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Android 5.0 Jelly Bean could run Windows 8

Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is rumoured to arrive in the second half of this year -- and could run Windows 8 too.

Fancy a Jelly Bean? Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, that is. The next generation of Android is rumoured to arrive in the second half of this year -- and could run Windows 8 too.

You read that right: details of the flavourful next generation of Android, Google's operating system for phones, tablets and laptops, are already starting to emerge and they suggest future Android tablets will be able to switch to Windows.

DigiTimes reports that Android 5.0 is Google's crack at notebooks, netbooks and tablets. With Jelly Bean on board, a laptop or tablet will dual-boot -- that is, run both types of software -- letting you switch between them. You'll have Android's on-the-go versatility and simplicity, and the power and depth of Windows for more involved tasks.

Windows 8 will work on both computers and tablets, borrowing the colourful squared Windows Phone live tile interface that I've fallen in love with on my Nokia Lumia 800.

Bean and gone

Is it really time to start talking about Jelly Bean already? The current version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, is still only available on one phone -- the Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- and at last count made up less than 1 per cent of Android devices. As of the end of last year, the previous version, Gingerbread, was still the most popular.

Press play on our review of the Nexus to see what all the fuss is about with Ice Cream Sandwich:

I think it's getting ridiculous. Even if you have a cutting-edge smart phone, not having the latest software is going to take the shine off. It doesn't really matter which version of Android you have -- they all work, and they're all great -- but the second a new update comes along, if your phone can't get it you'll start to feel your mobile is out-of-date, washed-up, a has-been, not a Jelly Bean. And nobody wants a has-been blower.

My colleague Luke Westaway reckons updating headaches are the most serious threat Android faces.

Why do updates take so long? Because there are so many Android phones, in so many shapes and sizes, that tailoring apps and manufacturers' add-ons for all of them takes a while. Meanwhile, Apple and Microsoft fire off one update for everybody and presto-change-o every phone is bang up-to-date.

Bean there done that

Ice Cream Sandwich takes some steps towards uniting disparate versions of Android by combining the best of phone-centric Gingerbread and its tablet-only offshoot Honeycomb to make ICS work on both blowers and slates. Hopefully Jelly Bean will continue to make it easier for updates to work across all the many shapes and sizes of Android devices on the market.

If you want to actually spend some time with Ice Cream Sandwich before Jelly Bean makes it obsolete and you have a Samsung Galaxy S2, check out our guide to getting it now. Other phones confirmed to be going ICS soon include the HTC Sensations in March.

Are you dying for a taste of Jelly Bean, or is it about time Google slowed down with these updates? And most importantly, what is the best Jelly Bean flavour? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.