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Poll: Would you buy a dual Windows-Android machine?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 11, 2014 8:30 AM PST
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I'm not buying ANYTHING with a version of Win8.x on it
by Save_Me_from_my_Govt / February 11, 2014 9:28 AM PST

I'm not buying ANYTHING with a version of Win8.x on it

Microsoft is going to have to find some other way to give Win8 away...

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One OS per machine for the mass users
by 0135boom / February 11, 2014 11:29 AM PST

Apparently you have not run Windows 8.X... No heavy complaints here for either the full OS or run time (RT) version from me or the people I know are regular users.
Regardless, dual boot systems are for enthusiasts. I can even remember a time when I had Windows, BeOS and Linux on a machine. The bulk of global users would be too confused. Plus look at the Win 8 options and the weak minded people that "reportedly" could not discern between Win RT and Win 8 full OS's. Do you even THINK those people can handle two OS's??? And then look at the bulk of the Android users and the junk hardware they buy. (Actually it's both hardware and a clunky immature OS combined).
Hard Mac and Linux users won't shift.

Look, most people are just users that want to play, get email, and surf the web. If your crazy enough to offer two OS's, save the effort and only offer customers a single OS at time of purchase and call it a day. Two is just not market smart.

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no heavy complaints from users of RT?? seriously!!
by darrenforster99 / February 11, 2014 3:08 PM PST

When I first got Windows 8 on my machine I hated it - I then put StarDock Start8 on to my machine which give me back my Start menu on my desktop - that's better!

8.1 did put the "start icon" back on the desktop but it's still no 100% proper start menu - which is what end users were asking to see return - it seems Microsoft are adamant that the era of the Start Menu is over - why? what difference does it make to them if end users want to keep using their system the way they know how to use it and have been using it for nearly 20 years now. It seems stupid to totally re-design the system into such a hated format and then to try and fix it but ignore the main request that most users have.

I remember a few years ago we were going to get a new car on a lease, we were amazed by the Vauxhall Zafira, but there was one major thing that put us off it - I remembered that Vauxhall had changed the indicator system so that pushing the stick up to the first click give three flashes, pushing it up higher give flashes until a corner was turned. The idea was that it stopped you leaving your indicator on when changing lanes on the motorway. Ok clever idea, however would it not have been best to judge the mode based on the speed of the vehicle - clearly if your travelling at 60-70mph and you put your indicator on you must be on the motorway, but if your travelling at about 0-20mph and slowing right down, chances are you are turning a corner!!! I hated this new system, and also my old driving instructor was given a car with this new indicator system on, and even he swapped the car for a different brand because he was struggling to teach people to learn to drive because Vauxhall had thought it was a clever idea to re-design something which for 70+ years had worked just fine and hadn't given the end user anyway of turning this option off - it was like we made it this way, why should you want to turn it off - which considering the indicators were done on electronic switches it really wouldn't have taken much to incorporate an option for "traditional indicator mode" in the cars computer and give people the option of either mode (or even "speed detection mode"). Ok so we didn't get a Vauxhall at the time - we got a Nissan instead, so Vauxhall lost out on a sale (we now have a Zafira but it's one of the old ones without the pain in the backside indicators!!)

Microsoft have also done the same thing with Windows. It wouldn't have taken much to give people the option of having a start menu - the code is there and as Stardock can produce a start menu with folders and everything and just charge $5 for the software it really can't take that much for Microsoft to implement, but like Vauxhall, Microsoft are insistent that Windows must be used in the way they think looks best with no other option.

