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Google Blocking Asus's Android-Windows "Duet"? 194

Posted by timothy
from the when-free-will-isn't-quite-good-enough dept.
theodp writes "Android is free and open," reiterated Google Android Chief Andy Rubin in 2010 as Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7. Rubin added, 'Competition is good for the consumer and if somebody has an idea for a feature or a piece of functionality in their platform and Android doesn't do it, great. I think it's good to have the benefit of choice, but in the end I don't think the world needs another platform.' But now, CNET and Digitimes report that Google is holding up the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 (specs), a laptop-tablet hybrid that can instantly switch between Android and Windows 8.1. A source familiar with the Asus Duet told CNET that Google is the one that has not favored the idea, while Microsoft has not, to date, been actively opposed to the idea. 'If true,' reports Apple Insider, 'it may not be the first time Google has helped to quash such a product.' South Korean electronics giant Samsung quietly canceled plans for its hybrid Ativ Q tablet last year, and Digitimes notes that Asus may not be the only company to bow to Google's wishes."
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Google Blocking Asus's Android-Windows "Duet"?

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  • by mrspoonsi (2955715) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:22AM (#46439731)
    Is that not Evil or something like that?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:28AM (#46439767)

      Of course not. Google is perfect and does no wrong. This is FUD from Microsoft's PR shills.

      • by Cassini2 (956052)

        If Microsoft's PR shills are saying: "Microsoft's product sucks so bad in the marketplace that Google isn't letting companies release enough product to run alternative operating systems", then Microsoft needs new shills, better product and a new PR department.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You really should have added the /s tag.

        Google cool-aid drinkers might take you seriously.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:45AM (#46439861)

      Well if you read any of the articles, there is no real information or than the contention that pressure from Google has delayed the release of this tablet. It is not explained further. I don't know how reliable this considering the following statement:

      Currently, only Intel's X86 chip can support dual operating systems, giving consumers an option to run either Android or Windows, but on a separate basis. From Intel's standpoint, tablets that have both Windows and Android dual OS is positive for its business model, and vendors can also increase brand value through dual-system products.

      ARM runs on multiple operating systems and in fact, Windows RT and Android can run on the same tablet if MS chooses this path not ARM. Apple could make OS X for ARM; however, the performance may be lacking.

      • I meant "other than the contention that pressure from Google"
      • by Microlith (54737)

        Microsoft would have to back down on the hard lock-down they impose via SecureBoot, first.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        ARM runs on multiple operating systems

        Uh, what? Slow down there, you're getting all confuzzled.

        and in fact, Windows RT and Android can run on the same tablet

        Windows RT is not Windows. It is Windows' retarded younger sibling.

        • Windows RT is not Windows. It is Windows' retarded younger sibling.

          RT has no backwards compatibility but apps built using new frameworks by MS can run in RT and 8.

      • ARM runs on multiple operating systems and in fact, Windows RT and Android can run on the same tablet if MS chooses this path not ARM. Apple could make OS X for ARM; however, the performance may be lacking.

        They do make OS X for ARM. It's iOS.

        Same kernel. Same display server. Same system architecture. They're built from roughly the same source.

        The only major difference is the user interface was swapped out for a touch optimized one.

        Clearly, from what we've seen with iOS, the performance isn't lacking. The bigger question is if the performance per/$ is better than Intel's offerings.

        • Oh yes I know the core of iOS is OS X but it is not same OS. Things do not work the same in both systems; they work alike. It would take some work for Apple to get OS X apps to work in iOS like even their own AppleWorks. Instead they create separate versions; these separate versions are due to both UI differences as well as architectural ones but my point is that Intel X86 isn't the only chip that has both.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Well if you read any of the articles, there is no real information or than the contention that pressure from Google has delayed the release of this tablet.

        Thing is, the pieces are all there.

        First, the OHA agreement (which you must sign in order to get Google Apps, including Google Play) prohibit releasing "Android compatible" devices. It's a blanket ban, too - sign the agreement and you CANNOT release anything Android compatible anymore. If you're someone wanting to release an AOSP phone alongside your Goo

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by StripedCow (776465)

      For those who missed this, here's a great article:
      http://arstechnica.com/gadgets... [arstechnica.com]

      • by silviuc (676999) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @11:31AM (#46440111) Homepage
        The one that wrote the article either has no clue what he was writing about or he's getting paid to be dumb. Basically, you want to use Google's services? You gotta do it the way *they* want you to do it. It's their services and their terms.

