't think of it as a "dual boot", think of it as a fast limited mobile OS and a bigger slower full featured OS where you choose what would be best for your needs at that moment. If done right this could fix my one complaint about Expressgate, which was how big of a PITA it was to add new apps. If I could get the speed of Expressgate combined with the ease of adding apps through Google Play? Sounds like a winner to me. Its just too bad it'll probably be impossible for guys like me to simply replace Expressgate with Android as I'm quite happy with my netbook and really don't see a point on sinking a pile of money for a new unit when this one runs great.

      • Having an OS that is ready to go in under 6 seconds is pretty damned handy.

        Any OS can do that as long as your hardware supports suspend. My laptop, for instance, runs Xubuntu. I open the lid, and in four seconds I'm staring at the password prompt.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Absolutely nobody wants this. It will die a horrible horrible death. You can already buy "Android laptops" from china on ebay and other places.. They are crap, just like the first wave of Android tablets were.

      Chromebooks are getting a LOT of traction, but pc makers like HP and DELL do not like the idea of a clean OS they cant clutter with a ton of crap. So they will try another way.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kensai7 ( 1005287 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @09:20PM (#45802239)

      Personally, games was the last domain that kept me from ditching Windows (as they have evolved), so SteamOS is a gift from heaven, especially in the direction it is going. Microsoft should be scared to do more. Enough is enough with their dominating position. It reminds me of European cellular phone manufacturers (Nokia, Ericsson) before Apple came to shake their realities with the iPhone.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Informative)

      by Chalnoth ( 1334923 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:20PM (#45802547)
      Read the article. This is for devices that are convertible between tablet and laptop configurations with the help of a detachable keyboard. They also mention that they use an emulation layer for Android support. This is entirely believable, as Android has a Java-like interface, such that emulation essentially means building a Java-like virtual machine that has good performance. It's also not that big of a blow to MS, as MS still gets to sell the OS.
  • Yeah right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeremyMorgan ( 1428075 ) <jeremy.morgan@gmail. c o m> on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:41PM (#45800837) Homepage

    Laptops and Desktops don't need "apps" and people aren't going to buy them to play Angry Birds and Snapchat all day.

    If you want to make a move away from Windows give them an OS that can actually do something useful. Nobody is trying to replace their phone with a laptop.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      If it weren't for the fact that Windows 8 (and 8.1) seems hell bent on removing the things that make it a computer, and not just a tablet, I would feel a lot more confident this move was going to just lead to a bunch of laughter.

      Why does everyone want Android everywhere? I've used OS X, iOS,the original Mac OS, Windows 3.1 - 7, and various linux distros. And Android. Android is hands down the most annoying. And yet people persist in wanting not just smartphones, but real computers to run it.

      • by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:52PM (#45800949)

        I wouldn't be against a desktop OS built from Android. But Android needs a lot of work to go from mobile devices to the desktop.

    • Re:Yeah right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:07PM (#45801129) Homepage Journal
      People are going to buy computers to do stuff. Email, facebook, ms word, that is what the average users says they do on the computer. One big problem with netbooks was that people assumed that could MS Word, and when they found out they couldn't they returned the computer. This is a solution where OEMs can expose people to other OS while still allowing MS Office to run. Maybe some people realize that they don't need MS Office. Maybe they don't want to pay a monthly fee for Office and realize that Google Docs or OpenOffice is sitting right there fore free. Maybe the next computer they buy doesn't have MS WIndows.

      This is scary enough that MS, allegedly, has in the past prevented OEM from installing two OS. The last thing MS wants a computer user to know is there is another OS. Look at the misinformation on the Mac, how expensive it is, when my last Macbook Air was $1000. Yes, more expensive that they mythicla $300 MS laptop that runs everything, but about what a good laptop costs. We can argue price, but MS is scared of users knowing there is choice.

