Intel Bay Trail system-on-chip

Is Intel hoping to be saved by Android?

It has been no secret that Intel has been working on developing Android processors for some time, but more details are set to emerge about the company’s long-term strategy in the coming days. Given Intel has been synonymous with Windows for some time, it is no surprise that the company won’t abandon Microsoft’s platform entirely, instead seeking to develop a concept that is known internally as Dual OS.

The Verge reports that Intel has been working with PC manufacturers to develop systems that run both Android and Windows 8.

Companies like Samsung and ASUS have already pioneered this concept, but Intel’s recent plans are distinctive. Rather than solely giving users the option of switching between the two operating systems, it will instead be possible to launch Android apps directly in Windows 8 thanks to virtualisation processes.

In theory, the concept offers benefits to both Microsoft and Google. In the case of Microsoft, the problem of a lack of native Windows 8 apps is solved, whilst Google is able to extend Android’s reach even further.

Yet The Verge states that neither of the two companies support Intel’s plan. Dig a little deeper, and it is not difficult to understand the roots of the opposition.

If Microsoft were to fully embrace Intel’s vision, it would effectively signal an admission that after dominating the desktop age, the company is unable to compete on its own in the mobile era. Instead, Microsoft would be left partially reliant on the ecosystem of one of its biggest rivals.

Google, meanwhile, is left surveying the battlefield. With PC sales in a seemingly permanent decline, Microsoft has been left wounded and searching for new weaponry. Although a ready-made app ecosystem may prove to be useful ammunition for Microsoft, Google has no reason to be the enthusiastic supplier.

All of this is of little concern to Intel. As the market changes, the processor manufacturer is looking to realign old partnerships, with the old Wintel coalition appearing insufficient in a world increasingly focused on mobile.

[via The Verge]