Now that we know both Microsoft and Google are working to stop OEMs from releasing dual-boot devices that combine Windows Phone and Android, maybe we should thank them. Ars Technica’s Peter Bright makes a compelling case that while it may sound cool to have two platforms running on one mobile device, in the real world such devices are a complete mess that will only frustrate and confound most users.
“Wouldn’t the smartphone experience just be so much better if it had two entirely different sets of apps?” Bright asks sarcastically. “Apps that couldn’t talk to each other, didn’t even acknowledge each other’s existence? Apps that burn up the already limited smartphone storage? And who doesn’t relish the opportunity to reboot their smartphone several times a day to switch between operating systems?”
Bright acknowledges that dual-boot phones definitely have uses for software developers who are looking for easy ways to test out their apps on two platforms but he says that for the vast majority of smartphone users they’ll be a total nonstarter. In a lot of ways, dual-boot smartphones remind us of the classic Simpsons scene where Homer Simpson walks up to Marge at a county fair wearing a crispy brown t-shirt and says to her, “See Marge? I told you they could deep-fry my shirt!” Marge’s response: “I didn’t say they couldn’t, I said you shouldn’t!”