As for RT - that is even worse - I was asked by a friend if I knew how to delete an item she no longer wanted on her start menu on RT. She'd tried all sorts, followed all guides, and got nowhere with it - short of just turning off and returning to her Windows XP computer and leaving the RT one to one side! I had a look - first time I'd even used RT - and what a stupid idea for deleting something. I already knew in Windows 8 on a PC it's right click to get the menu up to delete, but on a tablet there is no right click! So I tried all sorts - dragging the icon to hope a bin would appear (like android - would make sense!), holding my finger on the icon to hope that a bin would appear, looking on youtube which showed someone just swiping there finger downwards to get the menu up. Eventually after about an hour I'd got it figured - it was sliding your finger down, but then when I tried it again on another icon that icon just flew round the screen, and I was like no I don't want to drag the thing, I want to see the bottom menu. After about another 20 minutes I finally figured out that you have to be very specific and drag downwards, on the right hand corner of the icon - seriously??? these tablets touch screens aren't really designed to be that 100% accurate, and most OS's have large target points to get them to do stuff - but not Microsoft. After 1 hour and 20 minutes of messing around I thought no wonder people hate this thing so much, a lot of people want things to do what they want now, not spending over an hour trying to figure it out - or having to resort to looking in a 100 page user manual!

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I don't miss the start botton at all
by orlbuckeye / February 11, 2014 9:29 PM PST

In fact the first thing I do when I install Office is send a shortcut to the desktop for all the apps. I dislike the start menu as it puts the folder on top alphabetically and the apps below alphabetically. I always get comments at work on my XP WOW look at all those icons(shortcuts).

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Against Windows?
by benlefez / February 11, 2014 3:20 PM PST

I have used only MSDos & Windows apps since the 80's. However, I recently found that there was so much dishonest software getting into my computer and that I was spending a lot of time getting it out so I have installed Ubuntu onto my laptop. If I find that there are apps which I need Windows for, I still have a desktopn which runs XP.
I irritates me that effective international has not been taken to keep sneak thieves out of my computer.

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Add the option to have a true multi-OS machine to the pole!
by HypnoSailor / February 11, 2014 9:39 AM PST

I not only want Android and Windows (well, maybe not 8.0.....) but would love to have a Linux option and an option for an erasable virtual machine. The pole should as if we want VMs.

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All In One Transformer
by 5htej23 / February 11, 2014 2:32 PM PST

My daughter bought the Asus All In One Transformer model with an 18.4" screen. It runs Windows 8 normally when the screen is docked into the stand. It runs some version of Android wen you lift the screen off the stand and then have an oversized tablet. You can run your Windows system remotely when it is removed, but it's just using sort sort of remote access function in the Adroid OS.

I though the idea was good, but thought it would sell better in a smaller size; who really wants a tablet that big and heavy?

But the strange thing is that she has never removed the unit from it's stand and used Android by itself. So I have no idea why she bought it, as it was quite expensive on Amazon and hasn't really gone down in price unless you will accept a used one. I don't think they even list a new one there; the used one is probably the one she returned because of pixel problems.

You don't really hear much about it now, so in that size, it wasn't getting much interest.

Possibly a smaller unit might do better (and at a much lower price than the $1,299 she paid at Amazon); I don't know what was shown at the recent expo.

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Linux option
by 5htej23 / February 11, 2014 2:39 PM PST
In reply to: All In One Transformer

I forgot to add, you can run Linux as a virtual machine under VMWare Player on Windows.

Try it, you'll find that it runs very fast; I doubt you will find speed a problem. And it's easy to install from pre-built VMWare images, or even an installation disk (or iso image of one). I've run several versions of Ubuntu as well as Mint, two of the more popular builds.

And what surprised me recently was a report that the British government gave Ubuntu the best rating when it comes to security. They compared it to Windows and Apple's iOS, Who knew?

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Already exists...
by darrenforster99 / February 11, 2014 3:17 PM PST

There already is some computers out there with an "easy-boot" system.

My friend has a motherboard that incorporates that. When she wants to check her e-mails or access the web quickly she can just press a button when the BIOS first loads and she goes straight into an easy-boot mode which is basically ASUS's own Linux image that is installed on the hard drive and booted from (kind of like Puppy Linux's SFS files - but the BIOS can boot from it).

It's called Asus Express Gate.