      We also see this in past EULA in which certain versions of MS Windows could not be the guest OS. This is likely the future of the PC. A reasonably functional and free client OS on top of which a virtualized guest OS can be run. This is basically what MS is doing now with the instant upgrade. Start with a functionality locked out, and buy a full OS after the fact. Like the Mainframe manufacturers used to do. You have all the hardware, but have to pay extra to use it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:41PM (#45800839)

    Microsoft, past giant of the operating system industry, will die not to OS X, not to Ubuntu, not to FreeBSD, Redhat, not to ReactOS, Plan 9, Gentoo, Hurd, BeOS, the vengeful ghost of OS/2, but to an OS designed for cell phones.

    Well, okay, I guess.

  • by transporter_ii ( 986545 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:42PM (#45800849) Homepage

    A dual boot Windows 8.1 and Steam OS machine. I'm not really feeling the need for Android on a PC. Anyone else?

  • Morons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:43PM (#45800857)

    If they want to scare MS then they need to get behind a linux distro. Any of the polished ones it doesn't really matter.

    You've got Steam pushing a linux gaming line... why would you go for anything besides linux IF you're trying to unseat MS?

    This is idiotic and doomed to tragic failure.

    • Re:Morons (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:27PM (#45801369)

      Most people who use computers these days have a very minimal idea of how they work. You don't truely understand this until you work in tech support. I could tell you some horror stories...

      - The user who organised their files for years by using file->save as on word, because they didn't know you could click 'my computer' or 'my documents' and get a window intended for the task.
      - The user who accidentially associated PDF files with word and could only report the problem as 'my email broke.'
      - The user who had to call helpdesk for instruction on how to launch Word, after the shortcut was shuffled off the start menu quick-list.

      Many users don't get the concept of a program. Or a URL. Or a file - they know there is a little picture they click on to open a document, but they think this little picture *is* the document. That's why you see so many of them attaching shortcuts to emails. They don't even know what an operating system is - and they are incapable of understanding, as they lack the foundational knowledge of how computers work. Now imagine the tech support nightmare that would come from giving them linux, even a polished distro.

      For thirty years the technology industry has strived to make computers so easy, so simple that any untrained user can use them productively. Well, we succeeded, and now we must deal with the consequence. We've created a situation where any untrained user can sit at their computer and do their job, getting on with their objective without wasting overhead time on studying the technology itsself. That's good thing, mostly. The down-side is that if anything changes, even the most trivial thing, they are completly unprepared.

    • by emblemparade ( 774653 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:59PM (#45802963)

      Everytime I see "doomed" in Slashdot these days, I expect a big hit around the corner...

      Actually, it seems, many home users don't need full-blown MS Office and Photoshop, and are very happy with modest apps and casual games. If not more happy, because the full-blown desktop OSes give them headaches. An antivirus? System update that takes 45 minutes? My mom doesn't see how that helps her. These people love their iPads and the ChromeBooks are selling like hotcakes.

      And MS is scared of ChromeBooks, enough that they've released a series of anti-ChromeBook ads.

      Selling a laptop dual-booting Ubuntu is pointless (and I say that as a 100% Ubuntu supporter): but dual-booting Android indeed gives the laptop a different experience, with superfast boot and simple use, that many users will enjoy. If the laptop does touch, too, then you get a nice Android tablet, too, which is far more functional than a Win8 tablet: indeed, PC+.

      Also, let me educate you: Android *is* a Linux distro.

  • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:45PM (#45800885)
    I'm generally a strong open source advocate but I haven't found an open source window manager that works as well for my needs. I think having a heterogenous mix of open source and proprietary in your environment is a good thing.
  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:47PM (#45800899) Homepage Journal

    I see it as the only way to compete with android. Just give it out, completely free. Still charge for the server level OS's and support, but for a desktop, MS makes money from plenty of other areas. Office is still a cash cow. Xbox is a profit center.

    Google makes its money from their "free" OS through the app store. They also have a pretty neat ecosystem and various ways app makers can make money (in app advertising) They control the entire ecosystem. If MS could do the same with windows, I think we'd see the desktop come back.

    • How long would it be before the cries of "monopoly abuse" would hit these hallowed pages of lore that we call Slashdot after Microsoft did what you suggest?

