Devices combining Windows and Android solve nothing

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Asus Transformer Book Trio

PC sales continue to struggle as users switch to smartphones and tablets. Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS did little to stop the rot.

In their latest desperate attempt to revive sales PC makers have turned to systems combining Windows 8 and Android in a single device.

Last year Asus tried this approach with the unexciting Transformer Book Trio. The computer looks like a Windows laptop, detaching the screen turns it into an Android tablet, adding an external monitor turns the base into a Windows desktop.

The Transformer Book Trio had two processors.

A new wave of Windows-Android devices that only needs one processor is waiting in the wings. These are Windows devices that run an Android virtual machine.

The idea isn’t new. Asus has previously sold computers with an Android virtual machine.

While we can give computer makers taking this approach credit for innovating, thinking outside the square and so on, it’s not as if an Android virtual machine brings anything useful to the Windows 8 party.

Windows 8 may be a flop in as much as it failed to excite users and revive PC sales, but it is a better tablet OS than Android. When it comes to laptops it is streets ahead. And there are few Android apps compelling enough to warrant the resources a virtual machine under Windows will consume.

So what is the point? To me the whole thing smacks of desperation.