        Android is not free and open-source? Take a look at the shit tonne of Chinese made tablets of brands that we almost never heard of which come with Android but not with Google services. You have to use 3-rd party applications to get stuff onto those such as Mobogenie.
        • by ThePhilips (752041) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @12:16PM (#46440303) Homepage Journal

          Basically, you want to use Google's services? You gotta do it the way *they* want you to do it. It's their services and their terms.

          Which is, if you think about it, is rather evil.

          Person can't pay for the services - person can only access the services by buying the Google's approved product.

          It is as if we have ended up with game consoles, not portable computers.

          • That isn't true at all, actually. You as an individual can download and install Google's Play Services yourself if you'd like. What you can't do however is sell a device commercially that includes Google's Play Services unless you follow their terms.

            More information here:

            http://wiki.rootzwiki.com/Goog... [rootzwiki.com]

            • That will make you a pirate.

              • How so? Google knows people get it this way, and people distribute it this way out in the open, and google hasn't once threatened them with a lawsuit (unless they distribute it with a ROM, in which case they will do so.)

                • Microsoft also doesn't go after individuals for pirating Windows. That doesn't mean that those people are not committing copyright infringement by pirating Windows. It's like saying you didn't violate the law by going 1 mile above the speed limit because a cop saw you and didn't pull you over and give you a ticket.

          • by drolli (522659)

            But there is no service which only google can or does provide.

          • by silviuc (676999)
            Please tell RedHat that they are evil for not giving CentOS users free access to the RHN. This is ridiculous. You can always use other maps, mail, whatever services. No need to stick with Google's but if you do, since it's their stuff, you abide by their rules. In Rome you do as romans do. It's not evil. It's common sense. Look it up, it's what a lot of people seem to be missing these days. It got replaced by entitlement.

            Access to Google(Microsoft, Yahoo, insert whatever other company here) services is n
          • Which is, if you think about it, is rather evil.

            I think the bar for being "evil" seems to have been lowered quite remarkably in that case. It used to involve, at the very least, cruelty and malice. Now, apparently, it's posting some terms and conditions about the use of your services when those services are pretty much optional and when the terms and conditions are more about protecting consumers from brand confusion ("Oh, I'll just buy this Google Play tablet. (One hour later, at home, after cash spent)

        • by Karlt1 (231423) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:12PM (#46440535)

          The one that wrote the article either has no clue what he was writing about or he's getting paid to be dumb. Basically, you want to use Google's services? You gotta do it the way *they* want you to do it. It's their services and their terms.

          " if Google did not act, we faced a Draconian future, a future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice. So if you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android. Now letâ(TM)s get started.â

          Andy Rubin......

        • The one that wrote the article either has no clue what he was writing about or he's getting paid to be dumb. Basically, you want to use Google's services? You gotta do it the way *they* want you to do it. It's their services and their terms.

          This works great for Google's PR department. When they want, they can claim they are open. But in practice, they can be closed.

          It's rather dishonest and two faced, to be blunt. Be open enough to use the open label, but be closed enough that most vendors wouldn't be able to deploy an Android tablet without your blessing.

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          The one that wrote the article either has no clue what he was writing about or he's getting paid to be dumb. Basically, you want to use Google's services? You gotta do it the way *they* want you to do it. It's their services and their terms.

          I think his point is that Google is shifting their development on Android from AOSP to GMS - now arguably that makes sense given that this means they can roll out new features to devices that can't necessarily upgrade their operating system version, but the question is why make it closed-source and proprietary?

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @11:23AM (#46440075)

      Google
      goggle
      guggle (flow in an irregular current with a bubbling noise)
      gurgle
      burgle
      burgee (A triangular sailing flag, a show of force by colors)
      burger
      burker (to murder or supress without leaving evidence)
      bucker
      bicker
      wicker
      wicked

    • Is that not Evil or something like that?

      Preventing a device that switches instantly from a bad OS to a terrible OS and vice versa is

      ... sniff .. not evil

    • by fikx (704101)
      More restrictive? Let someone put MS Office on Android and see what happens...
      Of course Google won't like it: This is about the app market. MS would LOVE products like this since it gives Windows users an instant app library. But this is about the market place for Google. To compare apples to apples, see what MS does when their lock-in titles are ported to another platform (breaking the lock-in)...
      Not that Google is handling this right, but apples to apples and all that...
    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968.gmail@com> on Sunday March 09, 2014 @04:36PM (#46441533) Journal

      Frankly after the terms that Google put out with Android AND the story on how Google is taking more and more of Android proprietary [arstechnica.com] by taking critical APIs behind the "GoogleWall" I honestly do not see how any sane person can't see that Google IS Microsoft of the 90s.