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I use both Windows 7 and Android now on different machines.
by Ron Geiken / February 11, 2014 9:43 AM PST

Right now, I use W7 for my real work (I am actually retired) and Android for enjoyment. I wouldn't want both on one machine since I like it better when they are on different computers. I like Tablets and both of my Android are Tablets although my Nexus 10 is used with a 27 inch external monitor and my Note 10.1 is frequently used with my big screen TV. That is the best of both worlds. My W7 Lenovo with and i7 processor and 8 gig of ram is additionally used with a 27 inch monitor. Actually the cost for this configuration is slightly over $2000 spent over several years. I try to use them all every day, and the W7 actually does get used every day and the Androids get 3 or 4 days a week each. I like to watch classical concerts with the Note 10.1 on my TV. It is 71" and really enjoyable to watch. Sometimes the things on the actual TV are not as enjoyable as a Classical Concert on You Tube. I have had Windows computers since 1984, and Androids since 2012. Androids are still not full featured enough for me to use as my main computer. They haven't created a Thunderbird type E-mail program for Android, and that is one of my favorite programs. The Android Browsers are still not up to W7 standards. In 3 or 4 years with more powerful Android computers (4 to 8 gig of ram) they might be more adept at performing up to W7 standards. Their Quad Processors are pretty good and with enough ram will make for a desirable computer for many home users. A computer that turns on quickly and does it's own maintenance would be a good buy for many technically challenged computer users.

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Why not...this isn't religion is it?
by Aseriesguy / February 11, 2014 10:37 AM PST

A lot people are sounding like mullahs these says...Windows 8, the big Satan! I spit in your general direction!
I am an OS to try them all. Right now I have something around that does now or has in the recent past run them all. I worked with mainframes for 40 years, some that ran Windows, Linux and two proprietary OS's on partitions of a 32 Xeon CPU system all at the same time. They were all fun in their own way and I have no fear of sharing a machine between Windows and Android. I mainly run Android on a tablet and phone because I like about six of the apps that beat anything on Windows. I like Windows because of its flexibility and ease of installing hardware. Put that together and you've got me. I run Android-X86 now in Virtual Box but it takes a lot of resources.

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Agreed. Collecting operating systems, is a hobby.
by Alpha P / February 13, 2014 2:19 AM PST

This is a perfectly legit reason for dual booting. I have been guilty myself in the past, having up to 5 OS's running on one hardware box. However it is not mainstream or a significant market segment to develop hardware around.

We do this for the challenge and the sense of achievement to complete something unusual and difficult.
Although perfectly possible, even we find that you tend to minimise swapping OS, especially if it requires a hard reboot.

The most delightful and usable examples of dual-boot I have found are when you can run two OS's side-by-side without a reboot and even cut & paste between them. Another feature I think should be de rigueur is when you can close and OS with apps open and the entire image is saved, so that when you relaunch it, all the same windows, apps and memory items are still intact. Now THAT is CONVENIENT. I suspect that often people avoid a shutdown, even if desirable, just so they don't have to spend time getting back to where they were!

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It's a fascinating subject
by wpgwpg / February 11, 2014 10:50 AM PST

I just read today that AMD, Intel, and MS are working to make that happen. It definitely interests me and makes me extremely curious to see what it's like. If it's some kind of dual boot deal, I wouldn't be so keen about it. If I had to get a touch screen laptop or desktop, again I definitely wouldn't go for it. But if it could be made to work something like XP Mode on Windows 7 does, that would be of great interest to me, depending of course on how well it works. Lots of "ifs" for me, but it sure has piqued my interest, and I can't wait to read more about it and maybe be a tester for a pre-release version.

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I need Android and Windows
by dwinget / February 11, 2014 1:52 PM PST

I currently use 2 different devices depending on the tasks I need to perform. As a teacher, I use a program in Android to for my teaching records and another for running educational software. There are also times when I need the advanced functions found in PowerPoint such as slide animations and I also use mail merge in Word. Unfortunately, the alternate office apps in Android don't have those features.