  • it's not Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhcompy ( 1877290 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:50PM (#45800933)
    The problem isn't Microsoft or Windows, it's the method of consumption. People are more than happy to consume on cellphones and tablets, and desktop OS's don't fit into that paradigm. If Metro was more powerful/open and had application support, it would be a good idea to allow people to access all their purchases(media, applications, etc) across desktops and mobile devices, but it's not. I guess that's a Microsoft problem, but Android(and every other mobile OS) is equally bad as a desktop OS and none of the dedicated desktop OS's are any good as mobile/touch OS's(fuck you, Ubuntu/Unity).

    The reality is that desktops are dying for a typical person's use and consumption. They're going to return to being workstations for the most part.
  • Android is not a desktop OS. Chrome OS is designed for the desktop. I fail to see why a desktop or laptop maker would use Android and not Chromium OS. Anyone who has used an Android device with a keyboard and mouse will tell you it is a very sub-par experience. Whereas Chromium OS is basically just Google Chrome with a thin wrapper around it. I wish more PC makers aside from Google would ship Chromium devices it might drive better hardware support and a cleaner install of the platform.

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      Android works just fine with a mouse and keyboard, it works great with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. It looks and acts a lot like the MeeGo and Ubuntu Netbook Remix OS when you work with a mouse and keyboard. A lot of students are using the Nexus 7 as a tiny notetaking laptop with folio cases that have integrated keyboards.
      Android might have been designed for the touchscreen, but it's pretty solid as a singletasking desktop too.

    • by c ( 8461 )

      I fail to see why a desktop or laptop maker would use Android and not Chromium OS.

      Because Android has a gazillion name-brand apps, and Chromium OS... doesn't? Granted, many of those apps have web versions which will work fine on Chrome, but it's not even close to the same number.

      I'm also thinking that PC makers (who, in many cases, are also tablet and even phone makers) have a lot more product experience with Android than ChromeOS. Yeah, there are some ChromeOS device makers, but nowhere near as many and th

  • I'm sure if the big manufacturers banded together, they could get enough demand for windows 7 licenses...
    • Re:Why not Windows 7 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:32PM (#45801419)

      Or throw their money and expert knowledge behind linux. It might mean a bit of restructuring - they'd probably want their own organisation making whatever distro they go with - but it could be done. Not likely to happen though, because most OEM manufacturers don't wish to also be software companies.

  • According to Microsoft, they own Android - and they have ~$2 Billion in extortion money to prove it (just not ever in a court of law).
  • Currently people don't seem very keen on buying touch-screen laptops. But lots of laptop makers also bundling Android means suddenly there's a kind of compelling case to get one, where at least there is a selection of software you could run.

    Either one apart is not selling that well, but perhaps together they can combine into a Voltron like force to take on Apple.

    It will be very interesting to see how these devices end up managing the division.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:02PM (#45801065) Homepage Journal

    Why the hell would this scare Microsoft?

    Microsoft is ALREADY making billions off Android royalties [].

    Plus these vendors are already contractually obligated to pay the Microsoft tax REGARDLESS of what OS they load onto a system.

    This would be a perfect trifecta for Redmond. Microsoft will just look at this and go "We'll get a royalty? WIN! We'll still get our OS tax? WIN! We don't have to support it? WIN!"

    • by spyfrog ( 552673 )

      Of course it scares MS. If it didn't, why did they even release Win8 with the UI previously known as Metro?
      The purpose of Metro is obviously to get a 30% share of all application sales - with Android Google gets this share and MS want it.

      If the purpose was to make a mobile UI - why try to force it on desktop users? And why force developer to sell through MS? No, the only answer is that Metro is a land-grab for a 30% sale "tax" on all applications. MS could prove this wrong by simply allowing third party ins

  • by dltaylor ( 7510 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:09PM (#45801159)

    Cover of The Wizard of ID #3:

    Voice of alarm outside the window "The peasants are revolting!" and the king, inside "You can say that again."

  • I don't see it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:20PM (#45801313) Journal

    At first I thought they would allow dual boot -- Windows or Android. Then, I could buy one and just boot Android and leave it there. On the rare occasions when I needed Windows, (for instance, to run Adobe Lightroom, which hasn't yet been ported to Android) I could boot into that.