      Seriously folks, how can anyone argue that they aren't the same company? Blocking competition? See TFA and about a dozen other articles on Google pulling products with threats of being kicked out of having access to the OHA and Google Apps. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? Hell Android is practically a textbook case of that, while Android 1 and 2 and ASOP were practically identical now there is a good chunk of the android games and apps that will not run on ASOP without being recompiled and in many cases rewritten. Trying to lock in? For God's sake they take bog standard X86 laptops and when they are done with them they are more fucking locked down than a cellphone! Hell even the latest windows allows you to fricking dual boot but not ChromeOS!

      I'm sorry but while Google USED to be this great "throw shit at the wall and see what cool shit we get" kind of company as with sadly too many companies greed and the desire to keep the stock price high has turned them nasty. Maybe its a universal law of business or something, you get to be #1 and you turn nasty and greedy as you fight to stay top dog.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:24AM (#46439743)

    It's still open in the sense that legally you can do whatever you want with it.
    It's up to you if you want to make Google happy or not.

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:32AM (#46439783) Homepage

      It's still open in the sense that legally you can do whatever you want with it.
      It's up to you if you want to make Google happy or not.

      Google can deny you from adding Google's apps and services on it, though, and the moment you ship an Android-device without those you're removing a lot of the reason for why an Average Jane or Joe would want an Android-device in the first place.

      • And on the other end of the scale, you can't ship closed source products with GPL. This kind of "restricted freedom" isn't purely a google thing, and nor is it all bad.
        • by Immerman (2627577)

          What? Sure you can. In fact IIRC the GPL specifically states that it should not be interpreted to prohibit bundling with proprietary products, and many Linux distros do just that, such as Red Hat with their proprietary utilities. What the GPL prohibits is *linking* with proprietary products, except through a couple of very specific mechanisms such as used by drivers with proprietary blobs (and even those are, IIRC, permitted as much by community concession to practicality as to secure legal footing)

      • It's still open in the sense that legally you can do whatever you want with it. It's up to you if you want to make Google happy or not.

        Google can deny you from adding Google's apps and services on it, though, and the moment you ship an Android-device without those you're removing a lot of the reason for why an Average Jane or Joe would want an Android-device in the first place.

        True, but it's worth noting that that Microsoft is well positioned to fill those gaps (assuming we're specifically talking about an app-store, search, email and maps). Whilst I do appreciate that Android without the Google bits and with no alternatives is a bit crap, it seems a bit unfair to blame Google for that. That'd be like if Microsoft open-sourced Windows and gave it away for free, and then complaining that they didn't include MS Office.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      That is true, unless you want play services so you can have customers that actually want to buy your stuff. Being blessed is required to include play ( legally ) in your product.

      Without that, you are 'yet another c heap-ass junk tablet maker' and are stuck selling out of Walmart and target..

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      It's still open in the sense that legally you can do whatever you want with it. It's up to you if you want to make Google happy or not.

      AOSP is open yes but how many devices actually ship with AOSP? All Google-approved devices ship with the proprietary application services platform and many also include other proprietary UI layers all with various license agreements governing their use. Then there are forked versions like the Kindle Fire OS which also has a whole lot of proprietary software lockdown. Darwin is open source too but realistically nobody uses it that way, they use OSX with all its proprietary layers on top.

      While AOSP is open de

  • by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:25AM (#46439747)
    Only one OS will be used, propably based on which OS is currently booted. People are to lazy to reboot to change OS thats just two minutes longer to get on Facebook.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The age of "one device, one OS" is what's "stupid."
       
      And I sure as hell hope English is a second language to you.

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @11:08AM (#46439983)

      You forgot about the pr0n angle.
      You have no idea what people will use that second OS (with its completely separate filesystem) for.

    • "a laptop-tablet hybrid that can instantly switch between Android and Windows 8.1"

    • Not dual boot (Score:5, Informative)

      by Immerman (2627577) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @11:18AM (#46440043)

      I agree dual boot for a tablet might not get a lot of use, though I could definitely see being able to reboot my tablet into windows occasionally for real work being a nice perk, instead of carrying around a laptop as well.

      But this is not dual boot. Watch the video, both OSes appear to be running side by side, it only takes about 4 seconds to switch between them. More like a KVM switch between two computers built into the same tablet form factor.

      And *that* I think has serious potential - android is better for the lightweight appliance stuff, and windows is right there, along with the clip-on keyboard, for when you want to get work done.