It would be great to be able to switch between 2 operating systems without having to carry multiple devices around. Having to carry multiple devices defeats the purpose of using lightweight tablets.

For those who want to have Android and Linux on one device, it is already possible. There is a version of Ubuntu that installs on Android tablets and phones and rebooting is not required. Android and Linux apps have shortcuts on the same home screen.

What would be great to see is an Apple iPad with Boot Camp or Parallel Desktop that can run Windows.

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Well in order to do this
by orlbuckeye / February 11, 2014 9:35 PM PST

The Ipad would have to switch to an Intel processor. Like they did with their pc's.

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Survey fail - as usual
by zclayton3 / February 11, 2014 10:58 PM PST

How about "No, I already have a machine."? (It dual boots win8 for legacy games and Linux for real work.) I use android on my cell, why do I need it on a PC?

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Hands up for a perfect world!
by Alpha P / February 12, 2014 2:26 AM PST

When Apple installed Dual Booting to Windows, they knew that their OS was more stable, user friendly and had a more consistent User Interface. It worked in their favour and allowed many fence sitters to buy the hardware, knowing that if they hated OSX, they could still use what they previously had.
It gained many converts as they realised it was easier to learn the new OS than to gain control over their old one.

With year on year drop in PC sales of 12% the last few years, the need for Windows is a shrinking market and the Windows Mobile OS has never grabbed the population's imagination. The Windows Desktop has always had issues with memory caps, disc size caps, multiple versions to confuse the end-users and change for the sake of change rather than convenience breakthrough. Windows 3.1 was the first regarded as stable and XP the next held in such esteem. There is a long string of lack lustre releases that promised more than they delivered.

I recognise two varieties of Windows users; those who reinstall twice a month and those who buy a new machine when it all grinds to a halt about the time the warranty on the hardware expires.

The only reason you would want Windows on an Android machine is for that 'one feature' in a Windows program, not yet offered in a comparable Android program, otherwise Android does all the stuff you need. I believe this will work against Windows as people will realise they are buying into an expensive, proprietary system that more often than not fails to deliver on promises, tries to lock people in to complicated licensing agreements, is geared towards hardware upgrades and incompatible paths to merge from one system to the next.

Every empire has it's day and I think Microsoft has come to the end of the road on Operating Systems. They started with an outright purchase of "Quick & Dirty DOS" and made money, so they have never thought about innovating to the advantage of the end-user, only themselves.

Android possibly has the opposite problem where there are so many forks that there is no consistent upgrade path, but that's another story.

There are of course the haters and fan-boys in each camp and there are some gem applications on every platform that you have never seen improved elsewhere. If you could get what you wanted, it would be a perfect world, and we all know how unlikely that is!

I run a variety of OS'es, but I could happily exist with one. Just depends on whether I like to fiddle, or just want it to work!

I believe the dual boot option will work against Windows as people realise the OS has so few advantages. I expect Windows will go the way of DOS eventually. This is the 21st Century. That doesn't mean fancy graphics, it means convenience, stability, performance, compatibility, low cost, easy upgrades, simple to use, and the wow factor should be all the things you DONT have to think about, not all those that you DO have to think about.

Therefore I see no need to buy a dual boot Windows-Android platform for anything other than curiosity and collecting operating systems as a hobby.

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-- No, who needs Android?
by btljooz / February 12, 2014 5:05 AM PST

Don't people realize that Android is Google's distro of Linux? I don't want ANYTHING Google!!! period. In addition to which, I will NEVER run Windows 8 on my computers nor any other of MS's slimmed down OS's with that stupid, nonfunctional on a full computer "Metro" GUI! MS lost me with that GUI garbage and with the loss of my Media Player. I don't care if it is possible to buy it just for $10!

I'm all for dual booting, but I'd MUCH rather dual boot with MY choice of distro, NOT that of some manufacturer. I'm seriously thinking of dual booting with XP (to be kept OFF of the internet and to run whatever software that I already have and need to run with Windows) with my own choice of Linux distro (maybe with WINE so I don't need XP?) for the Internet and whatever else I need that XP will no longer do.

