WinDroid – All about apps.

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Desperation makes strange bedfellows. 

  • The advent of hybrid devices running both Windows 8 and Android is a painful reminder of what OEMs think of both Windows RT and Windows 8 as tablet OSs.
  • Two of the major PC vendors have now released hybrid devices that run Android in tablet mode and Windows 8 in laptop mode.
  • This takes Windroid from what looks like a silly experiment and changes it into an earnest attempt to address some of the shortcomings of Windows 8.
  • The ability to pin Android apps. onto the Windows 8 start screen is a clear sign that the real problem with Windows 8 is the availability of apps. for metro mode.
  • Microsoft will proudly tout a number in the region of 100,000 this week at its Build conference but the cool, new and cutting edge apps never seem to be available.
  • This problem could also have been solved by running an Android emulator on the device and so the choice of a full Android implementation points to other issues in addition to app availability.
  • It strongly implies that the OEMs also do not see Windows 8 as a good user experience for a tablet which is a huge problem for Microsoft.
  • The whole point of Windows 8 is its flexibility and ability to provide a great user experience in both modes but if no one is interested then one may as well stick with the excellent Windows 7.
  • In desktop mode there is not much to separate the Windows7 and Windows 8 experiences.
  • I have long held the opinion that Microsoft has done an incredibly bad job at telling users why they should buy Windows 8.
  • I am not expecting much traction as hybrid OS devices have been tried before and have been show to be very niche with low volumes.
  • Furthermore, the devices are very heavy for tablets and the inability to share data between the two modes is likely to substantially limit their appeal.
  • These devices (and the new ATIV Tab 3) are also a damning indictment of Windows RT where manufacturer support has dropped to virtually zero.
  • The best that I can hope from Windows RT is that it is folded into Windows 8 and devices on ARM begin to appear where the only choice the user has to make is based on performance, battery life and price.
  • Its persistence as a shadow of Windows 8 confuses users and makes them less willing to join the Windows 8 ecosystem.
  • If Microsoft can make strides towards informing users how they can live their Digital Lives with Microsoft and solve the confusion around Windows RT then it becomes a very compelling proposition.
  • However, while its biggest OEM partners feel that they have to include Android to make a viable hybrid device, one can tell that something is seriously wrong.