    But according to TFA, this is Android on Windows, or the ability to run Android applications on Windows 8. This sounds less like "two operating systems at once" and more like the Android API running on Windows.

    This is exceedingly uninteresting. The problem with Windows 8 is the revolting GUI, and this does not fix that. Wake me when you release a tablet that will run Windows apps on Android.

    Moreover, this is no particular threat to Windows. It perhaps gives a boost to the Windows 8 ecosystem by tying in whatever Androids applications happen to run (you know it won't be 100%), but the box still runs Windows, and doesn't run anything other than Windows. This is no threat to Microsoft at all, and is not a "rebellion".

    Kevin Kline voice: DisapPOINTed!

  • People! (Score:5, Informative)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:27PM (#45801375) Journal

    People people people! Read TFA! These laptops are running Windows and not anything but Windows. This "two OSs at once" crap is just that. They support the Android API, so (some) Android apps will run on Windows. That's all. There's a lot less here than meets the eye.

    So there's no use saying they should have picked Chrome OS or Linux or some other OS to run in conjunction with the Windows OS, because they're not running anything but the Windows OS. Sorry to be a buzzkill.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:36PM (#45801463) Homepage

    multiple computer makers will unveil systems that simultaneously run two different operating systems, both Windows and [...] Android

    That's right! We're going to revolt by continuing to ship their OS to customers! That'll show 'em.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:52PM (#45802691) Journal

    Growth of Windows PCs has stalled. People aren't buying it. A great many are repulsed by Windows 8.x and determined to tough it out with what they've got. A new Windows PC is too expensive and complicated, doesn't give good value.

    People are buying Android and ChromeOS devices. Quick, easy, inexpensive Android and ChromeOS devices.

    OEMs want to sell Windows devices, people want to buy Android and ChromeOS devices. Naturally OEMs are going to come up with the answer that all they need to do is sneak some expensive complicated poor-value Windows onto the popular Android and ChromeOS devices and they're good as gold. They really are that stupid.

    That is not how it works. You are trying to sell the worst of both worlds.

  • Propane cars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:09PM (#45802751)
    After MS started this whole MSDN certified shop philosophy they realized that they could trap people into their ecosystem. Nearly every product they have come up with since has not been a very good product but another attempt to lock people in. Sharepoint would be a near perfect example. It seems to be designed to be a MS glue that where you needed MS SQL, MS Server, MS Office, MS Outlook, MS Explorer, and MS Windows to make it work. Take any bit away and no more sharepoint. There would be no slowly migrating away from that one. MS probably looked at how they killed WordPerfect and Novell and said, "We won't let anyone get a thin edge of a wedge into our ecosystem like we did to them."

    But they let things stagnate so much that when mobile came along all they could think about was protecting their eco system. So instead of coming up with a lightweight tablet they made the surface that integrates with their eco system.

    So basically it seems that MS has become a company that is entirely based upon fooling people into making bad decisions.

    But this might seem like a good idea to keep customers from leaking away. The problem is that when they do leave they leave entirely and are never coming back unless their new system sucks even more. Where this is real problem is that the MS system can really suck without losing too many customers due to inertia. But as history has repeatedly shown people don't leave one stagnant tradition for a slightly better one, they leave for something completely new and often quite different.

    An interesting example from history was the end of whale oil; it was around $1900 per barrel (today's prices) while crude oil was around $90 a barrel. This put more and more pressure for people to figure out how to extract useful replacements from crude. When they did still people kept on with Whale oil but then suddenly "petroleum" products wiped out the whale oil industry almost overnight. Once the trend started there was nothing the whale industry could do; it was over.

    I would say that MS is in a very bad place. Customers who switch to mobile are entirely eliminating MS from their minds. Not out of hate or revenge but simply they don't see an use for MS products in their lives. Of course some people are still using MS office to type a bit and Excel to add up a few numbers but the vast majority would be perfectly happy with Office 97.

    So as I say MS has a business model based upon people making bad decisions. But now many people aren't even seeing MS as one of their options.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?