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Seriously.... poll!!
by iminmessaging / February 12, 2014 6:14 AM PST

It's fine you have not included iOS. But, you did not include Linux based OS (I mean it's not like I don't know that Android is a Linux based OS, but still). You could have added Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Fedora, Red hat Enterprise Linux (the best). And, yet you choose to stumble yourself in between windows and android!?

I don't think that Android can stand for becoming a desktop operating system. Google has developed Android, but Google is also working on Chrome OS. Wait for that, then start poll. I have used Chrome OS. However, it was not very stable, and that was 3-4 months ago. I am saying "not very stable" because the one updated with new patches that I tried 2-3 days back was awesome. I am saying so because I have also worked on Android for desktop. It feels just like tablet suddenly gotten a lot bigger.

Regarding Windows 8. I sometimes miss the start button, but you will get used to it. It does lack some basic features, and needs a lot of improvements. I guess that is why Microsoft has released Windows 8.1.

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No I have multiple windows laptops
by orlbuckeye / February 13, 2014 3:50 AM PST

and an Android tablet. I like the separate.

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I remember back in the day using OS2.
by orlbuckeye / February 13, 2014 3:59 AM PST

I worked on a computer mapping system in automobile and they used OS2 in the cars and OS2 to tract the cars. On my personal PC I tried copies of OS2 Blue package and the OS2 Orange (Windows was built into OS2. Windows apps would run in both OS2 and Windows but because of DLL going to system folders by default and not changeable. You couldn't install an app in Windows and run it in OS2. So in you wanted to run a program in both you have to install it twice. This wouldn't be as much of an issue since the Android app are basically cloud app with a little footprint (no DLL's installed locally).

But still i want my Android separate.

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tried windows 8.1 sent it back
by Forgewizard / February 16, 2014 1:04 PM PST

Bought a Dell venue pro8 tablet, which as far as the device went, was a decent device; however the windows 8.1 was disappointing. Having had a Windows Phone 7, I was expecting to be able to use my phone apps, or at least locate comparable apps in the windows store. THAT was a dismal expectation! Top off that let down with the fact that the 2013 OneNote is not backwards compatible with my 2007 OneNotes, which means I have to convert every note book to a pdf. So if they get converted to pdf format, I might as well stick with Evernote! Windows Evernote is sorely lacking features too. Had to go through a ridiculously aggravating install of a missing file just to get the windows 8.1 to even accept apps from the store! Thank you You Tube for that resolution! Then three days of starts, restarts, updates, and system checks; another couple days searching for non existant apps, perplexed by simple search keywords that tge store would return as no apps available; then go to use excel and am completely moved out of the windiws 8.1 environment to a standard windows environment wherein the font is shrunk yo unreadable size, requiring zoom adjustment. No thank you! I returned it and sm very pleased with my Android Galaxy Note3 "phablet", with Data Viz and Evernote covering all my Microsoft needs. Yup, am an Android convert. Bye bye Windows go ahead, stop supporting XP, I will not be supporting you.

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Yes, No and Maybe ... here's why...
by CnetJoeEff / March 25, 2014 2:47 PM PDT

I'm sure there are a lot of travelling business folks that would love to carry one less thing around by having a combo setup .... sort-of. (You still end up bringing a keyboard, maybe a mouse, etc!)
I'm old-school (retired) and would find it convenient and interesting.
It's certainly do-able. Hasn't someone done it?

I love my Nexus 7 (first gen; second gen wifi-bluetooth at same time bug SUCKS so I sent it back)
But every once in a while I need to do something that can't be done on Android
and either feel sorry that I left the netbook behind or just don't get it done.

So it's maybe , but I 'd have to check it out and decided if the price is right too!
It may be a one-trick pony. Windows is getting less and less needed when travelling. Happy

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