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @11:49AM (#46440191) Journal

      Laptops aren't just laptops these day - there are more and more hybrid devices which switch from laptop to tablet (a Sony Flip, for example). Sadly, operating systems for laptops (like Windows) are wholly inappropriate - or just very, very poorly optimized for tablet usage (yes, Windows again). Android is light years ahead of the Metro interface for tablet use. So it's better to be able to switch back and forth to get the best interface you can.

      Sure you could reboot every time you wanted to switch, but you may as well go back to DOS and single threaded work. Why should we NOT want to be able to transition between the OS and application that fits the job the best?

      • Android is light years ahead of the Metro interface for tablet use.

        Plug a keyboard and trackpad into a tablet and is it still a tablet? I was under the impression that the traditional Windows desktop was light years ahead of Android for laptop use.

        • My tablet, when I add a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to it, becomes a full Windows desktop machine if I wish. I even have Minecraft installed on it now. Installing the JVM and the Minecraft program was as easy as it was on every other Windows machine I've had. I also added emu8086 [cnet.com] which is one of my favorite toys. Any Win32 binary will do (if it runs on Windows 7 or later)

    • Windows 8 is "dual OS" already, running on the same NT kernel but using the "multiple personalities" feature I believe, that NT has had from the beginning. You have the desktop with a file manager and regular applications that have a "File Edit View.." menu, and the cell phone like interface and you switch between the two.
      Windows 8 + Android, which runs *not dual booted* but at the same time, should rather be called a "Triple OS".

      As for the market need, it should be useful for those zillion specific apps fo

  • by Wierdy1024 (902573) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:40AM (#46439821)

    For example, if android is run under a hypervisor that allows 'quick switching' between the OS's, but restricts what android can do or degrades performance, I can see why Google doesn't want to impact the Android brand by releasing something substandard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Substandard... you mean like 90% of Android devices in existence.
    • The cool-aid is strong in this one.

    • Oh please.

      Can you honestly say it is not because Windows mobile will finally be put on a tablet with a great market presence? The surface pro is full Windows 8 and too expensive for consumers. The other surface is not popular and is returned when joe six pack can not run his software on it if it is purchased.

      Type 1 hypervisors run fine with performance. In type 2 hypervisors with mechanical disks on top of a host OS which is what virtualbox and VMware Workstation use is a different story. IOPS on a ssd far

  • by Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @10:46AM (#46439865)

    of boot loaders [theregister.co.uk] and Microsoft's more recent history [engadget.com] and their standard practices [wikipedia.org] I think someone would have to be extremely ignorant of Microsoft's history and their standard practices or a shill for Microsoft to state that this is somehow unfair to Microsoft.

    Folks, I don't think Microsoft is just misunderstood. I don't think we have to worry about poor little Microsoft surviving its treatment by the "big bully" Google. I think Microsoft is getting exactly the sort of response that it has earned for its behavior.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Apparently if you are foolish enough to run Microsoft's Skype on your Nexus 5, they have found a way to kill your battery. This is the same old Microsoft we have always known.
      • by Joe U (443617)

        A few other apps cause that MAJOR FLAW in the Nexus camera driver to appear.

        This is an Android driver bug, plain and simple.

    • The name of the company is A-S-U-S, the company quashing this is Google, Microsoft have fuck all to do with it. Nice rant though, shake that penguin, make it dance!
    • I don't spot anyone claiming that Microsoft isn't a nasty company. What I see is people claiming that Google is becoming ever more like Microsoft, as time passes. And your post just adds more evidence for that.

      And lets not pretend that Google is specifically punishing Microsoft. They are only seeking to serve their own profits, just as Microsoft did.

  • This has obviously been considered now Apple has its ARM A7-A8 series CPU.

    It should certainly be possible to put that in a MacBook Air to allow it to run iOS 7 and onward, so we can have both low power tablet and high power OSX in one small package.

    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      It should certainly be possible to put that in a MacBook Air to allow it to run iOS 7 and onward, so we can have both low power tablet and high power OSX in one small package.

      There is no need to have an A7 in the Macbook Air to run iOS apps.

      There is already a fully functional version of iOS 7 that runs on x86 based Macs and there has been since the app store was introduced. In fact I doubt that there is a single app in existence for iOS that hasn't at one point been run natively on an x86 based Mac.

      When a

      • by swb (14022)

        It kind of makes me wonder if there's an x86 iPad out there running OS X and iOS in a VM..

