Plans by ASUS to launch mobile devices running both Windows and Android have been put on hold after objections from Microsoft and Google. It will also mean the end for two existing PC models that use both systems.
ASUS first showed off the Transformer Book Duet TD300 in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. It was a duet in two ways. Not only was it a laptop where the screen could be removed to act as a tablet, but it ran Windows 8 and Android.
ASUS had configured it in a way that meant it only took one button press to switch between the two systems. The idea was to give customers access to a wider range of applications that would make it easier to use the device for both work and leisure.
Now an internal ASUS memo leaked to the Wall Street Journal reveals why the company has “indefinitely postponed” the device. One reason cited is that Microsoft has adopted a new policy of not supporting Windows on commercially produced devices that also run another system.
Another suggestion, albeit not mentioned in the memo, is that Microsoft is kicking up a stink over patent issues involving some of the features in Android. That could create an awkward situation to say the least with dual-system devices.
Although you might think it was impossible for Google to object to sharing device space with Windows given Android is open source, but it does appear that this has happened here. Google’s licensing rules say you must get approval to use versions of Android that allow access to Google’s own app store. It’s suspected that Google is holding back on that approval for devices which will also run Windows.
The memo also says ASUS will ditch two dual-system devices it already sells, the Transformer AiO P1801 and P1802. Those are desktop PCs with a removable touchscreen/tablet.