How Google and Microsoft are forcing OEMs to cancel dual-booting products

Transformer Book Duet Release Date Canceled

After a couple of reports from Taiwan suggested that Google may be posing significant opposition to Asus’ plans to ship the dual-booting Android/Windows Transformer Book Duet tablet/laptop combo, a new story from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Microsoft is equally interested in stopping such projects. Thus, the Transformer Book Duet, one of the interesting new devices unveiled at CES 2014, has been “indefinitely postponed,” according to sources familiar with the matter.

Apparently neither Google nor Microsoft wants to give users access to an operating system from the competition. Previous reports said that Google is worried Microsoft’s Windows Phone share will grow thanks to dual-booting devices, and the Journal says the Redmond-based giant doesn’t want Android to establish a foothold via such devices in the enterprise ecosystem that’s still dominated by Microsoft software. Each company has means of blocking dual-booting projects.

Google is leveraging access to Google apps including the Google Play Store, which it can refuse to OEMs that don’t fall in line. Previous reports have revealed that while Android is open, the parts that are interesting to customers, including the app store, are tightly protected by the Search giant and OEMs must agree to certain conditions in order to be able to offer these software features in their Android builds.

Microsoft on the other hand can stop the marketing cash flow to OEMs that ship Windows devices in case they continue with their dual-booting device plans. These funds are apparently “an important economic force in the low-margin PC business,” according to an analyst. Furthermore, Microsoft can always enforce its patents that against OEMs making Android devices, with the company having successfully used its intellectual property against many Android device makers.

In addition to postponing the Transformer Book Duet, Asus will also stop selling two all-in-one dual-booting computers it released last year, including the Asus Transformer AiO P1801 and the P1802. It’s unclear though what will happen to dual-booting smartphones that should launch later this year.

In addition to Asus, Intel is also a victim of this Google-Microsoft war, as the chip maker has announced at CES a processor specifically made to support such dual-booting devices.

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