      • Yep, if Microsoft's Surface Pro paradigm ever seriously threatened the iPad, Cupertino would be out with a hybrid OS at the next annual developer conference.

        One OS to rule them all, Windows 8.x, is a strategy MS have copped flack for. But if there's one company that could pull it off, it's Apple with their design sensibilities as viewed through the reality distortion field.

        Apple have already reskinned parts of OS X for touch - e.g. iWork and Safari, so there's enough commonality to port useful programs betw

  • If they're already looking at being able to switch between 2 platforms and google is saying no, the next logical step will be to have both iOS and Windows running along side each other.
    • That works right up to the point where Apple controls every transistor on every machine that runs iOS. Even Jony and Tim won't fuck up Apple's cash cow that badly, and they done some really stupid-as-shit things since ol' Stevie boy went toes up.

      • by detain (687995)
        Then it will be Windows + FirefoxOS or Ubuntus new Phone OS i hope. Wonder if its running them virtualized or if they each have their own hardware?
    • by Rob Y. (110975)

      Unlikely. But your post points out the real situation. It's Microsoft that wants dual-booting phones. They can't get anybody to buy their phones, so they hope to use dual boot to encourage people to at least try their OS. Apple or Google have nothing to gain there, so Apple would never cooperate. Google has less control in this case.

      But this article is about convertible laptop/tablets, and in that market, I imagine it's Asus that wants dual-booting. Anybody who would buy one of these is buying it for

  • They are just like Apple and now Google and every other company in existence.

    They are all equal and will be assholes as soon as they have marketshare. It comes to show you that only competition frees. Even in opensource it is not good to have 1 player set standards which is evident in Xorg and the traction to stop Wayland just as an example.

    So those who bash I WONT TOUCH IT BECAUSE IT IS FROM MICROSOFT!! Need to realize Android is not a savior either as Google is now being cocky since they have major market

  • Android is free and open

    So where's the Raspberry Pi distribution (that actually works) if it's so free and open?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Here it is, BTW:
      http://androidpi.wikia.com/wiki/Android_Pi_Wiki

      And also, well, you can try to explain to folks at Cyanogenmod that Android is not free and open, it seems they got it completely wrong...

      • Perhaps I should have been more clear: where's the Raspberry Pi distribution that's actually useable for anything (aka, not slower than dog shit).
  • to use google closed source code if you want to run android apps on your device. Nokia/MS can do it, blackberry too, and obviously many cheap Chinese nameless devices. There are other app stores than google play.

    That being said, I understand Google why i they don't like to brand a "dual boot"/"switching device which probably would suck even more power and have a more indeterministic behavior than even the most crapware-loaded samsung device.

    If MS or asus likes this so much, nobody hinders them to to the rig

    • Not only that but now the machine will have THREE personalities. Win 8 desktop, Modern UI and Android.
  • Microsoft is looking for a new revenue stream -- they would be the only software vendor taking money from Asus for this hybrid, and then it would be in their interest to make the MS part indispensible, and the Android part -- not so much.

    Google understands perfectly what Microsoft is up to. Why is it evil for them to nip it in the bud?

    Who even knows if Asus really wants to do this? They are not going to voice a negative opinion because they also sell Windows laptops.

    And as others have pointed out, A

  • Why would you want to run Android on a I386 processor? They may have a little more raw processing power, but they have a far higher energy footprint and not all apps (if any) will work on it.
    There is a nice sentence in the specs:

    By offering both operating systems, ASUS provides users the ability to run supported Android applications and a vast array of native Windows applications.

    The number of supported Android apps will be limited unless they equip Android with an emulator, which costs some of the gained processing power.

    • The new Intels (call it Atom, Silvermont or Bay Trail) are incredibly power efficient and advanced (22nm FinFET) while at the same time ARM got more power hungry than before - if you want to use Cortex A15. So I don't think we have to care very much.

  • aka Kettle Monthly with an article shaming pots.
  • ... determines how you define 'not doing evil'. Google is just a big powerful corporation like Microsoft, Apple, etc. They do not care about anything but the 'bottom line'.

    In the corporate 'hierarchy of needs', 'profit' is the base need that _must_ be satisfied above all else.

  • We need to get rid of both android and microsoft on our phones. We should be able to run any package in debian's massive repositories. Down with app stores. Up with repositories.

    We need to circumvent any charming little backdoors on the modem like the replicant people just discovered. We need to run end-to-end encryption on our phones, without fear of backdoors and NSLs!

    A free operating system like GNU/Linux on our phones is our only hope for security.

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